Week 19 – Over the Moon

Another non-Disney movie, although we did see another movie by this studio in the Fall semester (Abominable). This one references a beautiful myth about the moon goddess. Again, I wanted to honour Chinese New Year on February 12th, but did not want to encroach on Black History 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 movieExperiment: galaxy jarmake mooncakeslearn about Chinese New YearFlex

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

Storytime

Activity

Experiment: Galaxy Jar (weblink to experiment) Print out made in folder/ or this Crayola weblink for water-based paint (print out made in folder). (Note: we’re going to be using pillow stuffing for our attempt)

Make mooncakes (link to recipe) Print out made in folder

Learn about Chinese New Year – link to a video, link to resources

Next week: A Wrinkle in Time

Week 17 – Meet the Robinsons Results

Virtual school was a bit rough today, especially in the morning. Dragon was NOT doing well and got very upset when she wasn’t called on (there are other kids in the class, she won’t be called on every week, obviously!), and then the noise level was higher than usual and she started to melt down, so I had to put the computer on mute so that I could get her to calm down. There seemed to be a lot of confusion happening.

After lunch, she presented, but it seemed as though she didn’t know how to begin. I think I’ll start getting her to present to me at least once during the rest of the week so that she gets used to the format.

Math was not a good time for her either. They were supposed to be counting by twos using a website, and Dragon couldn’t figure out how to drag the pieces and was getting more and more upset. Finally, once I told her that she didn’t have to do it, she was able to get it.

The day was exhausting and stressful, for both of us.

Homeschool was actually surprisingly good this week, especially considering how poorly virtual school went this week.

Dance

She did not do ballet this week, as our basement was taken up by inflating mattresses (the kids both got new mattresses).

Music

Piano: They did clapping and counting, but no piano this week.

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

Crochet

She did not do any this week.

Basic Information

We are working on the day before (hier) and the day after (demain) 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 now responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing went extremely well this week. I am very impressed.

She played with the alphabet magnet board, and wanted to write some words. I suggested she get a book and try writing a couple sentences. She was very enthusiastic.

Counting objects/math-type activities

This is too easy for her, but she really enjoys the pictures, so I don’t mind doing them. Also, it gives her practice with printing numbers.

Math worksheet: This was WAY too easy for her. We thought last week was a fluke, or that she recognized that it was in number order, but she had no trouble with this one. So I’m going to make another math sheet that’s slightly more advanced for each week.

We also traced her hands and had her write down the numbers inside each finger. She enjoyed that, and we’ll do it again sometime, but with my hands so that there’s more room inside each finger so she can count higher.

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

Activity

Draw a new invention – It’s a lightbulb that makes light so much brighter because it’s connected to a computer by a cord.

Lava Lamp Experiment – VERY easy and simple experiment. And repeatable. It’s not as flashy as I thought it might be, but still fun and Dragon was enthusiastic about it. So was Pegasus, who watched us.

Make marshmallow robots – This was a fun (and tasty) little build. Big hit – although I don’t think she cared too much about building the robot and was just excited to eat the marshmallows.

Week 18 – Kung Fu Panda

I felt like I was including too many Disney movies and not enough of other studios, and with Chinese New Year coming up on February 12th, I thought it would be nice to honour that with a fun movie set in China.

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

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Watch moviezhezhimake noodle souplearn about Kung FuFlex

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

Storytime

Activity

Zhezhi – link to beginner’s Chinese paper folding
Make noodle soup – link to recipe
Learn about Kung Fu – link to history

Next week: Over the Moon

Week 16 – Balto Results

I’m not going to lie, I was not expecting virtual school to go well this week, seeing as it’s the first day back after the break. And it was a little chaotic. But Dragon focussed well until ten minutes before morning recess, raised her hand multiple times, and even tried to sing one of the new songs (she got the first line, in tune and everything, so I’m going to call it a win). She did printing of words that started with the letter N, and she gave suggestions of words that start with N – neige! (We talked about this word yesterday! Yay!)

After recess, they were read a story, and Dragon focussed well. She REALLY liked the cute animal, but I don’t think she folowed the story. I find that a problem with the YouTube readings – they read too quickly, don’t pause, and don’t have the words, so it’s harder to follow. I’m hoping that there’s more this week that I can read aloud to Dragon.

After lunch, there were multiple kids who wanted to present various toys. Dragon presented her creme glacee shop, and even used French words here and there, like for the colours. She answered questions and showed off all the pieces (sometimes showing the screen instead of the camera, which was quite funny; our set-up consists of a camera on a tripod, a snowball microphone, and the “monitor”, which is a TV mounted to the ceiling).

Lastly, they counted how many school days they had had. Dragon did NOT understand what was going on. They asked her to count, which she got, and started counting at her usual pace (quickly). But the teacher was circling the days, so she was counting much slower. Which meant that, from Dragon’s perspective, she was restarting. So she got super confused and upset. So I had her just listen, but she wasn’t happy about it.

Therefore, I’m going to say that overall it was a good day, but it ended on a sad note. Fortunately, we had a convenient distraction in the form of new mattresses for the kids that arrived during the school day.

Homeschool was actually surprisingly good this week. Again, I was expecting a lot of resistance, especially since I changed up the worksheets somewhat.

Dance

She did not do ballet this week, as our basement was taken up by inflating mattresses (the kids both got new mattresses).

Music

Piano: We reviewed the clapping and counting for the notes and the tests, since of which she remembered and some of which she didn’t. We reviewed where the notes were on the staffs (ABCDE). She played all the pieces she knew before the break, mostly very well. Then they discovered that she’d been reading the letters instead of looking at the notes when she was sight reading. They played chopsticks (she’s remembering all the notes and hand movements; the only problem was counting to six on the first key) and Jingle bells (first two bars by herself).

We have a new French playlist that I can play through the Google, with a lot of songs. Before we got this set up, we listened to La Chicane.

Crochet

She did crochet twice this week, and we got a couple inches of one row done. It’s slow going, but her hands aren’t used to the hold on the hook, so I feel like this is good progress.

Basic Information

We kept up with these throughout the break, so she was still able to repeat these quite well. We are working on the day before and the day after any given day. The months of the year is going well, although she keeps forgetting about Septembre and Octobre for some reason. All months have proper pronounciation now, and we’re working on the month before and after any given month. That’s coming slowly.

The saisons de l’année are now 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 now responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing was one of the new worksheets. She told me that the words I chose were excellent choices. It’s nice to get positive feedback from the student. 😉 I feel as though her letters have improved. I like that she’s really trying to do the letters in lower case, including her name. I changed up the font for the “blank” worksheet to Comic Sans before the font I was using (Calibri) had funny shapes for ‘a’ and ‘g’, and the ‘t’ was too short – she didn’t believe me when I said it needed to be taller.

Counting objects/math-type activities

This worksheet has more space for pictures, which Dragon noticed immediately. “Mum, there’s more of them than usual!” She still has no problems with counting these, and I feel like her numbers have improved.

Then there was the new math worksheet. I think it was too easy for her. I explained what she should do for the first one, with the drawing of the pictures, and then she zipped through the rest. I might be making the worksheets more challenging in the future… The suite at the bottom was really easy for her too.

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

Activity

Viruses – We watched Wil Wheaton’s Table Top episode of Pandemic in the afternoon before we played the game itself, which ended up being an excellent idea. She understood what we were trying to do and a bit of the strategy (she’s actually quite good at logic puzzles, which is super nice). And we managed to win! With one Player card left! So it was VERY close, despite having completely erradicated 3/4 of the diseases.

Learn about sled dogs – we watched a bunch of YouTube videos about how sled dogs are trained as puppies, and how excited the puppies are to pull the sled. They’re so cute. It almost got me wanting to have a team….and I do NOT like dogs.

Make book of shapes – this was an activity that one of Dragon’s due date group kids did before the holidays. I really liked the idea, so I saved it to remind myself to do it with Dragon this semester. Dragon really enjoyed making a book. I didn’t have to fight her at all to work on it. We started by making a list of shapes (formes) and figuring out their names and what colour they should be. Then we ordered them based on least complex to most complex (number of sides). She printed every word and drew every shape in the book itself (although I helped a tiny bit with a couple (triangle and losange)).

Week 17 – Meet the Robinsons

I absolutely adore this movie and had to include it. I’m selfish that way – wanting to share my favourite movies with my daughter.

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

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Watch movieDraw new inventionLava lamp experimentMarshmallow robotsFlex
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

Storytime

Activity

Draw a new invention (link here) – let them use their imagination!
Lava Lamp Experiment (link here)
Make marshmallow robots (ingredients: marshmallows, toothpicks)

Next week: Kung Fu Panda

2021 JenEric Schedule

Hello JenEric Readers,

This year we’re making changes to the schedule of posts. Here’s what’s going to happen:

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*

Tuesday

How I Taught My Dragon will post the results of the previous week with all the cute pictures of Dragon learning.

Wednesday

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

Thursday

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Banner-1024x256.png

How I Taught My Dragon will post the plan for the next week of Draconic (but rarely draconian) learning.

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

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

Sunday

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


Looks like another exciting year for JenEric Designs. Hope you enjoy it!

JenEric Designs Management

Week 16 – Balto

Balto seems like a fitting choice for the first movie of 2021 (the week of the 4th), both because of the cold Alaskan setting and because of the need for medicine/vaccine.

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

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Watch moviePlay pandemicLearn about sled dogsMake book of shapesFlex
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

Storytime

Activity

Viruses – play pandemic (the game) – if you don’t have it, watch this youtube video
Learn about sled dogs (can be a video, a worksheet, etc)
Make book of shapes – one shape per page, colour it and describe it (eg. A purple square, a green triangle, a pink heart, a yellow star). Use staples to attach pages together.

Next week: Meet the Robinsons

Thoughts on the first semester of homeschool

Overall, I am incredibly happy with how well the homeschooling of Dragon went this semester. We were able to coordinate with her virtual school teachers, and supplemented her assigned schoolwork with pop culture and other activities.

However, some things are going to change next semester, as I feel like the usefulness is not to it’s full potential.

Overview of each section:

Dance

Ballet and martial arts on alternate days – this will stay the same, although hopefully we’ll be able to do more martial arts.

Music

Singing, listening to different pieces, learning piano – I need to remember to change the disc more often! Piano will continue as long as Dragon and my mother are okay with it.

Crochet

The project she is working on (currently she is making herself a poncho) – We’re going to keep working on this in the new year.

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. We are also doing the seasons of the year, but verbally. – We will keep doing this. She’s doing well with it.

Printing words

This is going to be changing. Rather than asking questions and having one-word answers, I am going to change this to be a bunch of words related to the movie. Hopefully this will help to increase her vocabulary.

Counting objects/math-type activities

This will also be changing. I am going to have two different worksheets in here. One will be a grid similar to this past semester, although I’ll be making it more squares instead of 25. The other will be an addition/subtraction and/or pattern worksheet.

Storytime

This will continue, as Dragon enjoys it, especially since the virtual school gives excellent online books to read.

Vampirina or other short Disney Junior shows will be watched one episode/day in French.

Activities

These have been a big hit and I will continue doing them.


I will be continuing this blog in the new year with a whole new set of movies, sarting with these four in January:

Week 15 – A Muppet Christmas Carol Results

Despite being very tired when I woke Dragon up on Tuesday morning, she participated very well at virtual school. She answered several questions, including how many months of the year and how many seasons with FULL SENTENCES in French. We’ve been practicing and it shows. I’m very proud. She also listed the days of the week. She listed the months of the year and the seasons to me, because the teachers asked someone else to list them.

She presented the giant pink pony that we have on top of one of our bookshelves. She mostly spoke in English, but she responded the colours in French when asked.

We came back a little early after the first recess, and she got to talk to her teacher one-on-one. They talked about arbres de Noel, and how we have deux. They talked about her dress (one my mother made for my sister when she was 4 years old) and that it was rouge and blanc.

She listened intently to the story, that was read three times because the kids all loved it so much.

After lunch, Dragon was asked to count as high as she was able, reading the numbers on the screen. She kept losing her place, so I had to get up to point to the numbers (and then the teacher started highlighting them). She got tripped up at 16 again (we’ll continue to work on that) and skipped 19 (ditto), and then refused to count higher than 20.

Then the teacher asked the kids to print all the numbers that they can. Other than a few meltdowns (my 7 looks like a c!) she did excellently.

Homeschool was pretty good this week. It was a little all-over-the-place, since we delivered some presents on Friday.

Dance

She did ballet 2-3 times this week. 

Music

Piano: no piano this week

We listened to French Christmas music this week. (obviously)

Crochet

She couldn’t sit still thanks to the excitement of Christmas. We’ll try to get some more done over the break.

Basic Information

Working on the days of the week verbally is going well. She remembers without prompting, and can tell me the day before and the day after any given day. The months of the year is also going excellently. All months have proper pronounciation now, and we’re working on the month before and after any given month.

The saisons de l’année are now memorized, including printemps. 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 now responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing was pretty good this week, although she was rather disproportionately devastated when her crayon broke, so I feel like maybe there was some underlying stress about printing that I didn’t pick up on.

Counting objects/math-type activities

Numbers were hit or miss this week. Sevens, particularly, were a stress.

I had her figure out how many cookies were across and how many were down on the cookie sheet, and then I asked how many rows down I’d need to do, and she figured out that there needed to be 6 across:

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

Activity

Make toilet paper roll art – This was a HUGE hit with Dragon. We picked out what designs we wanted to do, and then we went through the button stash to find appropriate buttons. Apparently we have no black buttons….so instead, we picked out fun shapes and painted them with nail polish. We also had no green buttons, so the nail polish was used for that as well. Then we fought with paper and pipe cleaners and fortunately found little puffs for the ear muffs because I hadn’t considered that we needed that sort of craft supplies! Then came the glue challenge. Gluing pipe cleaners is NOT easy, and I had completely forgotten! Punching a hole and threading it through or stapling it would have worked much easier, however, when I checked them the next morning, the glue seemed to have solidified nicely, so I’m not too worried about it. I will call this a success.

Bake cookies – We made A LOT of cookies. She helped make doughnuts, too.

Learn about Xmas pasts and other culture’s Holidays – On Monday, we had a video call with a friend of ours who celebrates Hannukah. He told Dragon about what the holiday means to the Jewish people, and how it has become more celebrated more recently as Jewish and Christian kids are closer friends and discuss their traditions more often.

On Thursday, we talked to a different friend, who celebrates Lucia. She told us the history of Lucia, how she brought an end to a famine in Sweden, and how it is celebrated now. Here are some videos you can watch about it.

One – the swedish tourism board put out this “lucia for dummies” video a few years back and it manages to be both informative and quite funny! And two – a long string of Swedish Christmas songs for kids.

Jasmine Murray-Bergquist

Keep your eye on this blog, as next week on Tuesday I will be doing a review of the semester and how things will change next semester. Then on Thursday I will be positing the first movie for January! How I Taught My Dragon blogs will continue on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule throughout the new year.

Week 14 – A Very Merry Pooh Year Results

Virtual school was pretty good this week. Dragon did the days of the week and the months of the year for the teachers. She told me the seasons. She was asked to sing the Automne song (which she doesn’t know yet, so that went about as well as can be expected).

They were read a book about a cat planting a seed. They had to raise their hands when they heard a word with a V. Dragon raised her hand for the word “livre” and got to tell the teacher. (I’m sensing a theme…)

We logged on a tiny bit early after lunch, and the teacher was already on, so Dragon got some one-on-one time with math! They did some addition. Dragon was having a hard time conceptualizing the numbers, so I asked if she could count crayons to help her, which was eagerly agreed to by the teacher, and Dragon seemed to grasp the concept much faster, so I’m pleased and impressed.

They were read a Christmas story about a bird giving away all his sweaters to other animals in need and almost freezing to death, but then Santa brought him a new sweater because the bird understands the true spirit of Christmas. It was beautifully illustrated.

Homeschool was a lot of fun this week. There won’t be pictures of the presents she made until after Christmas, for obvious reasons. I will amend the post after then and reshare this post on social media so you can see them. 🙂 Post amended as of December 25.

Dance

She did ballet 2-3 times this week. She also played outside and built a snowman (something she’s been begging to do for weeks, whether there was snow on the ground or not…)

Music

Piano: she played all her old pieces and reviewed the clapping and counting. And then she played two new pieces that she had never seen before, using ABCDE. And then she did clapping and counting from a pattern of quarter and half notes, which is a lot harder than it sounds (according to the teacher). She did very well this week!

Them they played chopsticks and Jingle bells (with major assistance).

We listened to French Christmas music this week. (obviously)

Crochet

We did not do crocheting this week, as she wanted to wrap the presents she made.

Basic Information

Working on the days of the week verbally is going well. She remembers without prompting, and can tell me the day before and the day after any given day. The months of the year is also going excellently. All months have proper pronounciation now, and we’re working on the month before and after any given month.

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

Printing words

Dragon did not want to do the second set of printing. I think she did very well, though. Lots of hearts because, and I quote, “I love you Mum!” Awww!

Counting objects/math-type activities

She is EXCELLENT at counting. Not so great at printing the numbers. I think the new number worksheets in 2021 will help with that. (I hope)

We did more addition math with objects like in her virtual school, and had a lot of fun with that.

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

Activity

Make Xmas gifts – she had a lot of fun deciding on colours and working the tools to make these (with assitance).

Note: I will add more pictures here once the presents have been given; Dec 25: pictures added.

Make Xmas tags – we discovered a bunch of Disney tags, so rather than cut them out, she wrote her name on them. They were too small for her to feel confident to write the other people’s names, so I did that for her.