Weekly review: Week ending November 8, 2019

| review, weekly
  • Kaizen
    • I finished reading the play therapy textbook. I’d like to get the hang of child-centered play and helping A- work through stuff, hypothesizing about what she might be thinking, and inviting her to explore alternatives.
    • I experimented with using the Canva app to document our day. I like the way that I can set up picture slots with different categories.
    • I added an image field to my journal database. It seems to do a good job of capturing the file name from a selected image.
    • Hmm, selecting images in Memento Cloud won’t work because the app tries to back up the images to the cloud, so it runs out of space. I might need to think a bit more about the workflow I want.
  • Us
    • I refactored my Python code for estate planning so that it could process different scenarios based on a table.
    • I tried out Jupyter notebooks and graphed my journal categories by date.
    • I read about text classification methods.
    • I finished reading 12 Best Practices for Early Childhood Education. It was a good reminder to believe in the competence of children and to value focus over schedules. I also want to work on conversations, projects, and documentation, maybe taking more of an intentional research stance. Much to learn…
  • Gross motor
    • A- made real snowballs and had fun throwing them at me after checking that I was ready for them.
  • Fine motor
    • We tried out the 5-star mode in Cursive Writing Wizard, which makes things progressively harder. A- can complete straight lines when only the starting points are shown, but she can’t do curves with the accuracy needed by the program.
  • Sensory
    • I found the container of glass pebbles that I had bought before. A- really liked pouring the glass pebbles from one container to the other, feeling them rub against her fingers, and pretending they were pocket change.
    • We blew giant bubbles on the porch. The bubble solution was old, so we had a harder time making bubbles, but we still got a few medium-sized ones. A- figured out how to work with it before I did, and delighted in teaching me. She also had fun kicking the bubbles.
  • Language
    • After kindergarten readiness, we stayed at the library and read lots of books. We also spent some time playing at the drop-in centre.
    • A- sounded out the reversed letters she saw on the library window. “L-I-B-R-A…” (and here she walked to see the rest of the letters) “…R-Y. Library!” That’s probably part reading, part memory, and part guessing from context. Pretty cool!
    • We practised spelling three-letter words using magnetic letters on the freezer.
    • A- wanted to practice signing in by tracing the letters of her name.
    • “I have an awesomeness dial and a funny dial. I have dials all over me.”
    • W- helped A- pair up jigsaw pieces with words and pictures.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- likes making her bed so that the quilt is flat and covers her pillow a little bit. She also likes to make sure there’s space between her mattress and my mattress, both of which are on the floor.
    • At bedtime, A- and I watch a couple of short videos, talk a lot, and read many books. When I approach my limit and want to nudge her along to bed, I tell A- that she’s in charge of entertaining herself and I’m in charge of myself. Then I switch to reading a grown-up book so that she can get used to independent activity and that she’ll also see me reading. She’s taken to switching off the lights and tucking herself into bed in order to get me to stop reading, which is fine by me.
    • Music class became a drop-off class. I offered A- a hug before she went in, and she declined. So far, the kids seem to be doing fine. I used the time to do Emacs News and catch up on my journal.
    • The music class changed to a drop-off class. I put together Emacs News and chatted with another parent while waiting outside. A- handled it just fine on her own. After the class, A-‘s music teacher complimented her on her listening skills.
    • A- is slowly growing more independent. She likes making her bed, and she insists on having some space between her mattress and mine. She fell asleep in her own bed two days in a row, although she still wanted to hold my hand as she fell asleep.
    • A- used a kitchen towel to try to wipe up the mess she made while experimenting with blueberries, yogurt, and seaweed. She also frequently wiped her hands while eating. I think she might be getting the hang of this.
    • A-‘s ocularist showed us Elli the Elephant, a special stuffed toy that also has an ocular prosthesis. A- was so happy to see a toy like her. We’ve written to ask for one too. He also adjusted A-‘s scleral shell so that it’s a little smaller.
    • A- got the CD from the library book and asked me to put it in the CD player. She followed along with the page turn signal and a bit of prompting.
  • Eating
    • A- experimented with putting yogurt on seaweed and wrapping it up into a small packet. She liked slurping the yogurt and then eating the seaweed afterwards. She handed each of us seaweed and said, “Everybody science!”
    • A- ate lots of lentil soup, salmon, and watermelon. She liked thinking of the lentil soup as baby food, since we had pureed it.
  • Sleep
    • A- slept a couple of hours later than normal. W- came home late because of traffic, and A-‘s schedule was also shifted because of her tantrum and nap.
  • Emotion
    • A- was having fun playing peekaboo with a scarf, sometimes draping it over my head. When it got a little too stuffy because she was holding it down, I said, “No, thank you,” and stopped playing the game. She had a long tantrum (probably overtired) and eventually fell asleep.
    • A- threw the kitchen towel on the floor and asked me to pick it up. I told her that I didn’t want to play that game. She fell asleep on the floor midway through a tantrum, and continued the tantrum after waking up. The tantrum shifted to being about not wanting to be on her feet. As usual, I offered to snuggle her sitting down, but I didn’t want to carry her for long. She really wanted to be carried. When I needed to go to the bathroom, she crawled upstairs with me, still having a tantrum. She eventually calmed down after I set out dinner and started eating. She wanted me to feed her. I fed her a bit to take the edge off, and then she fed herself.

      I’m still a little divided about not carrying her. On one hand, she finds it hard to calm down on her own, and co-regulating is probably good. On the other hand, she’s having the tantrum because I gently set boundaries when she doesn’t want to walk around and do things for herself, so I don’t want to reinforce that, especially as a result of a tantrum. Besides, she’s getting a bit heavy and hard to carry. That’s why I offer to snuggle her sitting down, but she really wants to be carried. It must be hard being a three-year-old. She sometimes talks about wanting to be a baby. When we’re both in a good mood, I sometimes play along and snuggle her extra. Things to think about more… Maybe I can get better at offering a snuggle when I detect she’s starting to lose her emotional balance.

  • Household
    • We tidied up the garden and got it ready for winter. A- liked bringing the cuttings to the bin, and she also helped bring the tomato cages to the shed. I didn’t put much time into the garden this year, and we didn’t learn from it as much as we could have. Still, it was good to have tomatoes and chives from the garden.
    • A- helped us tidy up the garden. She liked taking the trimmings to the bin, and she even helped me carry tomato cages to the shed.
  • Social
    • We’ve been experimenting with using the same sharing/turn-taking rules at home as the drop-in centres. Instead of invoking ownership (“It’s A-‘s playdough, so she gets to choose.”), we’re trying out waiting for turns and looking for other things to offer or to do.
    • A-‘s regular babysitter does an interesting job of leading A- in play by telling stories while she demonstrates how to build with Duplo. I wonder if I can try a similar technique to occasionally raise A-‘s level of play.
  • Pretend
    • A- pretended to be her music teacher, consulting her notes (really, a grown-up book) to see what songs to sing next.
    • A- pretended to measure different ingredients during water play. She mentioned flour, salt, olive oil, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.
    • A- pretended to deliver packages just like in the Digby Dog book.
    • A- wanted to watch the Lego pizza video again, but I wasn’t keen on it because it was just entertainment. W- diverted her by pretending she was pizza, smoothening her out and sprinkling toppings. She had lots of fun with that. W- played with her for around half an hour. When he excused himself to do other things, she quieted down. I misread her mood and headed in for more horseplay, so she tossed a few puzzle pieces at me probably out of reflex. We got in sync, watched one more video, and then settled into bed.
  • Cognition
    • A- and I checked out the activities in gcompris. We weren’t too keen on them, so I’ll probably want to look around for other Android or web-based apps, or maybe even learn how to make my own.
    • A- breezed through all eight stages of the RelationShapes game on the tablet.
    • “I have some yogurt and then I have a blueberry. I’m making a pattern.”
  • World
    • I was a little frustrated because A- wanted to put all the eggs into water and also pour water on bread. Fortunately, W- helped me calm down by reminding me that it was just stuff. He noticed what A- was doing and chatted with her about what she was thinking about. It turned out that she was recreating a video about checking if eggs were still fresh, and another video about resuscitating bread by wetting it and then baking it.
    • A- wanted me to make boy and girl playdough figures. Then she asked me how bladders work, so we put tiny playdough urinary systems on top.
    • We visited A-‘s Popo. A- had lots of fun eating snacks and playing with stuff while I showed Popo pictures and helped her with her phone. I told Popo about A-‘s interest in how the body works. A- pointed out that she was chewing her food with her teeth. I asked her where the food would go next, and she said, “The esophagus!”
    • Anticipating snow: “I want to see what’s outside today!”
  • Other
    • I started thinking about what a good first computing experience might be for A-. I figured that it might be interesting to look for positive ways to use technology, especially since we can modify it to fit what we want. I checked out gcompris, but I wasn’t too keen on it. It might be interesting to play with simple word processing, reviewing videos and pictures, maybe learning spelling, working with math manipulatives, and maybe some programming together later on… A- wants to learn so much. If I make her some tools for exploring, I wonder what she’ll do with them. We’ll still do lots of real-life stuff, but it might be interesting to add digital tools.
    • I made a collage of captioned snow-related pictures for A-. She noticed it when she came down in the morning and immediately asked W- to read it to her. She also read it to herself.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Productive 7.3 14.8 7.5 25.0 12.6
A- 42.7 43.4 0.7 73.4 1.2
Discretionary – Family 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Play 2.4 2.3 -0.1 3.9 -0.2
Discretionary – Social 0.9 0.6 -0.3 1.0 -0.5
Unpaid work 2.5 2.1 -0.4 3.6 -0.6
Business 4.3 1.9 -2.4 3.2 -4.0
Personal 6.4 3.8 -2.5 6.5 -4.2
Sleep 33.5 31.0 -2.6 52.3 -4.3
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