We have been climbing as a family for almost a year now and have had a family membership for the past six months at our gym of choice (the college kid dominated gym). Our daughter is in the local UCSD for college so we get to see her 2 to 3 times a week for climbing and yoga. This ends up working out pretty nice....
When I learned what little I learned about climbing using rope and protection 30 some years ago, I was using a swami belt and either a body or hip belay. I had no rope, but I owned 3 hexes, 5 stoppers, and a bunch of 'biners and slings (everything I had was marked Chouinard). People would invite me along in part to help fill out their rack. Friends were just starting to get mainstream and a couple of close calls leading with those cams and not knowing how to use them safely led me to not get into leading. Plus I was more into surfing anyways. Then, I disappeared for 30 years giving most of what little I had away. So, I've been taking classes whenever I can starting from the very basics as well as studying books (the Mountaineers series mostly)prior so I can get the most out of each class. I'm signing my wife and daughter up for classes as we can afford them. Oh, and before we started climbing outside together we got helmets and we use them. I want to keep all our experiences positive if possible. We can always not climb on a given day if things don't look right.
I'm a strong believer in plan for the worst and hope for the best. That in mind, my current at home project in rope knowhow is rescue techniques. When I have enough cash I'll take a class in it from probably Bob Gaines. Again, this way I'll sort of know what I'm doing when I take the class and the instructor can help correct or refine what I'm doing.
I appreciate all the advice you continue to give me btw. So thanks again WD.