I like to play games

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I love games. I love board games, table top games, card games, and video games.

I had never bought myself a video game console. I have an amazing brother who’s bought me a PS3 and PS4 and a lifetime ago we got a free Nintendo Wii with a computer purchase. (Before that, I used my mom’s systems.)

Dragon on her giant Yoshi. (I’m mildly sad she’s stopped calling it sushi.)

Well, last week there was a sale we couldn’t resist and we bought a Nintendo Switch. I worry that it’s about to be replaced, but hopefully there’s a few more good years in them.

Of late, Pegasus has been obsessed with watching me play Mario Kart on my phone. (He’ll climb on my lap and say, “race” although it sounds like “wash”) Dragon has been doing well with Disney Infinity, but I feel she needs games that are a little simpler.

With that in mind, we got Mario Kart 8 deluxe, Switch Fit, Lego Avengers 2, and Just Dance. I’m planning on getting Yoshi’s Crafted World for the kids. I’d also love to get Link’s Awakening and maybe one of the Mario games.

For someone who’s really busy, having something that I don’t have to spend an hour re-learning the controls or several hours doing side quests will be a nice change (Looking at you, Spiderman). To be honest, I’ve missed Nintendo.

So any recommendations for games? Both for a 4 year old with little gaming experience and a 37 year old who loves games, but isn’t very good at them?

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Week 32 – The Odd Life of Timothy Green Results

Virtual school went well this week. Dragon answered some questions about the days of the week and the months of the year and seasons.

She wrote words starting with the letter “W”. She says she likes that letter.

She had lots of fun dancing along with the music in class.

Math was learning how to read a pictogram. Dragon enjoyed that.

They were split into small groups to “play” after that, and Dragon’s group played music, at her suggestion.

Homeschool went well this week.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week.

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. No lesson.

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.

Counting objects/math-type activities

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

Math was easy for her this week. We also talked about counting by fives and how to draw it out.

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

Build a house mood board – Despite getting distracted by the toys, she did very well at picking out things that she liked that she would put in her house.

Plant beans – She pre-planted beans and zucchini for our garden. She enjoyed it.

Write personality characteristics – Apparently we did this in Soul, so instead, we did an online Personality test. I was curious to see how she did (very good at answering the questions…no hesitation).

Week 31 – Boxtrolls Results

Virtual school started out a bit rough – Dragon was unfocussed and not able to listen well for the regular morning routine. But then they did an exercise video, which Dragon adores, and she was much more focussed after that.

Then they did printing words that begin with the letter ‘G’ and she did very well.

After recess, they did a short reading, and then the teacher had set up a powerpoint with images that the students used to “read” a sentence. There were some very funny sentences made. My favourite was “Le Tyranosaur mange les enfants.” Keladry’s was “Le docteur pleur parce qu’il a pincé le doigt.”

After lunch, they were split into groups to talk in French. I don’t think that it went particularly well, because the kids don’t know what to talk about with each other AND they don’t know much French. When it was led by the teacher, it went okay, but when she left, not so much. Maybe if they had a goal like doing math like last week…

They did not do math because too many kids were tired.

Homeschool was very busy this week.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week.

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. They started with finger exercises and the practicing showed, she was doing well even with the hard one. She did lessons 4 and 5 were almost perfect, and then they did lesson 6, and she did such a good job. Then they started lesson 7 and she did the first row very well (other than mixing up D and F on her right hand). Then they did chopsticks, and it’s going well, so she was introduced to the next part. She focussed and tried hard and did really 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.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She had no problems with the counting worksheet. We counted by 10s to 100 and counted up to 70.

Math went well this week with no tears.

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 a movie – We put together the last prop and then set up for taking pictures. Dragon did an excellent job in directing me to move the characters. She used the storyboard she had drawn to help keep us on track. This movie, we decided to record her voice, rather than do it in the Silent Movie style that we did for the other one. We did include the dialogue in the background of the movie. She recorded the music for the movie as well.

Learn how to draw a 3-D box – This went super well. I queued up the video and we watched it, and then we went through the video slowly, pausing after each step for her to draw it. She needed a little bit of help with one or two lines and about which lines to erase, but she did all the work. I was very impressed.

Week 30 – Totoro Results

Virtual school was a bit rough in the morning. There was a misunderstanding when Dragon was stretching, not raising her hand, and then when she was raising her hand, the teacher called on someone else. Cue tears. I think she prefers one-on-one lol

They learned the letter Q today. Dragon loves printing because she’s good at it.

They were read a story about the beginning of Spring, and asked to describe what they saw on the page. Dragon raised her hand (yay) and said “des fleurs”, but then when she was asked if she saw anything else, I prompted her with “do you want to say more?” and she raised her hand and said “more”. I said, “No, more words in French.” and she raised her hand again and said “more words in French.” And I honestly think she wasn’t doing it to be funny! She got really upset when I asked her to describe the pictures in French and didn’t want to say anything else.

After lunch, they did math in small groups (I guess the teacher is feeling more comfortable with the technology now?) and Dragon was put in a group with two other kids that she’s familiar with. One of them presented their math first, and then Dragon presented (addition), and then the other one said that they couldn’t do it. Dragon reassured them that it was alright. (sweetie). Then when they went back into the main class, she presented her math again. Her teachers were very impressed with how well she did. (So am I, but I knew she could do it.)

Totoro was a big hit this week. Dragon watched the movie twice on Monday; once in French for homeschool and once in English at night.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week.

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. They started with finger exercises and the practicing showed, she was doing well even with the hard one. She did lessons 4 and 5 no problem, and then they started lesson 6, and she played the first two long lines very well. Chopsticks sounds like chopsticks now. She was focussed, paid attention, and tried hard.

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

Crochet

We did a few rows of 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.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She had no problems with the counting worksheet. We took it easy this week, as it’s the first week back after the break, for the out loud counting, and only counted to 20, 30, and 40. Dragon found it easy.

Math was interesting. On Monday, she decided that she didn’t want to draw it out, and decided to use her toes. Great problem solving skills. Then the more complicated math had a series in letters, and she didn’t like that, so I changed them to numbers, which went much better.

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 a movie – Dragon is EXTREMELY excited about her movie. She’s done a dry run twice already. I wrote out her plot, she drew the storyboard, and I wrote out her dialogue. She then transcribed the dialogue onto pieces of paper that we can insert into the stop motion movie next week.

Make a soot sprite – Dragon enjoyed this and is very proud of the result. She was able to do most of it herself, too, which made her happy.

Aurora Nominations Deadline

Hello,

The Aurora Nominations end this Saturday. Please consider JenEric Designs’s products in your nominations!

I’ve posted about How I Taught My Dragon for your Aurora Nominations.

Here are all the products that JenEric Designs has worked on that are eligible for Aurora nominations.

Thank you in advance and good nominating.


aurora

The Aurora Awards are awards “for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy works and activities.” They are administered by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

It’s a fan voted award in the vein of the Hugo’s, but with way more awesome people.

You’ll have to join the CSFFA for a pittance of $10 before you can nominate anyone. Once you’ve paid, you can nominate 5 works in each category. You can nominate works from now until May 18th.

The extra bonus of joining the CSFFA is you’ll get a voters package that includes most of the works that make the ballot. That’s 8-10 novels plus a bunch of other awesome stuff.


Thank you!

Éric

Good and Bad

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

We’ve been watching Falcon and the Winter Soldier. No spoilers, I promise. My daughter is having a really hard time following it, which is interesting on its own, considering she had no issues with WandaVision.

Her biggest problem, besides the sheer quantity of military, political, and racism language; is figuring out who the bad characters are.

Television, books, and movies normally have very well defined good and bad characters. She understands the twist baddie, but this show’s characters are all so ambiguously bad that it’s hard to tell.

Even the main characters do some bad and dumb things.

I’ve been trying to explain to her that in real life, bad or good isn’t what you are, but what you do. We’ll get to how it can be hard to tell the difference later, but right now she needs to understand that its not an innate state of being. No one is Good and no one is Bad. We are defined by our actions.

It’s important to me that my kids understand the difference both for themselves and for others. Because once you decide people are one way or another you put them in a box and start to paint their actions based off of your preconceptions. It leads to hero worship and accepting bad things because someone is good.

It’s a hard concept, but we have a lifetime to discuss it.

Stay safe, and be kind,

Éric

My Kids are cute…

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

My kids are so freaking cute. Seriously look at this:

I’m not boasting, I’m trying to remind myself.

Pegasus is teething his second set of molars so that means more wake-ups and lots of screaming. Dragon is not dealing well with the lack of routine during March break… Basically the two of them have been screaming and being difficult.

I have a headache, Jen has a headache, the kids ache, and I think we’re all looking forward to getting back to a “regular” routine. Normally, I’d have taken them to the park or shopping or maybe even to a museum but *shrugs* Covid.

Next week, I turn back on my work computer, Dragon and Jen go back to doing school and Pegasus goes back to climbing me and trying to help with my work. It sounds soothing and exausting.

This will pass, every day Pegasus starts to talk more and by Christmas we’ll have mini sentences. Dragon is learning more and more words, letters, and sounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if by this time next year she’s reading. That’ll be nice.

My kids are loud, they are very touchy, and those are things I’ll miss, but sometimes it’s all a little too much. It’s important to remember that they are adorable and I love them lots and lots.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Week 29 – The Secret World of Arrietty Results

Dragon had a rough morning this week in virtual school. The teachers asked everyone to speak one sentence aloud in French, and one student said multiple and Dragon got completely overwhelmed. Then she was called on next and she froze and wasn’t able to say anything at all.

They learned the letter K, which she was excited about. (because her name starts with a K) They had the kids make a K out of playdough…which seems to be a stumbling block for her for some reason. Then they had them write K words, which Dragon very much enjoys.

After lunch, they did math (subtraction). Dragon did extremely well and thoroughly enjoyed the lesson.

Homeschool went well this week.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week.

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. They started with finger exercises during her lesson, and the practice is showing. Then they did lesson 3 for the last time. Lessons 4 and 5 both went very well. Clapping and counting is going much better. Then Dragon played chopsticks at speed!

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

Crochet

She 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 now responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing went very well this week.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She had no problems with the counting worksheet. She has been counting to 72 out loud. I have started using a counting book to show her what the numbers look like, and she counts to 100 while looking at it, with a small amount of assistance in the 70s and 90s. We continued counting by tens. She is still having trouble remembering 80, but once she gets that one, she’s fine for 90. It’s a work in progress that’s getting easier each week. Something I find interesting – she forgets 75 and 95, when she used to forget 16. (say them in French, and you’ll see why I think it’s interesting)

Math went very well this week. She is really grasping concepts. However, there was a bit of an issue with drawing a star for the pattern, so that is not in the picture.

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! We’re done the second season and have to wait until season 3 airs on Disney+. Until then, we’re going to watch Raiponce (Rapunzel series).

Activity

Make a fairy door – We glued the door together, painted and sparkled it, and then glued on a doorknob. We did not add any other decorations because Dragon didn’t want to cover up her painting.

Make a hair clip – Dragon chose to do the third style of hair clip, the bow. We cut up some material and glued it, and then sewed it to the clip. Dragon did a bunch of the pinning and sewing.

Make a miniature room – Rather than make a full room, we just made a bed. The bed itself is made out of cardboard, and the pillow is made from scrap fabric. Dragon did all the sewing on the inside edges and stuffed it, and I did the hidden seam.

Bonus! These are the beans and peas that we put in the baggies in Week 25 – Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest!

Week 28 – Springtime with Roo Results

Virtual school was a bit of a struggle this week, especially at the beginning, mostly because one of the teachers was having trouble with her microphone. There was a special visit from a firefighter, who talked about the importance of fire safety in the home. (Although we have a Nest protect, not a traditional fire detector, so Dragon was very confused.)

They learned the letter ‘c’. Dragon loves the printing portion of the day.

After lunch, they did a subtraction game, and Dragon DEMOLISHED it. But when she tried a more complicated one that was timed, she panicked and forgot everything. Poor thing. I don’t like timed math either.

Homeschool went well this week.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week.

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. Their lesson went really well. Dragon was very focussed. Finger exercises, you could tell that she had practiced. They did lessons 3,4,&5. She did very well, focussed and tried hard. They did clapping and counting before playing, and it worked a little bit; they’ll keep trying that. Then they did chopsticks, and she’s improving in that too.

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

Crochet

She 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 now responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing went very well this week.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She had no problems with the counting worksheet. She has been counting to 72 out loud. I have started using a counting book to show her what the numbers look like, and she counts to 100 while looking at it, with a small amount of assistance in the 70s and 90s. We continued counting by tens. It’s a work in progress that’s getting easier each week.

She loved that “neuf oeufs” rhymed!

Math went well and we finally had a breakthrough with adding large numbers, where she started with the large number and added the smaller number to it.

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! We’re almost done the second season and we’ll have to find a new show to watch soon.

Activity

Painting eggs – We made paper mache eggs on Wednesday and let them dry. Then we painted them on Saturday. I think they turned out rather well.

Make a daffodil – we ended up not doing this one

Paint a flower pot – We painted flower pots on Friday. Dragon really enjoyed it.