Boys Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Eva Varga

October 4, 20113

After bedtime, my little guy will frequently get out of bed.  When he was younger, he used to sneak into my bed to sleep with me.  Often times, I’d awake in the morning to discover he had also poured himself a glass of orange juice.  The evidence?  He always left the carton and his glass on the counter.

Recently, his modus operandi has changed just a little. Instead of climbing in with me – though he still tries on occasion, but I insist he return to his own bed; afterall, he is getting older – he has pulled out his nature journal and colored pencils.

To relax and help him to fall asleep, he has discovered that sketching in his journal is very calming.  This past week, he has been quite prolific in his illustrations.  All of the pages shown here were done on his own with no assistance or suggestions from me.

I am delighted that he has shown such an interest in nature journaling.  I have encouraged him to pursue this new passion.  I’ve even found photographs in field guides of insects and critters with which he’s had personal experience.  I look forward to seeing more in the years to come.

February 18, 20111

On a whim, we organized an impromptu Valentine’s Day party this week.  We spread the word and encouraged guests to bring a treat to share.  MeiLi and Buddy crafted heart garlands for each family.  I neglected to take a photo of their work, but was able to find a similar image online.

A girlfriend brought over a bunch of crafts she picked up on clearance (we planned our party for Thr – and thereby all the Valentine’s were marked down at the stores).  When the guests arrived, all the girls went to the craft table and occupied themselves with their creativity.  It was such a delight to listen to the girls giggle and sing together.

The boys, on the other hand, gathered in Buddy’s room where they spent much of their time building with Legos.  Buddy and his best friend collaborated to build a delightful house, “We did it from scratch, Mom!  No instructions!” 

Delightfully, a couple weeks ago, we were introduced to a homeschool family with two children of similar ages of my own.  The kiddos clicked immediately and I, too, made a connection with their dad.  How exciting is it that it is the father that stays at home and does the majority of the instruction?  It is a delight to share in his experiences as he brings an entirely different perspective to our homeschool gatherings.

Buddy recently received a new bow and a dozen new arrows for his birthday (albeit early).  He has been showing it to all his friends so of course, they wanted to take it outside for target practice.  It was so nice to have a dad here to help the boys learn the finer points of archery.  I’m still learning myself, so I wasn’t able to give them as many tips. 

November 4, 20101

Looking for an activity that provides exercise, improves math skills, teaches etiquette, requires focus, reduces stress, and is – oh, yeah – lots of fun?  Consider Archery!

When my little guy told his buddies that he was going to get a real bow and arrow set, no one believed him.  They insisted he was lying even when I backed him up.  When his archery set finally arrived … the boys next door continually asked, “Is it real?  Is it a toy one?”  Even one of the dads, when Buddy brought it over and demonstrated his new skill, was a little surprised.  “The arrows have suction cups on the tip …   They don’t?!”  One of the moms said, “The fact that he has a bow and arrow scares me to death!”  Proof that people tend to fear what they do not know … what they do not understand.

I’m surprised more boys (and girls … I know many girls enjoy the sport, too – but typically it is boys) aren’t allowed the opportunity to explore their interest.  Parents assume it is dangerous.  But once they see the National Safety Council’s numbers ranking archery as one of the safest sports, once they understand just how easy and affordable it is to set up and run an archery program, and once their first class fills up with happy participants who want more…it’s no surprise that Archery is the hot new trend in recreation.

Archery is contagious. Here is a way to investigate an activity that is gaining in popularity all over the U.S.,  particularly amongst homeschoolers. 

1. Name and explain the archery safety rules.

2. Tell about the local and state laws on ownership, use and registration of archery tackle.

3. Name and point out the parts of a bow and an arrow.

4. Describe and show how to use an arm guard, shooting glove, finger tab, and quiver.

5. Explain proper care of and how to store the bow, bowstring, arrows, and leather items.

6. Make a bowstring and use it.

7. Make one complete arrow from a bare shaft.

8. Explain the following terms: cast, bow weight, string height (fistmele), aiming, spine, mechanical release, freestyle, and bare bow.

9. Describe the different types of arrows.

10. Show the nine basic steps of a good shooting method.

11. Locate and mark with dental floss, crimp on, or other method the nocking point on a bow string.

12. Shoot with bow and arrows, using a finger release.

13. Explain the difference between field and target archery.

14. Explain the difference between field round, hunter round, and animal round.

15. Explain the importance of obedience to a range master or other person in charge of a range.

16. Learn some of the competition rules in various forms of competition archery.

17. If possible, attend a archery competition. Speak to the participants and ask them how much and how often they practice, when did they learn, and about any special training that they have had.

For those with Olympic dreams, archery has many advantages. The equipment is affordable, official competitions are held all over the country and are open (don’t require pre-qualification), and archery can be practiced year round, indoors or out.

Other programs include The Way of The Bow, an archery curriculum that explores the diverse culture and history of archery (Japanese Kyudo, Native American, Ancient Roman, and others) in addition to learning how to shoot. ArrowFaith, a faith-based curriculum that explores the personal virtues that are necessary if one aspires to excel at archery (such as responsibility, perseverance, mindfulness, and others), combines the fun of shooting with personal development. GoArchery! is a program designed by two-time Olympic coach Lloyd Brown to set up beginners with optimal form while having fun learning the sport. Information on these and other archery programs is available at Teach Archery.

October 13, 20103

In the midst of summer, both of the kiddos were really into creating their own newsletters. MeiLi wrote a weekly paper on food and published 3 issues (raspberries, chives, and cucumbers) which she proudly distributed to her subscribers. Buddy wrote just one on airplanes. He had started a second on jets, but then their enthusiasm dwindled and he never came back to it. Last week’s field trip to the newspaper has reinvigorated their interest.

click on the image to enlarge and thereby read his text

When we returned home from Taekwondo last night, Buddy turned on the laptop, loaded up Pages, selected his favorite template, and began work on a new issue.  The theme … what else but BMX ?! 

He asked for assistance to Google images and to move a few of the template pieces (graphics, text boxes, etc.) around.  He also needed help with spelling and grammar of course.  I was in the midst of preparing dinner so MeiLi worked with him to set style of the page.  I then spelled out most of the words for him slowly … one letter, one punctuation mark, one space key at a time.  It was slow and arduous but he is so proud and that makes all the difference.

He is already working on another issue … on freight trains.  “Let me just finish this one, Mom.  Then I’ll go back to my jets newsletter.” As he progresses through each issue, he becomes more comfortable spelling and remembering when to use the space bar.  It is such a joy to watch!