Week 6 – ParaNorman Results

This Tuesday at virtual school, she was able to turn on and off her microphone (although it took a bit of time sometimes). The small groups were a bit chaotic, as it was the first time trying to do them. Hopefully they’ll be worked out by next Tuesday (although when this post goes live, it will have been yesterday…). Keladry raised her hand to talk three times – to sing the “Bonjour song”, to recite the days of the week, and to answer a question about trees. All of which she did in French! I’m so very proud of how well she’s doing. I’m very impressed by her teachers. She loves them. The homeschool portion of the week was short by one day, because of Thanksgiving, but that’s why we have a flex day worked into the schedule every week, to give us some wiggle room.

Dance

No martial arts this week, but she did ballet 2-3 times this week.

Music

I forgot to get her to practice with the letters, so we did it verbally just now as I’m writing this post. I’d say she’s doing pretty well.

She had another piano lesson on Saturday. They reviewed whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes, and tried clapping their rhythms. She was introduced to whole and half rests and how not to clap them. She played the piece from last week, as half notes, and had no trouble at all. She is holding her wrists properly. They’ve started learning “Chopsticks”.

We listened to a bunch of French music. Coeur de Pirate was the favourite yet again and I am thrilled because it is a beautiful album.

Crochet

We managed to get a few more stitches in on Friday.

Basic Information

Rather than pull out the papers, we did these verbally this week. She can now recite the days of the week in French without prompting. I took my thought about 12 being too many and shrank it down to only the first three, which we started learning on Friday. I think she’s remembering them by sound, but that’s okay for now. We’ll work on the first three months until she can say them with minor assistance before adding the next three months. I think this is working. *fingers crossed*

Printing words

Tracing the letters went better this week than printing them. I think she was having an off day today.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She’s still forgetting that sept comes after six. I’ll need to figure out a game or something to help her remember (note to self…)

Storytime

We didn’t read any French books together this week.

Activity

Film script in stop-motion (2 days: taking the pictures + putting them together on computer, find music to go with it) – She directed me in how to move the toys (and I showed her how to make the basket look fuller than it actually was – movie magic!) and followed her script and storyboard extremely well. She told Éric how long to make each frame and where to put the text. Then we recorded her playing her xylophone to make the music. Éric put it all together because the technical ability to do that was a bit beyond a 4 yo’s ability, especially since she can’t read yet!

The completed movie!

Make a shoebox diorama – we looked at the provided example, and then I asked her what she wanted in hers to make it Halloween-y. We searched google for the objects, put them in a word document, and added blocks underneath them (or on top) to be able to stick them to the inside of the box. Then we made the background very simply – just black with a yellow moon. She had fun using the “big-kid” glue.

Week 5 – Halloweentown Results

This week was Meet the Teacher (vitually, of course) and I discovered that I was not letting Dragon be independant enough. So I taught her how to use the track pad on the keyboard so that she can turn on and off the microphone by herself. This is good – it means I can sit with my laptop or crochet and I don’t have to pay attention as much (only to what time we need to return). Also, starting next week, they will be doing small groups, which will allow her to (hopefully) talk more French. We’ll see how that goes. The homeschool portion was a little more relaxed this week, for some reason. Maybe she’s getting faster at doing her work?

Dance

No martial arts this week, but she did ballet 2-3 times this week.

Music

In order to prepare for piano this week, we practiced the alphabet forwards and backwards A-G.

She had her second lesson on Saturday. They reviewed whole notes and half notes, and learned about quarter notes and eighth notes. She practiced the tune that she learned last week, and then tried to play it as all half notes – she did it perfectly! Then my mom taught her a bit of chopsticks. She had lots of fun with that.

We listened to a bunch of French music. Coeur de Pirate was the favourite yet again and I am thrilled because it is a beautiful album.

Crochet

We managed to get a few more stitches in on Wednesday.

Basic Information

We played with the days of the week (four times) and the months of the year (once). It’s going to be a pretty steep learning curve, I think. She’s able to separate the days of the week into English and French. She can now list off the days of the week in French if I prompt with the first day (L for…?). Still a work in progress, especially for the months. I think it’s intimidating to have twelve pieces of paper in front of her rather than only seven.

Printing words

The words were much shorter this week, and she remembered that broom was balai from Monday to Friday. I was impressed.

Counting objects/math-type activities

I feel like we’re going backwards with the printing of numbers, which is weird. But she’s getting better at counting to dix – she still forgets sept, but we’re working on it.

Storytime

We read a couple small books together.

Activity

Draw a monster mask – definitely a highlight for Dragon. She wanted a scary mask, picked this grotesque one, and was very pleased with herself when she coloured it. She also cut it out by herself (minus the eyes, which I did for her). I don’t know if I should be encouraging her to colour in the blank spaces more or not…. She’s happy with it, and that’s what matters?

Write a short Halloween script (2 days: writing + storyboarding) – we wrote a very short descriptive script (I wrote it because she had so many ideas too quickly and couldn’t get them down fast enough. They were all her ideas, though.), then I explained how to storyboard and she sketched it out, and then she wrote the dialogue for each step of the script so that we could know what was going on in the stop-motion video, which we will be doing next week.

Example of a series of stop-motion images, not put into video form:

Week 4 – Tinker Bell Results

Other than a few tech issues on the teacher’s side of things (videos not broadcasting properly, etc), virtual school went well this week. Dragon had to be coaxed to talk to the teachers, but she really opened up about Miraculous Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir (we had watched the new movie the night before and she was really excited about it.)

The home school portion was a lot of fun this week, with a nature walk, building a new LEGO kit, and putting together a new and challenging puzzle as the major activities.

Dance

I kind lost track of how many times we did ballet this week. Essentially, I do this whenever she stops sitting still, so more often on some days than others.

Music

First piano lesson happened this week! She paid attention and tried really hard. She started to hold her hands properly and knows where middle C is. Whole notes (doughnut) count to 4, half notes (doughnut with a stick) count to 2.

We listened to a bunch of French music. Coeur de Pirate was the favourite yet again and I am thrilled because it is a beautiful album.

Crochet

We managed to get a few more stitches in on Friday. This is definitely the category we do the least, as it involves me not crocheting on my own project in order to help her with her own.

Basic Information

We played with the days of the week (twice) and the months of the year (once). It’s going to be a pretty steep learning curve, I think. She’s able to separate the days of the week into English and French. After watching the journées de la semaine video (thank you, Mme Samaké), she was able to remember the days of the week in French, which is pretty exciting. This was the first time she saw the months, so that was a bit difficult. I definitely consider this a work in progress.

Printing words

The words were very long this week. I think this was the point that I realized I should be trying to make the answers be words that she will actually remember. (hopefully – I made these worksheets at the beginning of August so I don’t actually remember)

Counting objects/math-type activities

Her numbers have really improved in the few short weeks since we started doing this. I’m so impressed and love seeing the progress!

Storytime

We read a couple small books together.

Activity

Nature walk – look for different kinds of leaves, acorns, maple keys, flowers, etc. Because this week was incredibly rainy, only Thursday had no rain, so we didn’t pick up leaves and stuff. Instead, I had Dragon bring her camera along and she took pictures of things she found interesting!

My pictures:

Dragon’s pictures:

Build a Lego kit – This was the only thing that we bought in preparation for teaching Dragon at home (that wasn’t necessities like a bookcase for storage or a computer). We had many books and craft supplies generously donated by a couple people, so we were fortunate in that respect.

Puzzle – put a puzzle together. I gave her several options, all of puzzles she hadn’t done before. She decided to do the 200 piece Little Mermaid puzzle. She was elated and frustrated by turns, but in the end, it only took her about 3 hours to do the whole thing. I’m very proud of her.

Week 3 – Moana Results

Week 3 went quite smoothly with both virtual school and home school, minus a weird hiccup with google classroom not giving a link to the actual class. The teacher was able to fix it up quite quickly, though, so barely any time was lost. Dragon willingly spoke to the teacher several times during the day, which was great.

Dance

I kind lost track of how many times we did ballet this week. Essentially, I do this whenever she stops sitting still, so more often on some days than others.

Music

No piano learning yet (my mom has said she will teach her, but my mom is very busy with her own life right now, so this might take a bit of time). We listened to a bunch of French music. Coeur de Pirate was the favourite yet again and I am thrilled because it is a beautiful album.

Crochet

We managed to get a few more stitches in on Friday. This is definitely the category we do the least, as it involves me not crocheting on my own project in order to help her with her own.

Basic Information

We have played with the days of the week and have finished cutting out the months of the year. We’re storing each of them in their own separate envelopes (French and English together).

Printing words

Note to self, try to avoid words that involve combo letters. I felt like coeur was an important word to learn, though, so I kept it in for this week.

Counting objects/math-type activities

Her numbers have really improved in the few short weeks since we started doing this. I’m so impressed and love seeing the progress!

Draw x number of coconuts on a palm tree – this was cute and fun. We used the image from the above counting sheet in order to draw a palm tree, and then I had her put a certain number of coconuts in the tree and a certain number on the ground and then had her count them.

Count and talk a bit about the planets (before going star gazing!) I printed out planet worksheets for her to colour and count (and then explained about Pluto not being a planet). Sorry I didn’t include the link for the one image – I couldn’t find it again! 🙁 She’s getting better at remembering the name for 5, but still needs practice for that and for 7 (in French, she has no trouble in English).

Storytime

One of the books that were gifted to us was an under the sea create your own book. Dragon made the octopus one this week.

Activity

Star gazing – We went out on Monday night to use my old telescope (my dad came to help, thank goodness! My telescope is very beat up and hard to use). We started by looking at the moon, to give Dragon a chance to figure out how to look through the telescope (genius idea of my dad’s). She got VERY excited when she finally figured it out. I got a picture of the moon through the telescope lens! Then we shifted it over to look at the incredibly bright Jupiter, and were able to see 3 of it’s moons as well! I also got a shot of Jupiter through the telescope, although it just looks like a bright spot. Dragon says she saw it, but I’m not sure she did… And then we shifted over to see Saturn, and WOW! At first it just looked blurry, but then I pulled my head back a tiny bit and BAM! I saw it’s rings! No picture, sadly, because we lost it and couldn’t find it again. But overall, I would call star gazing a success! I’m even considering ordering a new telescope – one that connects to my phone to make it easier to see what we’re trying to look at.

Bake with coconut – cookies – Papa and Dragon made no-bake peanut butter and white chocolate balls. The coconut was put in the melted chocolate. Dragon learned how to melt chocolate properly, and was able to comminucate this to my mom and sister (video call for the latter) a day later. She also understood how many 1/4 cups are needed to make 1 cup and how many 1/5 cups are needed to make 1 cup. Pretty cool combining baking and math!

Objects floating in water – we had a lot of fun gathering the objects, guessing at whether they would float or sink, and dropping them in the water. Then she cut and glued them onto the page…she was very excited when she realized that the objects on the paper were the same as the objects she had dropped into the water earlier that day.

Week 2 – Cinderella Results

Week 2 was even better than the first. Dragon tried very hard in her virtual class through the school, and raised her hand several times to talk to the teachers – she even said some words in French. She worked hard on printing words with the letter ‘i’ (poussin, maison, voici, and poulailler (chicken coop – why she insisted on trying to spell that word rather than ‘ici’ is beyond me)) and on understanding how to break down numbers into their smallest components (4 into 1&3 and 2&2) and understanding the French names for the numbers. There were still technical problems, but not on our end, thankfully. I’m incredibly impressed by the patience and kindness of the teachers.

The part of the week taught by me went fairly well. There were a couple of hiccups with the paper doll project… well. You’ll see in the comments.

Dance

Ballet was fun and she got her first Martial Arts this week.

Music

We listened to a bunch of French music. Coeur de Pirate was the favourite and I foresee using this CD often.

Crochet

We managed to get a few more stitches in.

Basic Information

I added a new category – basic information. In here, we talk about the days of the week and play games with the cutouts of the names. We will do the same thing with the names of the months of the year. You can find the print-outs here.

Printing words

Worked really well. The blank sheet was used on the second day with the filled in sheet as a guide for spelling.

Counting objects/math-type activities

The download sheet worked really well. She got to practice writing numbers and she counted well.

We also added a clock activity! Here is the link to the clock.

Storytime

I feel like she’s understanding more, or perhaps we’re just reading books she’s more familiar with?

Activity

Sewing a button – This ended up being a huge success! I cut a scrap of fabric and let her pick whatever button she wanted. She had a bit of trouble threading the needle (very small eye) and tying the knot in the thread, but she grasped the concept of sewing the button on very quickly and is so very proud of herself!

I ended up making a pillow for her little chair, so she got to see how a sewing machine worked (and how to ask Grannie for help!). We measured the chair and transferred the measurements onto the material. We talked about adding seam allowance, and what that means. We discovered that the ties need to be on the inside of the pillow before stitching if you want them to be on the outside of the pillow when you turn it right side out (again, thank you Grannie for catching that mistake!). And I showed her how I finished off the stitching with an invisible stitch after stuffing it.

Learn about mice (info here)

Make paper dolls (web) – do not use this link. The clothes are missing flaps and do not stay on the dolls. Keladry was super patient about colouring each item (she outlined them and made colour-coordinating clothes for the dolls) and even did some cutting, but we both agreed that they were not worth keeping. This activity definitely need to be re-thought. Maybe a simpler, larger doll and fewer outfits? Or maybe buying a simple set from the store would be better than printing one out?

Week 1 – Tangled Results

Dragon’s first week of Jr Kindergarten went well. There were some hiccups with technology for her virtual classes for her real school on the first day, but after getting a new link (and downloading new firmware for the camera) the second day went much smoother – other than several meltdowns from a very tired Dragon. We’re trying to figure out how to have her be part-time (one day a week), with the teacher’s assistance.

As for the part of her week taught by me, that also went well, for the most part.

Dance

Ballet was a big hit

Music

We listened to a bunch of French music. Coeur de Pirate was the favourite.

Crochet

We managed to get a few stitches in.

Printing words

Worked really well. The blank sheet was used on the second day with the filled in sheet as a guide for spelling.

Writing words

Counting objects/math-type activities

The download sheet worked really well. She got to practice writing numbers and she counted well.

Counting

Storytime

She enjoyed the books, but I’m not sure she understood them

Activity

Baking – cake – talked about mixing colours and measurements.

Painting – free-style with Crayola washable paint on paper – talked about mixing colours.

Make a paper lantern – need construction paper, paper bag, stencil (in download material), cardboard box, paper towel folded in fourths, and screwdriver thumb tack, and pen (instructions are Number 11). Put the paper bag over the cardboard box, and slide the folded paper towel in between the box and the bag. Place the stencil over-top of the bag/paper towel. Use the screwdriver to punch holes in the stencil/paper bag. Be careful not to move the stencil, or you will mess up your design. (Edited in italics after attempt.)

Happy First Birthday Pegasus

Dear Baby Pegasus,

It’s been a year since you joined us in the world. A thin, long, and adorable bundle. It’s been a year filled with learning, tears, love, fear, and lack of sleep… but enough about the state of the world. (Yeah I know I sort of recycled this joke from your sister’s first birthday letter, but it works.)

I’ve had the privilege, most father’s don’t, of seeing you grow up this year. Other than a week where you went to visit friends at the end of October, I’ve been with you every day. It’s a gift I’m really lucky to have. I mean I wished I could work from home but I didn’t expect to be because of a global pandemic (cursed genies).

You’ve grown and changed so much since you were born. You went from a fragile looking little baby to a well built toddler. You’ve learned all kinds of things and have been adorable throughout.

I love seeing your personality grow and form into who you’re going to be. So far, you’re as stubborn as your sister with less of a temper. Although you sure hate being told no.

You are the reigning champ of horror movie style screams. It’s impressive and painful. Currently you’re using it for everything from asking for more food to not getting your way. I’m hoping it’ll get better when you learn to talk.

When you smile, the genuine joy makes everyone else smile. It’s infectious and makes my heart sing. I love it when you slow down enough to snuggle. It’s a lovely warm feeling.

The world is hurting right now and a lot of people are having issues. I’m hoping it’s a prelude to healing, but I have no idea what the world you’re going to grow up in is like. I do know that I will be there as long as I can and I count myself infinitely happy and proud to be your Papa.

Happy First Birthday Little Pegasus,

Your Papa

Contest WINNER, and more Dragon Pictures

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m wrestling with an extremely large project today so it’ll be a quick blog. Just 3 things: Contest Winner, more pictures of Dragon, and a guessing game.

Contest Winner

We ran a contest to encourage people to pledge to Blush. They just had to be a backer and enter the contest to win.

Without further ado, the winner is A. Reeder! Congrats!

The $50 is good for conventions or online. Just let us know what you’d like.

Dragon

Dragon19-weeks01

Dragon19-weeks02
Aren’t they cute? (I’m sure every parent says that.)

We found out the sex yesterday, but Jen’s graduating class is running a contest to guess, so we can’t tell you until later this week. This gives you guys a chance to guess! Which do you think? Boy or girl?

Guess Dragon's Sex

  • Female (55%, 33 Votes)
  • Male (45%, 27 Votes)

Total Voters: 60

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Later Days,

Éric

Selfies and Recommendation Wednesday – Laci Green

Hello,

Today I wanted to kill two birds with one stone. Recommend an awesome person and talk about Selfies.

Selfies

A shaggy and tired Aspiring Something
A shaggy tired Aspiring Something!

There’s a lot of controversy about selfies. Some people think it’s vain and don’t understand why they exist. Others think it’s a natural expression of life.

This taps into a greater societal conditioning that has told us two contradicting things:

  1. You’re not handsome/pretty or special. Get over yourself or people will think you’re self-involved.
  2. If you want to be happy you must buy this product that will make you handsome/pretty so that people will like you

So when we see someone constantly posting their face all over their social media we react by rolling our eyes. What we should be doing is encouraging people to find what they like about themselves. Selfies can be a road to self-esteem.

I for one am all for people having more self-esteem.

Laci Green has a video that explains this way better:

Laci Green

Laci Green is an educator, councillor, youtube host, and an advocate of sex education.

She hosts the wonderful Sex+, a host of DNews, and produced A Naked Notion with Planned Parenthood.

One of the great things about Laci is her ability to express complex and often awkward concepts around sex, in a clear and entertaining fashion.

I honestly wish that she’d been around when I was first learning about sexuality.

 

What’s your stance on Selfies?

Eric

Aspiring Something.

Aspiring Something?

I like to think of myself as a romantic fool. A Nostalgic Dreamer. I almost used that as the blogs name but it didn’t represent the goal. The goal is to upload my creative activities. I aspire to, many things and I’d like to think that in some cases I actually succeed.

So welcome and here’s one of my favourite photos for the moment:

Set up and taken remotly.

A.S.