Ma's Family

Ma's Family

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bullseye Blasters

My older kids had their final meeting for the 4-H Bullseye Blasters rifle club tonight. (Photo included) The last meeting of the season is always to finish up their log books for the records. On the first page the book asks what you wish to achieve this year in this program. Every one of them wrote some form of 'shooting better'. Towards the end it asks them what they learned this year. Every one of them wrote some form of 'shooting better'. I have to wonder what they expect the children to write there and had myself a little chuckle. What if.... they asked the parents to answer those questions? Why DO I send them to rifle club? I can teach them to shoot just fine here. We home school for everything else so why not that?

What do you wish your child to achieve this year in this program? I hope that my children will learn patience, responsibility, safe handling and appropriate care of weapons, respect for guns-people-authority-property and have fun while doing it. I hope that my children will gain self-respect, assurance, confidence and pride in their achievements. And yeah... I hope they get a better aim too! Is that asking too much? I don't think so.

My kids have a wonderful team of coaches! They take the time to know the kids. To interact with them individually and encourage them. To show them each that they are worth something! And like Who's line is it anyway... the points don't matter. At the end of the year some have scored high, some not so much. But they ALL did great. The high scores are celebrated and the not so high are congratulated on their improvement and efforts. My heartfelt gratitude and kudos go out to the amazing coaches and assistants who make this program outstanding for the kids who are in it.

Thank you coaches! You're amazing!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 10 - video

The chicks are so curious! Anything in their space gets thoroughly inspected. You can see in the video how much faster the meat birds are growing than the layers. The layers sure hold their own though!

The chicks are busy busy busy but still manage to settle right down for a snuggle with Robin. While the videos are uploading let's talk about kids and animals. Never ever leave a child alone with an animal. For the safety of both. Baby animals are adorable! But they're also fragile and require some special care. Teach children to handle them properly to ensure the safety of both the animals and the kids. Chicks can get sick easily and animals do carry diseases and germs so be sure kids wash well before and after handling them. It's natural for kids to squeeze when they're excited and toss when they're startled so it's helpful to have a smock or towel to set the animal on. This will keep the chick safer and free the child's hands for petting rather than smothering. Draw attention to the way the animal naturally sits and encourage children to hold the animal in a similar way. For chicks the wings should be folded normally and not allowed to flap and feet should be free of obstruction. Be engaged with them. Take the child's hand in yours and show them how to pet gently. This way you can demonstrate appropriate pressure. Gentle with a dog is much different than gentle with a baby chick. If the child will hand feed be sure to warn them about a little pinch and show them to hold their hand flat so there are no little skin folds to be nipped. And don't forget to wash those hands! These early lessons will lead to a long time of mutual enjoyment and fun!

Chick Patrol 1

Another week has passed and boy have those chicks grown!

Day 2 - Look at those wings! Just yesterday there wasn't a feather in sight!

Day 4 - starting to get some color on those feathers and maybe a bit of fluff starting a tail?
Day 6 - Wing feathers are taking shape and they're starting to scratch for food and chasing bugs. We had a minor issue on Day 7. A snow storm came through and left us without power for about 8 hours. It was a bit of a rush to get all the chicks into laundry baskets and around the wood stove to keep them warm without the lights. They fared well though and after a day of sleeping it off they were back to their chirpy, busy selves again.

Day 8 Feathers on top! And definitely showing some tail feathers too!