21 October 2013


Rosie Jane has been playing golf for about five years now. She's really enjoyed it and has seen her game steadily improve. She's taken lessons through the First Tee program locally and played with various relatives (her grandfather, her dad, her aunt). Now she's to the point of needing to step up her game and play more often on more challenging courses.

 This summer we went to the new Golfsmith store to check it out and also find her some actual golf clothes. She needed shirts that breathed as well as fit the golf attire dress code (collared shirt). Also, cut off shorts are frowned upon on golf courses, so we got her some shorts as well. Now we need to head back and get some pants for her since she's still playing this fall and it's much cooler.

This was her hanging out this summer before she was heading out for class.

First Tee has four levels of skills to move through and Rosie Jane has worked her way up to the last one. She passed the Birdie level this summer and just has Eagle left to go. The playing requirements are much harder, she has to play on a longer course with a lower score, and all her skills need to improve.

These last two pictures are recent when she was out playing with one of her coaches. They played Augustine Golf Club on a beautiful fall day. I managed to snap these from the deck at the clubhouse where I was waiting for them to finish.

She's got enough interest and passion for playing golf that we're looking into colleges that have a women's golf team. Her coaches have told us that she's good enough to play in college. We still have a few years to plan, which is good because the NCAA requirements are time consuming to document (for everyone, not just homeschoolers, although we've got to do it on our own with no school counselors to help). It will also take some time to find the right match with a school for her - one that has a golf team and has the major that she wants, which currently is marine biology but who knows how that will change in the next three years.

19 October 2013

What is this? Revisited

So earlier this summer I found something growing in my garden that I didn't expect. It was some sort of vining thing that looked like it was from the pumpkin/squash family or perhaps, but less likely, cucumber. At the time I took the first picture, it was just a vine with leaves. I watched it grow, put out flowers, and finally something else. Honestly, I'm still not exactly sure what it was that was growing. It was definitely some sort of squash or gourd. It was green with some yellow and it was round. I'm not sure it had a long enough growing season to mature, not knowing when it was "planted" nor what it was supposed to look like when it was finished. I'm hoping to get some yard work done soon to get things cleaned up for the winter so the wayward vine will be making it's way to the compost bin soon.

17 October 2013

First Steps Towards College

Not quite sure we're ready for this but the first steps towards college have been taken. Sweet Pea took the PSAT at the local high school yesterday and it sounds like it was quite the interesting experience. It also reaffirmed for her that there's a reason she chose to homeschool high school and she's glad that she chose this path. She was in a room that was a mix of public school kids and homeschool kids, including a good friend of hers. Among the interesting things that happened - the public school kids were reminded the day before the test that they had to bring a pencil and calculator if they wanted to use one. Guess they forgot as a few of them showed up with out either a pencil or calculator. They were admonished for forgetting, told they were setting a poor example for the homeschool kids (yes, the proctor really said that), given a pencil and told if they didn't bring a calculator, they would have to do without. You would think for all the standardized testing they do in the public schools these days that they would remember a pencil for a testing day! You would also think that they would be able to follow directions about how to fill out forms and sit quietly. Apparently not.

On the good side, after the nerves of just having to go over to the high school, Sweet Pea said she thought the test itself went well. She felt a bit rushed on the last part (a few things happened, like the class bell going off, that distracted her) but overall felt she did well. We'll get her scores in December along with her testing book and will see how she did then. Sometime in January, we'll start prepping for the SAT she'll be taking in May. We did very, very little prepping for the PSAT but want to make sure she's ready for the SAT. Her goal is to do well enough on it the first time that she only has to take it once.

So I guess now the college mail and emails will start coming in and a few more colleges may pop up on her list of ones to think about. Hopefully none of them will have any surprise requirements for homeschoolers. We've mainly been focused on one or two schools and they really don't require anything extra of homeschoolers. If she needs to take an SAT subject test, we'll have to figure that one out when we get to it and hopefully any that are required will be ones that don't need a lot of studying. I think the bigger issue here is fitting them in at this point. She's got a busy summer ahead and if she needs to have the testing done before applying, it could be tough to fit in.

So the first steps have been taken, now we need to see if there's more colleges she wants to look at, figure out all the testing that needs to be done, fit in some college visits, and keep moving forward. Most importantly, she needs to keep working hard this year.

04 October 2013


I had seen a short blurb in the paper a couple of weeks ago about a STEM Expo (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, for those not up on the lingo) that was going to be held sort of locally. After a bit of Googling to find the details, both exactly where it was going to be held and who was going to be there, I decided that Sweet Pea really needed to go.

For quite a while she's been talking about wanting to study meteorology; she wants to learn about extreme weather, especially tornadoes, so she can figure out how to help people prepare and survive these types of storms. And then physics came along and did not play nicely. She became really frustrated, having a strong desire to study meteorology but not really liking science and math. We looked at the class requirements at a couple of colleges and there's lots of physics, chemistry, and calculus, along with all the weather type classes.

I'm really glad we went to this expo. It was held in a mall almost an hour away but it was worth the drive. While there were a lot of booths she wasn't interested in visiting, she spent quite a bit of time at the NOAA booth (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) as well as a few others. Most of the booths had catchy names and interactive things for the kids to do. It was mainly geared towards middle and high school students.

We stopped first at the NOAA booth and she had a chance to talk to someone there that worked the night of the derecho that came through our area last summer. It was very interesting talking to him and I think she got a good inside look at what one type of meteorology job entails. He also was very encouraging, gave her some guidance on colleges to look at, suggestions on classes she could/should take in high school, and a few other tidbits.

We then wandered around to more of the booths, stopped at a few that looked like they might be interesting, and went back for the opening "ceremony." One reason we went back for that is that Josh W. a storm chaser was speaking. He showed his tornado equipment and talked a bit about what he does. We wandered around some more, stopped and talked with the people at the USGS (US Geological Survey) booth, although that was more for me than her. After that, she decided she had seen what she wanted to so we went back upstairs to the food court for lunch. Another stop at the NOAA booth to talk some more and try out the wind gauge, then we were on the road to home.

Learning about wind speed

Going was worth it because while it reinforced her desire to be a meteorologist, it also reinforced the science that was needed by someone who is doing what she wants to do. It was good to get more information about college options, professional organizations, and some other options that will be open to her when she's in college.