Change to 2021 JenEric Schedule

Hello JenEric Fans,

With Dragon doing full digital school, we’ve decided to move things around a little. Here’s the schedule for the foreseeable future.

Monday

Éric Desmarais will randomly write things like an unspecified number of monkeys with typewriters… which is totally not how he writes his posts… *Shifty Eyes* EDIT: Please send bananas.

Tuesday

Guitar Lessons Jen is learning guitar and her journey is quite a lot of fun to follow. Certainly a Major Scaled accomplishment.

Wednesday

The Travelling TARDIS will continue it’s adventures in space, time, and backlogs.

Thursday

JenEric Movie Reviews continues to watch movies, over-analyse them, and tell you all about it.

Friday

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is logo.png

The monkeys Éric returns with serial stories, regular stories, rants, coffee info, and really whatever comes out of the typewriters… uhm mind, his mind.

Saturday & Sunday

Unless 2021 ends up being as movie watching heavy as 2020, these will be left blank and let the monkeys, time machine, and musicians rest.


Hope you enjoy it!

JenEric Designs Management

Dragon’s School Year 2021-2022

Hello readers!

Last year, for Dragon’s first school year, we decided to do a combination homeschool/virtual school. Her teachers were really accommodating and understanding.

However, after looking back on the year, despite Dragon learning a LOT and having a lot of fun, there were several aspects that she clearly missed.

The major one being French. She resisted learning French and, well, I am NOT a French teacher, or a kindergarten teacher.

She also missed seeing her classmates.

So after several discussions with Dragon, she has suggested (after leading questions from us) that she attend virtual school full-time this Fall.

I discovered that the reason she was hesitating to suggest this was because she was afraid of hurting my feelings. Once I reassured her that I thought virtual school was a good idea, she was very happy with the idea.

I also told her that we could do the big activities on the weekend, if she wanted.

Considering I told her the same thing about this summer and she has yet to suggest we do one, I’m not sure if she’ll take me up on that offer.

The biggest change that her attending virtual school full time will cause is a change in the kids’ bedtime routines. In order for Dragon to get a full night’s sleep, we’re going to have to put her to bed an hour or two earlier than we have been. One day up early wasn’t hurting her, but a full week of it would definitely be a problem.

And since it seems silly to put Pegasus to bed after we finish putting Dragon to bed, we’ll be adjusting his sleep schedule as well.

So much for sleeping in on the weekends.

On the selfish plus side, Dragon attending virtual school means I have an awful lot of writing time. I also don’t have to do all the school prep (lesson plans, worksheets, activity planning, etc) I did last year.

Let’s hope this plan goes well!

A Year of Homeschooling in Picture Form

Over the course of the year, we cooked a LOT of food, completed a ream of worksheets, and made a lot of crafts. Here is what all of that looks like all together. (Minus the food…that was eaten and it was delicious.)

It’s both a lot more than I expected, and a lot less. Weird dichotomy.

Thoughts on a year of homeschool

It has been a year (39 weeks) of teaching my Dragon. It has been rewarding, exhilarating, and exhausting. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the teachers who do this every year with 20+ students.

Things I learned this year:

  • I have no patience when she doesn’t try
  • She knows how to push my buttons
  • I don’t have to do everything by myself
  • I know a least a little bit about a lot of different topics
  • When she tries, she learns really well
  • She has great ideas
  • She really enjoys creating
  • She’s good at math when she focusses
  • I forgot about the crochet portion a LOT
  • I’m incredibly proud of my Dragon

Things my Dragon learned this year:

  • How to print all the letters in small caps (she already knew caps)
  • How to play with playdough
  • The sound of each letter
  • How to count to 100 by 10’s
  • How to count to 100
  • What a pattern is and how to make one
  • A few French words
  • The days of the week
  • The months of the year
  • The seasons of the year
  • How to brainstorm a story, storyboard it, write dialogue, and then put it all together
  • How a stop-motion movie works and created two
  • How to draw from reference
  • How to measure baking ingredients
  • How to measure something with a ruler
  • How to raise her hand and wait for her turn (in virtual school)
  • How to turn on and off camera and microphone in a video conference
  • How to navigate to the chat and click on a link
  • She learned to read music – the 9 notes around middle C
  • The values of whole, half, quarter and eighth notes
  • Can clap and count a line of music using those notes
  • Completed several finger exercises and the value of practicing them
  • How to play chopsticks

Overall, I would call this year of Junior Kindergarten/Maternelle successful, even though the hard part, the learning French part, didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

The important thing was that she had fun, and she tells me that she did. She also wants to make another book and another movie during the summer, so we’ll see how that goes.

I’m so very proud of how well my Dragon did this year.

Week 39 – Beauty and the Beast Results

Virtual school was a little different this last week – they had a virtual graduation ceremony for all the kids first thing in the morning. The teachers showed each student’s diploma and the kids all clapped for each other. It was really cute (and very loud).

They listened to a couple stories, danced a lot, and did some crafts (made a puppy origami and a graduation hat). Overall, it was a good day.

When we signed off for the last time, Dragon burst into tears because she already missed her teachers. Poor kid.

Homeschool was fun this week.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week, once with her Aunt leading the “class.”

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. Lesson: She’s been visibly getting better at her finger exercises. They added another finger exercise. They did the Frogs perfectly in time. It will not need to be played again. Then they did the Raindrops and Bells, which she did very well but needs to work on the counting. She did the Kitten page under duress (Dragon didn’t want to do it at first) but she had no problem with the notes but needs to work on the timing. Then they tried a new piece, Summer Showers, which had a more complicated note pattern, and she had very little trouble with it. Then they played chopsticks.

We have a French playlist that I can play through the Google mini, with a variety of artists. Dragon has mentioned that she really likes Coeur de Pirate. So do I.

Crochet

We did not do any crochet this week. The shawl was not completed this year.

Basic Information

We are working on yesterday (hier) and tomorrow (demain) around any given day. The months of the year is going well. We’re working on the month before and after any given month. That’s coming slowly.

The saisons de l’année are all memorized. We’re working on how each of them feel and the types of things we can do during each of them.

When I ask her “combien” for any of the above, she responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing went very well this week. She drew a person fishing next to a tree. On the tree is a ladybug, a worm, and an ant. On the other side of the tree is grass and a lake. There is a bird in the sky with the sun.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She had no problems with the counting worksheet. She counted by 10s to 100 and counted up to 70.

Math was a mixed bag this week. The first worksheet went very well. The second was a little more complicated (I shouldn’t have included 20-4). She had no problem with either pattern.

Storytime

We read stories from the teacher’s outline that was sent to us on Monday. She enjoyed that, and we will continue to do it next week.

We watched Raiponce in French on Disney Plus, one episode a day. Dragon is enjoying it immensely, and is even recognizing some words!

Activity

Table settings – Dragon learned about basic, casual, and formal table settings. As she pointed out, she already knows how to set the table (basic).

Make grey stuff – Dragon made a savoury and a sweet grey stuff.

The savoury was a mushroom paté. A black truffle cheese was added to ours – I do not recommend it. Link to recipe.

The sweet was a pudding, modified to not have any chocolate. We used black icing instead. It was delicious. Link to recipe.

Make bookmark – Dragon made bookmarks for all her teachers, including her Sunday school teacher and her Grannie, who was teaching her piano.

And that’s a wrap for the 2020-2021 school year! Congratulations, Dragon, on completing your Junior Kindergarten/Maternelle!

She and Éric made me a gift.

Week 38 – Curious George Results

Virtual school went well this week, for the most part. Dragon got overwhelmed by noise several times and asked to mute the computer.

They practiced syllables again before recess, and worked on the sound ‘T’.

After recess, they listened to a story about a father who is friends with monsters.

After lunch, they did a craft for Father’s Day. Dragon did both crafts, and did really well with the scissors. I was very impressed. However, I spilled white glue on the carpet, so obviously I need some practice with that.

Homeschool was a lot of fun this week. I’d say that I planned this week to have a lot of fun crafts, but I really didn’t think of it like that…

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week, once with her Aunt leading the “class.”

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. Lesson: no lesson this week.

We have a French playlist that I can play through the Google mini, with a variety of artists. Dragon has mentioned that she really likes Coeur de Pirate. So do I.

Crochet

We did not do any crochet this week.

Basic Information

We are working on yesterday (hier) and tomorrow (demain) around any given day. The months of the year is going well. We’re working on the month before and after any given month. That’s coming slowly.

The saisons de l’année are all memorized. We’re working on how each of them feel and the types of things we can do during each of them.

When I ask her “combien” for any of the above, she responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing went very well this week. She drew lots of people and flowers. There’s a jellyfish in a pond in the middle of the dandelion.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She had no problems with the counting worksheet. She counted by 10s to 100 and counted up to 60.

Math went extremely well with both worksheets this week, even though they were not in sequence, which she pointed out to me.

Storytime

We read stories from the teacher’s outline that was sent to us on Monday. She enjoyed that, and we will continue to do it next week.

We watched Raiponce in French on Disney Plus, one episode a day. Dragon is enjoying it immensely, and is even recognizing some words!

Activity

Painting – Dragon doesn’t enjoy finger painting, so she painted with brushes instead. Then her little brother, Pegasus, desperately wanted to paint as well, so he got to do that after Dragon was done. Both of them had a lot of fun.

Make crown – I’d call this a mixed success, mostly because the crowns didn’t staple very well, so that’s on me. But both kids had a lot of fun colouring on their crowns, as once again, Pegasus insisted on joining in Dragon’s craft.

Bake with bananas – Banana splits aren’t strictly baking, but Dragon made the whipped cream, so I think that sort of counts. Obviously Pegasus was included in the activity, as were Éric and I. Delicious.

Week 39 – Beauty and the Beast

I’ve always loved Belle’s relationship with her father. This was an easy choice for this month.

Here is the link for the downloadable materials. (Please let me know if you have any problems so I can fix it!)

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Watch movietable settings and have high teamake grey stuffmake bookmarkFlex

Summary of the week

Daily details:

Dance

Ballet and martial arts on alternate days

Music

Singing, listening to different pieces, learning piano

Crochet

The project she is working on (currently she is making herself a poncho)

Basic Information

We talk about the days of the week and play games with the cutouts of the names. We do the same thing with the names of the months of the year. You can find the print-outs here.

Printing words

In download materials

Counting objects/math-type activities

Practice counting objects and writing how many of each type – in download materials

Addition and pattern – worksheet in download materials

Storytime

Activity

Table settings and have high tea – link to reference

Make grey stuff – link to recipe

Make bookmark – link to ideas; I’m thinking of doing the bookworm

Next week – Have a great summer!! The How I Taught my Dragon blogs will be on hold until we decide what to do about school for September 2021.

Week 37 – Finding Nemo Results

Virtual school was a little rough this week, although it wasn’t Dragon’s fault. The other kids kept turning on their microphones without permission and both teachers sounded like robots. Dragon had a bit of sensory overload from all the noise and it made it hard for her to concentrate. They worked on syllables that started with “N” today, with Dragon seemed to enjoy.

After recess, they continued with the N syllables game.

After lunch, they talked about the difference between possible and impossible, and were asked to come up with sentences describing one of them. Dragon said that it is impossible for 1+3 to equal 2.

She also presented her paper boat that she made last week. She needs to practice speaking louder. But she said “bateau de papier” and tried to answer the questions.

Homeschooling went well this week.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week.

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. Lesson: Finger exercises are going extremely well. They worked on the Frogs and her timing is getting better. The Raindrops got all the notes no problem, a little trouble with the timing. Then she played the Bells and it was perfect, timing and notes. Kittens, got the notes but not the timing. And then they did chop sticks and she’s doing well.

We have a French playlist that I can play through the Google mini, with a variety of artists. Dragon has mentioned that she really likes Coeur de Pirate. So do I.

Crochet

We did not do any crochet this week.

Basic Information

We are working on yesterday (hier) and tomorrow (demain) around any given day. The months of the year is going well. We’re working on the month before and after any given month. That’s coming slowly.

The saisons de l’année are all memorized. We’re working on how each of them feel and the types of things we can do during each of them.

When I ask her “combien” for any of the above, she responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing went very well this week. She drew a picture on the last page of three people swimming with jellyfish. They are all very happy.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She had no problems with the counting worksheet. We counted by 10s to 100 and counted up to 50. We also played dominos.

Math was interesting. She resisted trying to do it my way a couple of times, but then it clicked. Either that, or she recognized the pattern…

Storytime

We read stories from the teacher’s outline that was sent to us on Monday. She enjoyed that, and we will continue to do it next week.

We watched Raiponce in French on Disney Plus, one episode a day. Dragon is enjoying it immensely, and is even recognizing some words!

Activity

Make fish and chips – Dragon and her papa followed our recipe for beer-battered fish and chips. They also made zucchini sticks. I think they were the best that has ever been made in our house.

Learn about sustainability in fishing – Dragon enjoyed watching the videos, but she said that she didn’t understand much. After talking about it with her, she seems to have understood the basics.

Learn about shipwrecks – She was fascinated by the idea that there were whole ships under the water. She wanted to see a pirate ship.

Week 38 – Curious George

Although there is a father-son relationship in this, the reason I chose this movie is for the relationship between the man in the yellow hat and George. It’s so sweet.

Here is the link for the downloadable materials. (Please let me know if you have any problems so I can fix it!)

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Watch moviepaintingmake crownbake with bananasFlex

Summary of the week

Daily details:

Dance

Ballet and martial arts on alternate days

Music

Singing, listening to different pieces, learning piano

Crochet

The project she is working on (currently she is making herself a poncho)

Basic Information

We talk about the days of the week and play games with the cutouts of the names. We do the same thing with the names of the months of the year. You can find the print-outs here.

Printing words

In download materials

Counting objects/math-type activities

Practice counting objects and writing how many of each type – in download materials

Addition and pattern – worksheet in download materials

Storytime

Activity

Painting – finger painting

Make crown – link to reference

Bake with bananas – link to recipes for banana bread, muffins, and cupcakes

Next week – Beauty and the Beast

Week 36 – How to Train Your Dragon Results

Virtual school went well this week. Dragon sang along with all the songs and answered the questions about what day and month it is.

They learned syllables, and Dragon wrote them down on a paper with the rest of the students.

After recess, Dragon was taken aside to do her evaulation. She was shown a picture with a bunch of different objects and asked to identify things with the letters D, C, and G. She got the D ones with no problem (mostly because two of them were the same in English as in French, and one was the number 2), but she needed help with the others. Then she was shown the letters of the alphabet and asked to tell their names. She decided to give their sounds instead, which I think was a good thing? I don’t know, I feel like that’s harder. If she didn’t know their sound (Q, X, Y), she said their name. Then she was asked to count as high as she could. She quickly counted up to 29 and then said she didn’t want to continue. Then she counted to 100 by 10s without prompting, impressing the teacher. So I think it went well. She definitely needs to learn more French words.

After lunch, they did some true/false flash cards. I don’t think Dragon understood at first, but she seemed to catch on by the end. It helped that there were images.

Then they played with a block-based animation coding program called Scratch. Dragon had a lot of fun playing around with it.

Homeschool went well this week.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week.

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. Lesson: Finger exercises are going very well, very impressed with how much she’s improving each week. Even the new one is going well. They did the frog song and she did well. The raindrops song went well as well (also, she added some thunder lol). After some unfocussed time, she did the kitten song with very few issues (she’s only done it once before). Then they played chopsticks and she’s doing well.

We have a French playlist that I can play through the Google mini, with a variety of artists.

Crochet

We did not do any crochet this week.

Basic Information

We are working on yesterday (hier) and tomorrow (demain) around any given day. The months of the year is going well. We’re working on the month before and after any given month. That’s coming slowly.

The saisons de l’année are all memorized. We’re working on how each of them feel and the types of things we can do during each of them.

When I ask her “combien” for any of the above, she responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing went very well this week. She drew a picture on the last page of two people holding umbrellas in the rain, going home.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She had no problems with the counting worksheet. We counted by 10s to 100 and counted up to 50.

Math went well this week. She enjoyed the second worksheet especially, and was very excited about how 10+50 worked. The people at the bottom of the pages are holding dandelions. In the second worksheet, the people are Kennedy and the Phantom. (Our little fan artist!)

Storytime

We read stories from the teacher’s outline that was sent to us on Monday. She enjoyed that, and we will continue to do it next week.

We watched Raiponce in French on Disney Plus, one episode a day. Dragon is enjoying it immensely, and is even recognizing some words!

Activity

Design a dragon – Dragon did very well at drawing from the reference and was quite happy with her result. The only thing I helped her with was pointing at her paper as to where the lines should go.

Learn about prosthetics – Dragon was fascinated by the videos I chose and asked to watch more. I’m not sure how much of the science she grasped, but she did understand the concepts by the end.

Make a paper boat – This activity went really well. I was impressed by the flexibility of the pattern we were following – even though she wasn’t as careful with her folds, making them even, her boat still turned out quite nicely.