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.

Last Week of School and Last Week of 1… What?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

This is the last week of Dragon’s Junior Kindergarten and the last week that Pegasus will be a 1 year old. You’ll probably get lots of pictures soonish.

For now, enjoy this adorable picture of the kids on a toy firetruck.

They look cute but there was fighting and tears later on.

I’ve got a lot of work to do so I’ll leave you with the cuteness.

Stay safe be kind,

Éric

Wish Dragon – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Wish Dragon.

Story

An interesting re-imagining of the wishing trope. The main character is adorable and actually as innocent as he seems. The dragon is both funny and has an interesting backstory.

The movie does get bogged down by forced awkwardness and ridiculous drama. The story is at it’s best when it’s exploring family and community and at it’s worst when it veers to close to romance.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The main character is adorable and only does stupid stuff because he’s very trusting of the magical dragon.The dragon is over the top and completely out of his depth. The friend is the definition of dutiful and conflicted about it.

The goon villains are cute and scary while the main villain was a nice surpise.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Clever and funny, but not extremely memorable, the dialogue serves its purpose. There are a few good lines, especially the dialogue between the main characters.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie looks very similar to what other top studios are doing, character design looks pulled from Pearl Studios or Blue Sky Studios. There are moments of pure beauty, however.

The music is lovely and really accentuates the story.

Score: 1

Fun

Overall, the movie is a lot of fun. The kids loved it and other than that annoying middle part, it was a joy to watch. I was excited to have a movie all about friends and felt a little betrayed when they played with the possibility of the characters becoming love interests.

Score: 1

Overall

A wonderful addition to the animated “genie” genre. It is a lot of fun, but sacrifices some depth for awkward humour and a few too many chase scenes. In the end it’s pretty, has a great moral and is fun to watch.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

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 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.

Week 35 – Mulan Results

Virtual school went well this week. Dragon listend and danced to all the music at the beginning and applauded when her classmates sang.

Instead of learning a new letter, they reviewed all the letters. I think that means that they finished the alphabet last week. (Tbh, I wasn’t paying attention because they learned the letters out of alphabetical order.) We were given a link to the different vowel sounds, which Dragon enjoyed.

After recess, they read a book. The older students read one line at a time and the younger students repeated. Dragon was paired with her favourite older student. He’s very patient with her. She did a good job repeating, but I’m not sure she associated the sounds of what she was saying with the letters on the screen. That’ll come with time, I guess.

After lunch, they reviewed coding and Dragon got to go through 5 modules with the teacher. She did very well and was very proud of herself. Then she was given a new link with words to practice (above, below, beside, etc). She really enjoyed it and I bookmarked the link so she can continue with it througout the week.

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: They started with finger exercises. They added another finger exercise, so she’s up to 3. They did the lesson that uses all five fingers on both hands. They’re working on timing. She’s doing well with the next lesson, but needs to practice timing. Then they did a new lesson, and she got all the notes right, but needs to work on the timing. Clapping and counting is going fine. They did chopsticks; first time through she was slower than she used to, and she was told to speed up, and she had no problems. Focussed and concentrated 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. Her drawing is of two people who are in love. They are holding books. One is sad because it is raining and he doesn’t want his book to get wet.

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, for the most part. She’s still fighting me about keeping the larger number in her head and counting up the smaller number. She says that her method is working, so why change it. Except that if she loses count, her method doesn’t work, so… We shall see what happens. (Side note: I only noticed that she’d written her 4 backwards on the second page as I was uploading the pictures. Oops.)

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

Play with makeup – I had been planning on simply handing over several different eyeshadows and letting her go wild after a minor lesson, but my sister volunteered to come over and teach her the fun stuff.

My favourite part was how she started: “Number one rule about make-up: Make-up is just for fun and for yourself.”

Dragon had a lot of fun trying to put the eye shadow on. She missed a couple times, but she did get some where it was supposed to go!

Fireworks with paint – This was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Dragon got very frustrated because she couldn’t pick up the paint easily with the back of the fork. So we tried with a spoon, and we tried with a paint brush, but by that time, she was so frustrated that she didn’t want to paint fireworks any more. So I got her a fresh paper and she wrote her name and drew a person sleeping.

Make a puzzle – Dragon got very frustrated with this activity as well, mostly because her art didn’t turn out the way she wanted it to. Let’s just say that she had a bit of a rough week when it came to art. But I managed to get her to calm down and showed her abstract art, which she filled in the rest of the page wiith.

Then we glued the art to a foam board that came with a new monitor that we got. Once the glue dried, I used an exacto knife to cut it into pieces and Dragon got to put the puzzle together. She loves it.

Week 34 – Matilda Results

Virtual school went fairly well, despite what I’m sure was a broken sleep because Pegasus woke up so often screaming (I’m so done with this lack of sleep). She answered what day of the week and month of the year it was, and she sang along with all the songs that were played.

They learned the letter ‘Y’. The class devolved into a discussion about yetis when that was the first word, and they talked about bears (made me think of last week’s Brave), and legends.

Dragon unexpectedly showed off her lit and orieller that she had made in Week 29. She had drawn a picture of them, then she asked the teacher if they wanted to see them, and then she grabbed the actual object. Oh well.

The next word was ‘yak,’ and the teacher told them that yaks were in Alberta, and Dragon raised her hand to say that yaks are in Mongolia, buffalo are in Alberta. I guess she does listen to me sometimes.

After recess they learned the difference between mammals and reptiles. One of the students has a turtle and a bearded lizard and showed them. That was cool. Dragon didn’t understand much of what was going on and got very frustrated and upset.

After lunch, they watched a video about mammals. Dragon was asked if she understood the video, which she didn’t because it was in French and she gets flustered. So I had to explain to the teacher that she understands the concept of mammal, but she doesn’t understand the French.

Then four kids presented things, which took some time.

Then they measured objects with blocks and counted how many blocks high different objects were. Dragon grasped it well.

Homeschool went well. Dragon really enjoyed the movie.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week.

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. Lesson: started with finger exercises, very obvious she’s been practicing. She’ll continue with them. Then they did lesson 4 with no problems. Lesson 5, working on the timing. Lesson 6, she insisted she didn’t know what the notes were, but then she read them out no problem. Then she played it, and she needs to work on her timing. She had trouble focussing, so they didn’t try a new lesson. They played chopsticks and Dragon tried to teach her grandfather how to play it. That didn’t go so 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, although she says she doesn’t enjoy it.

Counting objects/math-type activities

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

Math went well. She’s still resisting thinking of the highest number and counting the lowest when adding. It’s very frustrating.

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

Write a book and put it together – she brainstormed several ideas before getting really excited about writing about the characters in Éric’s and my book. She was concerned that the characters were ours, and I said that I give her permission to use them in a unique story. So she rolled with it. She drew inspiration images. (Our first fanfiction and the book hasn’t even been accepted by the publisher yet! I’m so proud. This is an AU, meaning Alternate Universe. This is not how Jason and Kennedy meet in our book.)

One of her pages required having a drawing of a motorcycle. I looked up how to draw a motorcycle for kids, and we were both pretty impressed with the result.

Then, because the motorcycle drawing worked so well, she insisted on doing from reference for the last picture as well. I had to help her occassionally with guide lines, but she did it all herself. Here’s the link that we used: how to draw a chibi kiss for kids.

Completed book

Learn about telekinesis – Dragon was very interested in this. She kept asking if it was real.