Homeschooling Update(and there are guns)

Originally we had planned to keep M in school until the Christmas break. Seemed like a nice time to transition, but she really didn’t want to continue any longer, so we decided no time like the present. It took me a few days to type up the paperwork and get her curriculum in order, but on Monday of this week I dis-enrolled her from public school.

We are still waiting on most of her books to arrive, so in the mean time we have been reading George Mason Forgotten Father, doing some algebra online, and working on geography. We also went to a local museum. I have to say when you have one student who is 14, above grade level and highly motivated homeschooling is mighty easy. Plus it’s fun. Every afternoon we curl up with blankets, sip hot tea and read. It’s pretty cush.

Today we took a field trip to the local shooting rage. Most of you probably know that M does not like guns and she isn’t fond of shooting, especially my 9mm and she won’t go near the rifles. Fortunately I have very generous friends. Country Tea & Mr. Tea let me borrow their Ruger .22 MK III. A gun M was at least willing to try without much tude.

I know this is old news for a lot of you, but after I was mugged I became fairly aggressive in making her learn to shoot. She didn’t have to like it, but since there were guns in the home I wanted her to know how to safely handle them and also to be able to use one should she need to. Learn how to load, unload, hold, keep her finger off the trigger, keep it pointed in a safe direction etc was not a problem for her. Just the actually pulling of the trigger was an issue.

Most of you also know I was too forceful. I reacted out of both guilt and fear. I felt enormous shame and guilt for teaching her to be a victim. I had conditioned all the fight right out of her and I was concerned that my actions were putting her at risk.

As I began to settle down and realize that I was forcing her to go from zero to 1000 in .2 seconds I decided to back off guns and focus on the skills she would most likely need now and ones she seemed more willing to accept.

We talk a lot about situational awareness, things that are going on in the local news, ways she can fight back without a weapon, what actually can be used as a weapon, mindset, that kind of thing. She actually took to those quickly. She is extremely aware and she absolutely believes it’s ok to fight for her life and and use any means necessary to do so. She still struggles with the idea of doing it herself and she still isn’t all that happy about my training with Arete.

Me- Want to take some actually classes like Karate or Krav Maga?

M- I don’t know. That doesn’t sound fun.

Me- You get to hit people.

M- Umm, not fun.

Me- I think it’s fun.

M- Yeah, you hang out in the park with a known sniper.

Me- (Giggling) That’s fun.

M- That’s scary, but actually some classes could be good. I will be driving soon and even if I did like to shoot I can’t carry, so I do need to know some things.

Me- Smart girl

It’s on her mind. She clearly thinks about it and it’s almost like she knows someday she will need to make the switch, but something is holding her back.

It is very much a two steps forward one step back deal. Some of you may remember that she came to me and asked to go shoot at the range in Culpeper with John. I had high hoped of that working out, but it never materialized for one reason or another. I let it go and allowed her more time.

A few days ago I told her I planned to go to the range on Thursday and since would be home did she want to go.

2012-12-13_11-16-12_398Why yes she did!!!

2012-12-13_11-16-50_701Fuzzy, I know. This was her first magazine at about 3 yards. All in the red. I didn’t care if she shot every single round from 3, but she kept scooting the target out farther and farther. I asked her if she wanted to play a game. I shot somewhere on the target and then she tried to get her round through the same hole. We did this at about 10 yards.

2012-12-13_11-32-35_801Pretty good. I say lets do that some more!

2012-12-13_11-32-31_848She wanted to take turns, so I would shoot then she would try to match it and then I would shoot a different spot on the target and so on. I was using my Shield.

2012-12-13_11-42-58_587Her last target of the day. That bigger hole in the middle is not from my 9mm. It is from her hitting the same spot several times. This was maybe at 7 yards. She loaded all her own magazines, she loaded the gun, made ready and shot.

Still wasn’t jumping up and down like I do, but she had a great attitude, she really tried and she did smile several times. She especially liked the game.

I keep saying it has been and continues to be a long slow process. My husband keeps saying it has been and remains quite a quick and impressive transition. Not yet 2 years since the ordeal. Either way we both see positive progress and I today I shot with my daughter and she didn’t hate it, so that’s a WIN,

45 thoughts on “Homeschooling Update(and there are guns)

  1. Way to go girl!! You did wonderful for your first time. My first time I didn’t even hit the target, I hit the guide wire holding up the target. Congrats on making the jump to homeschooling.

  2. Great job ! We have now homeschooled all of ours, including the son we adopted two years ago. Two of them have graduated from universities with honors, and they are doing fine, and so it looks like we didn’t ruin anyone with an egregious “lack of socialization”! LOL

  3. Woohoo! Way to go M! You are an extremely good shot, regardless of your experience. Good job!

    You will treasure these moments with your Mom in years to come.

  4. Great job M – you rocked it. Outstanding marksmanship. Target shooting is a skill you can really build on and dang fun to boot. Congrats also on taking the step into homeschooling.

    • I’m really excited about homeschooling again! Apparently my mom was right and public school really isn’t that great -M

  5. Great shootin’ “M”… my daughter is now 17 and she has her own Ruger MKIII… it’s a fun gun to shoot! Now tell you mom you need some zombie targets… because the world needs a few less zombies…

    Dann in Ohio

  6. Great job M, 22s are fun. A Girl, I like that follow the leader game. I’m going to try that with my students from now on.

  7. Yep great job M! And that follow the leader is a good teaching tool too! If you need a .22, I have a spare bull barrel Ruger. And M should be proud of herself for thinking through all the pieces and parts, and making up her own mind.

  8. Nice shooting M! Woot!!!

    The Ruger is a fairly easy to shoot, but it still takes a very good eye, and a good hand and you’ve shown you have both. Excellent groupings young lady! You are showing you are indeed a fast learner and grown up enough to understand the lessons folks are trying to present to you.

    Curling up with your Mom with books sounds like a grand day, enjoy every minute of it. You don’t know how lucky you are.

  9. Fantastic M! It is fun and you have a great teacher to boot! Keep it up! Great looking targets there. They look better than some of mine.

  10. What a wonderful way to spend the afternoon! M you did a great job at the range. My daughter is 11, and while she is very good with the Mark, it’s just not her thing right now.

    I applaud you for trying it out. Just think, if you keep practicing (if you want to) you just might get to where you are out shooting your Mom! 🙂

    • Thank you for letting me use your gun, I liked it a lot more than my moms gun! It would be nice to be able to out shoot my mom (: -M

  11. A great job, M! You did really good in your hits. Looks like you have a good sight picture and good trigger control. Situational awareness is most important in your defensive training and it sounds like you are doing very well in that area. The best way to get out of a bad situation is to not be there in the first place.

    It also looks like you have a good teacher. A good teacher knows not to push a student too fast and to let the student learn at the pace that works best for them.

    • I’m still not to sure about shooting but I definitely agree that it’s important to be aware of my surroundings! -M

  12. Wow! That’s some really good shooting on M’s part. Actually, having just taken a bunch of newbies shooting myself, that’s some outstanding marksmanship and it sounds like she has a natural inclination towards shooting. Way to go, M!

  13. Okay, I gotta say this. She’s outshooting me. LOL *bowing head in shame*

    Way to go, M!!!

    That’s awesome that you’ve kept an open mind about shooting and have been willing to try it. The pistol you used is a FUN one to be sure!!! Plinking with .22 is a great way to have fun and develop some skill. But by looking at those photos, I’m thinking you’ve naturally got that skill. And you’ve some GREAT teachers in your mom, dad, and their friends if you decide to pursue this. I doubt it means much, but I’m proud of you!

    While firearms can be and are very serious, there is nothing keeping you from enjoying them and having fun with them, as you guys found out yesterday with the game you guys played. In fact, I think I’ll borrow that game idea when I take my son shooting!

  14. Dear M: That is some fine shooting, truly. You should be proud both of your abilities and that you proceed at your own pace, not succumbing to ANYone’s urging or pressure (not that your mom would do that 😉 ). When I HAD to learn to shoot safely, my tutor used the same game. Sadly, I did nowhere near as well as you did. Come to think on it, I still don’t. Hmm, a little envious here; mebbe I should stop by and get lessons from you . . .

    BTW, I took up karate and jiujitsu primarily because I dislike hitting people as much as being hit. Those art forms as I learned them encourage mental agility and awareness – which you seem to have in spades – as a preventive, and that stopping a strike is more important than striking. The sparring is secondary to the mental and physical discipline. Try it; you might like it.

  15. M appears to be doing rather well which isn’t unexpected given her background influences. I would suggest a minor change in her potential training though, instead why don’t the two of you take a Yoga or Hot Yoga course? I’m preparing to do this myself because of the beneficial health and wellness attributes to its participants.
    As for martial arts training I’m more aligned with the American Judo and Ju-jitsu style as well as impact weapons. While you’re at it M might be able to take some online college courses and get part of her core requirements out of the way.

    • Ahh, I got one right:) we actually do, do yoga together! Thanks for the suggestions on the other kinds of martial arts!!

  16. This is for M.

    Dear M,

    I’m a huge fan of homeschooling. I used to run a homeschool where I taught other people’s kids at my house. They were all teenagers, and it was a blast! Their parents were either too busy or didn’t think they were smart enough to teach. I laughed at the smart part….dude, every time I taught algebra, I was like learning it again, for the first time! I’m getting so old, some things just won’t stay in my head anymore!

    We took field trips, too. We drove from Michigan to Washington DC, and stopped at Arlington. Driving that far with two teenaged girls was….well, let’s just interesting. But it was very much worth it, they both got A+s on their American History Finals.

    You are so lucky to be homeschooled. Our school started at 8:30 in the morning, and ended at 11:30. Of course, there was homework everynight. But, the next day, when we all together corrected our homework (I had to do it too, ya can’t teach what you don’t read) every time someone got something wrong, we would all work on how to teach it to them so they “got” it. Your mom has the time and the brains. You should do very well.

    You may have noticed that it doesn’t take as long to do school work. Nobody to take attendance (although, I bet E would make a great hall-monitor!), no boring messages from the principle over the loud speaker.

    And, I’m so glad you went to the range! I used to be like you…guns were ok, but not for me. I was actually scared of them. Not of just a gun…but putting one in my hands. Would I do it right? Would I hurt myself or someone else? Well, I asked my husband to TEACH me how to “do guns” and it turned out great. (The only thing I still do not like is the sound of my 9mm going off in an inside range. Even with my “ears” on, I involuntarily jump…it seems so loud! But, I love to shoot outdoors!)

    Today, I had to show one of my bosses how to hold my gun. She doesn’t really like them, but she thinks she and her family may get one for protection (ask your mom where I work and why I carry there). So, I very carefully told her the Rules, then showed her that I was unloading it. I them racked the slide, so we were both sure there wasn’t a bullet in the chamber. Then I handed it to her, butt first. The first thing she did was put her finger on the trigger! So I explained, very gently, why that wasn’t a good idea. I could tell she was still a little scared, so I put my hands over hers to show her how to hold it. It’s a Shield, like your mom’s, so it’s little and fits her hands well. By now, she was getting braver and wanted to know how to aim it. (oh, for the others reading this, the office door was closed and locked). She held it for a little while, and wasn’t so scared. Now she thinks maybe she’ll go outside shooting with me. I’m not even close to your mom’s skills and abilities, but we can get training from our friends, the cops.

    So, you keep practicing. You mom isn’t going to let anything bad happen to you. And I’ll let you know how my boss does.

    Good Luck! And, by the way, great shooting! Your groupings are better than mine !!! 🙂

  17. You guys should look into Aikido for self defense, no hitting at all! Find a ‘hard’ Aikido dojo (‘soft’ Aikido is slower and more spiritual) and watch a class. You don’t attack in Aikido, you only defend. Bodymechanics and leverage, I (240lbs) have been thrown, many times, by a woman who was shorter and weighed 115lbs. And I was thrown HARD.

  18. aGirl: Thank you for Homeschooling! I think it can make a real difference in our country. Sometime, you might consider taking her to an Appleseed event. It’s not self defense, but it is all about history, civic involvement and shooting!

  19. As you know my 17 yr old daughter loves shooting of any kind and was easy to get started. She loves being the center of attention and a girl with a gun is an attention getter at most ranges. Now my son was another story. He started shooting a couple years ago but it was after years of coming with us to the range and to cowboy matches without shooting a round. I had my doubts he would ever feel about shooting the way the rest of the family did. It was a slow process and we did not push and he slowly came into his own. He loves cowboy shooting now but he really really loves shotgunning (clay target sports).

    Your daughter will find her niche. Expose her to more than shooting paper and you might have a real range rat on your hands. Sorry but paper is boring.

    My 2 cents.


  20. I don’t know if you will read this (it’s an article 6 days old) but something I think you should look into, depending on your state, is PSEO. Basically its where high school students take college courses either at a big college or at a smaller community one, and the state pays for it. I did that my senior year of high school, and wish I found out about it earlier. I was in a lot of those like advanced placement stuff in elementary and junior high school and could have gotten in when I was 14. When I did spend my last year there, there were 2 girls who were there who were 14, even though the “recommended age” was 16 or older due to the fact here in Ohio you can drive.

    According to wikipedia its only in Ohio or Minn, but you may be able to do something like that through your state, it just depends on whether or not you can find college credits that count as high school credits.

    Also another thing that’s a good idea that was good for me (personal experience, IDK if it will work as well for you guys) but I took 3 and a half years of high school online through a virtual school. It was great, I did the same advanced placement stuff but because I didn’t have to deal with the kids who got forced into AP by their parents and had to be walked through by the teacher for the entire class periods, but I could do a weeks worth of class in a day. I could have graduated in 10th grade but I enjoyed busting out a months worth of work in a week and then play video games non stop for the rest of the month for me to motivate myself to do that, though now I’m wishing I did.

    Also, I’m still a newish reader to your blog so I don’t know if you know, but there is a thing called 4-H that has a Shooting Sports project if M or any of the other kids are interested, and there are also tons of other projects like Photography or raising animals, or writing, or building things or growing things that revolve around “Clubs”. Basically Clubs are groups of kids, with parental oversight, who work together on a large number of different projects, or devoted directly around one type of project. Like I was in two different clubs, shooting sports and a rabbit club where I was easily around 30-40 different people, and that’s also how I learned to talk to adults and strangers a lot easier (I was, and still am, kinda shy). A lot of homeschool kids usually end up kind of shy around new people so 4-H helps a lot.

    Well, hope you see this and think about it, especially the PSEO thing, being able to graduate high school with a 2 year or (in a few rare cases) 4 year college diploma can really give kids a step up in life.

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