Dear Dragon – Kindness

Dear Dragon,

It’s been one heck of a school year. Lots of sickness, lots of uncertainty, and lots of worry. There have been some awkward talks with your classmates about Santa and crushes.

One thing that has been constant however is your kindness.

This week you found out that your friend had worn her one blue shirt and needed a blue shirt for the Winter Carnival at school. You immediately decided to bring her a shirt. There have been other times this year, you wanted to bring things for your classmates and I think that’s really sweet of you.

You also want to make something called, “Kids Club” that would see you and your friends doing things you’re good at and selling the product to raise money for charity. (I think this is inspired by the books and movies of the Baby-Sitters Club.)

You think the best of others and have a really hard time understanding why people do mean or unkind things. You also have a strong sense of right and wrong. Both are admirable but it sometimes leads you to be indignant or wanting to strike back.

I hope that as you grow up, you learn to temper that … erm well… temper and try to see why people are the way they are.

The world, and humanity, sometimes seems like a cruel place, but watching you wanting to do nice things for your neighbours makes me feel hopeful.

I love you little Dragon!

Your Papa

Dear Pegasus – Welcome to level 4 (and 3)

Dear Pegasus,

I’m sorry I forgot to write you a birthday letter last year. It was a hard time for me but that’s not an excuse.

You’ve had quite an exciting few years. You’ve grown so much in every way.

  • You’re starting to know your letters really well. You love sitting on someone’s lap and telling them what the letters on their shirts are.
  • You know your alphabet and can sing it in a very heavy metal style… you do this a lot.
  • You’re excellent at climbing.
  • You have a great ear for music.
  • You still give the best hugs and snuggles.

You’ve made the past few years infinitely better. Your kindness, empathy, and joy are always welcomed.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re still stubborn and have a hard time listening when you don’t want to. Our biggest hurdle right now is potty training. You really don’t want to do that… sigh.

This year you’ll be doing home schooling with mum. I think you’ll love that, but the schedule might be hard on you after so many years of doing whatever you want. I won’t miss you screaming, “I want to say hi!” while I’m in a meeting, but I will miss watching you play.

I love you little Pegasus. I hope this is a great year for you.

Papa

Dear Dragon and Pegasus

Dear Dragon and Pegasus,

This week we did something that we hadn’t done since the before times. We visited your école. The last time we were at the school was the sliver of time between getting over Covid and the complete shut down. It was February 12th, I believe.

Last time we went, Pegasus had just started walking and Dragon was so tiny.

This week was about Pegasus seeing a real classroom and playing with other kids his age. We also wanted to get Dragon excited for school next year. Dragon, you’ve been in digital school for almost three years and I think you’re stressed at the idea of changing.

People have been telling us that it would be better for the you two to be at school versus digital school.

I’ve been hesitant for a few reasons. First are the memories I have of being in grade school; I didn’t have a great experience and I really don’t want the same for you.

The second is more selfish, I’ll miss you. Right now I get to have lunch with you 3 times a week and hang out after. I also get to hear or be told what you did and I know that’ll change.

Change is inevitable and I know the best thing for Dragon is to go into in person school. I’ve been seeing signs that the screen combined with the sound quality is bothering you. You’re showing some pretty obvious signs of neurodiversity, which would be mitigated by having a teacher next to you and the resources at the school. I’m still worried about your temper and emotional regulation though. You also fidget more than I did at that age, which is saying something.

I’m not as convinced that Pegasus should be going into full day junior kindergarten. You are advanced in your language, math, and letters. Your small motor skills are excellent too. Unfortunately, your social skills are heavily influenced by your sister, so you’re more used to playing with kids rather than parallel play. During the open house, you actually got into a little fight with another kid. They didn’t want you to play with the kitchen and you really wanted to. You used your words, but they only spoke in partial phrases and didn’t. You ended up pushing the child almost twice your size against the wall. You did have fun and you would probably thrive with the right guidance.

Added to the fact that you are stubbornly refusing to fully potty train, I’m not sure it’ll be the best place for you. We definitely need to take you to the park and set up some play dates with other kids though.

All of this is complicated by my fear and stress. I’m trying really hard to not show it though. Covid is becoming a new normal and honestly I hate it. I’m still dealing with side effects, mostly breathing issues, from the first time I got it 3 years ago and I don’t want this for you. I was told that long covid seems to mostly get better with time, but I still worry about you both.

It was great seeing you playing with other people and I love how independent you were. You both checked in with us and wanted to share your joy, but you didn’t need us there.

Once again, things are changing and I don’t like it. I’m going to enjoy the next few months of us all being together as much as I can. I’ll try and store up the snuggles before they’re gone and appreciate the happy sounds before the house is too quiet.

I love you both so much,

Papa

This Saturday! Support Dragon and Jen at the Auroras

Hello family and friends!

Just wanted to let you know that the Aurora Awards are happening this Saturday (virtually)!

As you may be aware, Dragon and I were nominated for an award in the Best Fan Related Work category.

Here are links to the live-streaming awards ceremony. They are open to the public so you can watch:

The ceremony begins at 7pm EDT (5pm MDT) on Saturday, August 13th. Here is a quick overview of the order of what is happening at the ceremony:

  • Introduction 
  • Announce the first time nominees (Dragon will not be on camera at this time, but she will be named)
  • Hall of Fame Inductees
  • Update about the awards program and a look at this year’s trophy
  • Aurora Awards:
    • Fan Related Work (this is our category!)
    • Fan Organizational
    • Fan Writing and Publications
    • Artist
    • Visual Presentation
    • Related Work
    • Poem/Song
    • Graphic Novel
    • Short Story
    • Novella/Novelette
    • Young Adult (YA) Novel
    • Novel
  • Closing Remarks

We were nominated for How I Taught My Dragon: Kindergarten education through genre media.

It would mean a lot to us to have your support by watching the show.

Thank you!

Jen

Last Day to Vote for Jen and Dragon

Hello Friends,

LAST DAY to vote for the Aurora awards. You get books just for being a member. 

PLEASE consider voting for Dragon and Jen, who have been nominated for their amazing work on How I Taught my Dragon: Kindergarten education through genre media in the category of Best Fan Related Work.

Here are some examples of what Dragon made:

Look at this awesome art that she did as part of her school:

Effectively, it’s a guide (and results) for parents to use films as a jumping off point for kindergarten education, each week a new film with activities and learning sheets designed around the film’s themes and content.

It was designed with the Ontario Curriculum in mind and to supplement our daughter’s 1 day a week of online school. It could easily be scaled up to be a full home school, or down to simply add some extras for parents who keep their kids home.

What she did over 10 months is spectacular, both as a tool for other parents, and as a journey with Dragon.

Please check out the blog and consider voting for it in the the Aurora Awards category of Best Fan Related Work. Dragon is included as an author because her writing is included on the blog as part of the results.

Thank you in advance,

Éric

Jen and Dragon Need your Aurora Vote

Hello Friends,

It’s time to vote for the Aurora awards. You get books just for being a member. 
You have until July 23rd to vote!

PLEASE consider voting for Dragon and Jen, who have been nominated for their amazing work on How I Taught my Dragon: Kindergarten education through genre media in the category of Best Fan Related Work

Here are some examples of what Dragon made:

She also created a stop motion film:

Effectively, it’s a guide (and results) for parents to use films as a jumping off point for kindergarten education, each week a new film with activities and learning sheets designed around the film’s themes and content.

It was designed with the Ontario Curriculum in mind and to supplement our daughter’s 1 day a week of online school. It could easily be scaled up to be a full home school, or down to simply add some extras for parents who keep their kids home.

What she did over 10 months is spectacular, both as a tool for other parents, and as a journey with Dragon.

Please check out the blog and consider voting for it in the the Aurora Awards category of Best Fan Related Work. Dragon is included as an author because her writing and work are included on the blog as part of the results.

Thank you in advance,

Éric

Vote for Dragon and Jen

Hello Friends,

It’s time to vote for the Aurora awards. You get books just for being a member. Go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the “Become a Member” button. Once you’ve paid, you’ll be able to vote. Don’t forget to download your voters package.

PLEASE consider voting for Dragon and Jen, who have been nominated for their amazing work on How I Taught my Dragon: Kindergarten education through genre media.

Effectively, it’s a guide (and results) for parents to use films as a jumping off point for kindergarten education, each week a new film with activities and learning sheets designed around the film’s themes and content.

It was designed with the Ontario Curriculum in mind and to supplement our daughter’s 1 day a week of online school. It could easily be scaled up to be a full home school, or down to simply add some extras for parents who keep their kids home.

What she did over 10 months is spectacular, both as a tool for other parents, and as a journey with Dragon.

Please check out the blog and consider voting for it in the the Aurora Awards category of Best Fan Related Work. Dragon is included as an author because her writing is included on the blog as part of the results.

Thank you in advance,

Éric

Jen and Dragon are Nominated for an Aurora

Hello,

I’m so proud of Jen and Dragon for all their work on How I Taught my Dragon. And now it’s made the ballot of nominees for the Aurora Awards.

Congrats to both and if you’re a voter please consider How I Taught my Dragon in the category of Best Fan Related Work.

Congrats again, it’s great to see all their hard work recognized.

Éric

Special Edition of How I Taught my Dragon: Stop-Motion Movie 2021

We offered to let our Dragon (now 5 years old, in Sr Kindergarten) have a day off from virtual school this week if she wanted to create a stop-motion movie.

She, of course, jumped at the chance. I think it was her favourite activity from last year.

So we did the entire project on Monday (October 25, 2021), from writing the script, storyboarding, making the props, recording the dialogue, sound effects, and soundtrack, taking the pictures, and stitching everything together to make a complete stop-motion movie. (Thank you to Éric for all the technical help!)

I’m so very proud of her. She worked very hard.

Dragon’s School Year 2021-2022

Hello readers!

Last year, for Dragon’s first school year, we decided to do a combination homeschool/virtual school. Her teachers were really accommodating and understanding.

However, after looking back on the year, despite Dragon learning a LOT and having a lot of fun, there were several aspects that she clearly missed.

The major one being French. She resisted learning French and, well, I am NOT a French teacher, or a kindergarten teacher.

She also missed seeing her classmates.

So after several discussions with Dragon, she has suggested (after leading questions from us) that she attend virtual school full-time this Fall.

I discovered that the reason she was hesitating to suggest this was because she was afraid of hurting my feelings. Once I reassured her that I thought virtual school was a good idea, she was very happy with the idea.

I also told her that we could do the big activities on the weekend, if she wanted.

Considering I told her the same thing about this summer and she has yet to suggest we do one, I’m not sure if she’ll take me up on that offer.

The biggest change that her attending virtual school full time will cause is a change in the kids’ bedtime routines. In order for Dragon to get a full night’s sleep, we’re going to have to put her to bed an hour or two earlier than we have been. One day up early wasn’t hurting her, but a full week of it would definitely be a problem.

And since it seems silly to put Pegasus to bed after we finish putting Dragon to bed, we’ll be adjusting his sleep schedule as well.

So much for sleeping in on the weekends.

On the selfish plus side, Dragon attending virtual school means I have an awful lot of writing time. I also don’t have to do all the school prep (lesson plans, worksheets, activity planning, etc) I did last year.

Let’s hope this plan goes well!