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

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

Friday

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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

Éric’s 2021 New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome 2021! (I’m watching you…)

Today marks the first day of a whole new year. A made up, arbitrary, unimportant date that nonetheless feels like a renewal and rebirth. The human mind and spirit is a fascinating and messed up thing.

Last year was all over the place. I was on paternity leave, we went to Disney World, and then PANDEMIC. I’m ridiculously privileged that I got to work from home and we didn’t lose much income (Jen’s travel booking did suffer). I got to spend so much more time with my son than I would have and that’s a blessing.

It was a terrible year for my New Year’s Resolutions, however. This year I’m going to take it easier… I think.

https://theawkwardyeti.com/

Writing

1. Write a Monthly Serial Story

This will be the 8th year for the serial story. Voting Ended yesterday and I’ll have the first installment by the end of the month. I’ll be writing 1 installment every month of 800-1000 words.

2. Start and write half of SUPER MYSTERY BOOK PROJECT

This year will see the start, and hopefully the finish, of a new book. I’m really excited about this one. The goal is to get to at least 40,000 words this year.

3. Write Another Hal Story

There are 5 stories in the Sun Speaker universe and I’ve been wanting to add another. Hopefully I can write something around 3000-6000 words.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

4. Ensure 5+ days of updates

Our schedule and lineup will be changing, but that’s another post. I’m going to hopefully keep up the streak of having at least 5 posts per week.

Editing and Marketing

5. Start Editing Dinosaur Road Trip

I wrote this novel in 2017 and my weditor edited it. I need to go through it and make the recommended changes and edits. Maybe even pass it to the next beta reader… It’s just such a personal book that it’s hard to revisit.

6. Keep Working on FADDS

The system isn’t perfect, but it’s getting better every playtest. I want to keep playtesting and adding on to the powers. Maybe rethink the advanced classes and powers.

Personal

7. Read 15 Books

Like writing, I need to carve out time to read. It’s important to both my mental energy and health.

8. Play more games with the kids

I need to play more board games and video games now that the kids are getting older. It’ll be a fun activity.

9. Be More Patient

This is a hard one. I yell a little too much and it’s not good for me or the kids. I need more patience with them, work, and life in general.

10. Keep pressing my doctor to find out what those attacks were in November

In November I had some serious health issues. I had massive cramping in my lower left abdomen, fever, weakness, nausea, and fatigue. It happened twice in November and both times faded away.

It also happened last year and I went to the emergency room, but they couldn’t find anything wrong.

In mid-December, I called and asked the receptionist to get a referral to a specialist. I think this is related to my IBS and other issues, but I’m not a doctor.

I’ll keep pushing.


Those are my resolutions for 2021. Ambitious, but less so than in the past.

May your 2021 be gentle and you be strong!

Éric

Soul – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film Soul.

Story

What does it mean to be human? Do we have a fated purpose? What is life? Do cats have souls? This movie answers and philosophizes left, right, and centre. All while pulling us along a body swap adventure. It’s funny, fun, and has lots to think about.

Despite the trailers making it look it it would, I’m glad the movie didn’t fall into the “Transformed POC” trope.

Story: 1

Characters

The main character is written in such a way that we sympathize with him immediately. There’s no doubting his dream. Then as we see his life through the eyes of another character we start to see his obsession with making it has hurt his ability to live in the moment. It’s a subtle transition that was so well done.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue was mostly okay but in some parts was amazing. The conversation with his mom, the barber, and the double meanings of so many bits of dialogue between him and 22 are extremely well done.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This movie wasn’t about grand vistas and fantasy landscapes like Onward but instead was a lot more about details and abstract concepts. This movie was beautiful. The wood grain on the mother’s tailor shop to the minimalist interpretation of the great beyond’s light. This was breath taking.

The music was fantastic. I love how the pieces he plays are representative of his character growth. I look forward to buying this album.

Score: 1

Fun

This movie was beautiful and fun. My mind still races at the world building. My daughter (4yo) loved it but my 18 month old didn’t sit through it. I’m not sure why. Either way, it’s not a knock on the film but it certainly isn’t the best for small kids.

Score: 1

Overall

The writing and music alone had me enthralled with their complexity and subtly. This movie is smart, funny, beautiful and certainly full of Soul.

Final Score: 5 Stars out of 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

2020 JenEric Movie Reviews

Hello Movie Lovers,

This year I seem to have watched, and reviewed, 73 films. Wow. Below is a list of them in decending star order. Within each catergory they are in alphabetical order.

5 Stars out of 5

4.5 Stars out of 5

4 Stars out of 5

3.5 Stars out of 5

3 Stars out of 5

2.5 Stars out of 5

2 Stars out of 5

1.5 Stars out of 5

1 Stars out of 5

0.5 Stars out of 5


What do you think? Do you disagree on any films?

Éric

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:

The Three Musketeers – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1993 film The Three Musketeers.

Story

I’ll be honest I only vaguely remembered this and expected it to be a hammy comedy. I was pleasantly surprised. The story was the traditional Musketeers with lines very similar to the book. The beginning was a little slow but overall it was great.

The book is a classic and most movies and shows don’t do it justice.

It was very white, which is both historically inaccurate and frustrating for a work by a black man.

Score: 1

Characters

The characters are great and hold their own versus other versions. The actors are fantastic at what each needs to do. Tim Curry chews the scenery in a way that’s both hilarious and terrifying.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There are lines in it that are brilliant and picked from the books. (With a flick of my wrist I can change your religion.) and then there’s nearly everything Porthos says that is pure gold.

The dialogue manages to oscillate between drama, comedy, and gravitas in a way that is rarer than I like.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

I’ve watched this movie on VHS, DVD, and now Disney+. The scenery, sets, costumes, and shooting are fantastic. However, when this movie goes dark, it’s so dark that I can’t see it (I’m talking contrast not content. Also I hadn’t watched this in over 20 years and the frustration with the dark scenes was the only thing I remembered clearly). I missed 90% of what happened in the tunnels and darker scenes. It’s extremely annoying.

The music absolutely splendid. The ballad at the end is so completely 1990s.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I really like the balance of funny action adventure, with serious drama. It kept everyone in the family interested (except the toddler who only sat still for a few sword fights).

Score: 1

Overall

This is quite possibly my favourite adaptation of the story and I have nothing but nice things to say. I think it’s pretty good at adapting the material.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars