We didn't go to the barn to ride Stanley last night. That was mostly me - I had no desire to go out in that dark rain. But we have been going at least 5 out of 7 days and I've been riding myself every time we go too. I don't usually ride at all during show season, or at least I don't ride Stanley. I felt very strongly that being a new horse to us last winter it was important that Equestrian Girl and him develop a strong bond and he didn't get confusing signals on a regular basis from two very different riders. I believe it worked. He is very connected to her now. We've been tossing around the idea of me riding in a class or two at the open shows next year but we'll see. I will take a few lessons this winter and see how it goes and if I can find some cheap show clothes, maybe.
Motocross: Last winter there were THREE indoor race tracks for motocross in Michigan. This year there are NONE. One was rather far away but the boys went out there early in the winter season to check it out. Their first comment was that the ventilation was terrible. It was built in one of those golf dome type places and the air exchange just wasn't enough. A few weeks later they were shut down for just that reason. Every time they thought they had it "fixed" they would get shut down again. Another place that the boys had gone to a LOT the winter before had trouble with his lease on the building. No go this year. The third track was our favorite. They had a nice pit area that was semi-heated, fan stands that were toasty warm, and a pretty nice track that was well maintained. They held a race series that Motocross Boy loved and a great banquet at the end of the year. A few weeks later the place was locked up and closed down in foreclosure.
All this means that if Motocross Boy is to do any racing this winter it will have to be outdoors if the weather is okay or they'll have to travel. Apparently there's a couple places in Ohio and Indiana but none are real close...several hours away.
Homeschooling: I read an interesting article this morning about how schools have been fighting the use of cell phones in class and how they are so often used for cheating. Students will save information on their phones and then use it during a test. Or they will text questions and answers to other students. Motocross Boy is an expert at figuring out ways to cheat on some of his on-line material (which is why I now have to print so much!) but he's never used his cell phone and I don't think he knows anyone to text to get an answer during the day! Equestrian Girl has never used hers to cheat (that I know of anyway) but she has used it to take a photo of her on-line test results to send me. We use one on-line program for science that we all really love but there's no way for them to email or save their test results for me to see if I'm not there. Since this program is quite independent, I'm don't make it a habit of being around when either of them use it. Thus the reason for taking a photo I guess!
There's a lot of controversy in the homeschool world about how much technology to embrace in schooling. We are more on the side of "more is better". Our society is advancing so quickly in this field that it's difficult to keep up. Both of my kids can do things with computers that I still have a hard time comprehending. Equestrian Girl can whip stuff out of Gimp or Photoshop before I can figure out which icon to click on. Motocross Boy can track down a piece of information he needs in seconds. When I told him he needed to read for "exactly" fifteen minutes, he quickly downloaded a little program that was a digital timer. The other day Motocross Boy came in asking me how to spell Adolf as he typed it into Google. Huh? He had caught the tail end of a program on the history channel that mentioned Adolf Hitler and wanted to learn more about him. Instant access to a world of information....
In my opinion our society is changing and our kids need to keep up. We do too. I remember at work when we first got our laptops and were told that we would learn to use them and work with our contact database program or find another job. We had people leave because they were afraid of that black hunk of plastic and electronics. I jumped on the opportunity (I was also much younger then) and it paid off handsomely. I was considered one of the go-to people and am still considered one of the more techno-literate people. We don't have many around that can handle both PC based and Mac based programs...but I can and it helps. Our kids are going to have that leg up if we continue to expose them to technology in age appropriate safe ways.