Virtual school was excellent this week. Dragon sang the Bonjour song, repeated the jours de la semaine, and repeated the mois de l’année (although she’s not as fast as the teacher expected, so she was prompted, which threw her off, and then she stumbled of the entire rest of them). She got to present her video from week 6 ParaNorman Results to the class, and tell them how much work she did on it (lots). She was also asked to describe a suite (pattern) and answered very well, once she understood the terminology.
During the exercise portion of the day, they played a bunch of really fun songs, including Mario twice. On the second time, I told Dragon she could dance with her life-size Yoshi. And when I say life-size, he’s a little taller than she is, and definitely heavier. At one point, she managed to get him standing up, and then he fell on top of her. She (and I) laughed so hard that she couldn’t get up or wiggle out from underneath him for a couple minutes. Very fun.
No martial arts again this week, but she did ballet 2-3 times this week.
Her letters are doing well.
She learned where middle C and D are on the music staff, which is a big deal. Very exciting stuff! She also managed to site-read two pieces, keeping time and playing the notes (C-D on the right hand, and C-B on the left hand)!
Notes from her piano teacher: We clapped and counted whole, half, quarter and eighth notes and rests. She learned the name of the treble clef, bass clef, and staff. Introduced the idea of the time signature and bar. Learned where middle C and D are on the treble staff and middle C and B are on the bass staff. Played a short tune for each hand – reading the music! Sight read a longer tune using the two notes on the treble staff. Played it well!
We listened to a bunch of French music. We listened to Isabelle Boulay at the beginning of the week, and then French Christmas music at the end of the week.
We did not crochet this week. I am crocheting advent calendar boxes all the time! (I finished that before this post goes live.)
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. As for the months of the year, she has the first 10 down and can repeat them without prompting. November needs prompting still, as she skips it to December.
We’ve added the saisons de l’année (verbally), as they are doing that in virtual school, and I realized we should probably go over it daily. She remembers automne easily enough, and hiver with prompting of the first sound, but the other two are not there yet.
Tracing letters went well on Wednesday. Printing went fairly well on Friday. She tried really hard to make the letters look the same as the traced ones.
Counting objects/math-type activities
She is doing much better with verbal counting. Her printing needs work on some numbers, but she is working hard. She can count to 12 in French, consistent 95% of the time.
We did more patterns this week. I think she finds them very easy. I feel like I must be missing something if she finds them so easy.
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.
Make pork buns – she marinated the pork shoulder on Wednesday and we cooked it in the slow cooker all day Thursday. Then the leftovers were used on Saturday (flu shot on Friday afternoon, so we had no time) to make the steamed pork buns! We feel like something went wrong in the first few, though, because the bread did not puff up, so the yeast didn’t activate. But the later ones worked much better. Hypothesis: they were not cooked fully. Read Éric’s account of their cooking here!
Make paper flowers – This was fun and frustrating by turns. Her scissor use has improved greatly, and she’s gotten better at folding too, but keeping the tissue paper in one place was very difficult for her. I think I did the stapling wrong, because I feel like it left a large gap in the middle. This was mostly pretty fool-proof, though. The frustration on Dragon’s part came from the delicateness of the tissue paper. She didn’t want to damage it. But she and I ended up with beautiful paper flowers, so I’m going to call this activity a win.
Learn about endangered species – no pictures from this activity as we watched youtube videos and read about different animals online. She was very sad that animals are dying, but felt better once we learned about some of the things that humans are doing to try to help the animals.
This feels like a modern fairy tale. A YA adventure story set in modern day. The story is cleverly simple and avoids so many of the traditional pitfalls. No forced love story, no double crossing from one of the kids, no parents that disbelieve. It’s about helping preserve magic and finding yourself along the way.
There are a few political issues but nothing truly problematic as far as I can tell.
Each of the characters, except the goons and the snakes, have a journey and growth. It’s sort of a mini found family that only exists in adventures (mundane ones like trips etc or magical one).
I like the twist with the bad guys and goon Dave is the best.
The movie has plenty of funny lines but the ones that are most memorable are the ones tied to emotions. The little conversations and moments that show both character and move the story forward.
Visuals and Music
From the little details like the various wood grains to the big nature shots, this movie is truly stunning. Absolutely beautiful. The animation quality isn’t quite up to Disney/Pixar levels but they created some fantastic visuals.
The music is utterly fantastic. The humming and violin are suitably epic and magical.
The scene at the Leshan Giant Buddha is so beautiful and reflects Yi’s emotional journey perfectly.
The action always has a reason and everything is strung together in a surprising and coherent way. The movie made me smile and almost cry multiple times.
This is an adventure story with likeable characters that are trying to help a magical creature. It’s exactly my style of story. The few calmer moments weren’t lulls but one on one conversations that moved the emotional plot forward.
Final Score: 5 Stars*
*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.