Category Archives: review

Monthly review: July 2020

  • LEGO Heroica was the big thing this month. After some initial anxiety, A- jumped right into the world. She loved playing the wizard, and she loved pretending to be a goblin or a golem. We tried a paper-and-pen RPG for little kids, and she got the hang of that too.
  • I experimented with different mask sewing patterns. Quilting cotton made a better outer layer than softer fabric did, and Procool interlock was nice for the inner layer. A mask bracket was great for breathability.
  • I added sketches and more features to my journaling system.
  • I reflected a lot on early childhood education. We’ll probably do junior kindergarten at home, and we’ll experiment with mostly child-initiated activities instead of focusing on crafts.
  • We worked up the courage to use the library again. Whee!
  • We spent some time outside exploring art and bubbles. A- seems a little hesitant about mark-making, but playfulness helps.
  • A- enjoys doing Khan Academy Kids. She was initially frustrated by an activity involving counting syllables, but she seems to have gotten the hang of it now.
  • We’ve been making great use of the popsicle mold that W- got. We use a base of Greek yogurt and vanilla or coconut milk and pandan extract, and then we add fruits.
  • A- discovered my little toy penguin. She had fun imitating its sounds and actions.

Blog posts

Sketches

Time

Category Previous month % This month % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Sleep 30.3 31.5 1.1 54.7 1.9
Discretionary – Family 0.4 1.2 0.7 2.0 1.2
Personal 3.8 4.3 0.5 7.5 0.9
Unpaid work 3.0 3.3 0.3 5.8 0.5
Discretionary – Play 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Business 1.2 0.5 -0.7 0.9 -1.1
A- 51.7 50.7 -1.0 88.1 -1.6
Discretionary – Productive 9.6 8.4 -1.1 14.6 -1.9

Weekly review: Week ending July 31, 2020

  • I picked up books from the library. Wheeeeee! Now that books are back in circulation, we can learn about all sorts of stuff.
  • I wrote some Python code to compare my Bricklink carts in terms of average prices. It’s probably overkill, but it was fun to code.
  • The silicone mask brackets did a great job of making our fabric masks more breathable.
  • We made the LEGO Heroica Ilrion set following the instructions. It was a bit challenging to play through, but we persisted.
  • We had enough curved pieces to make the LEGO Friends Lighthouse Rescue Center, although we didn’t have the cylinders and the light brick for the very top. I showed A- a video about wildlife rescue, and we pretended to rescue a seal and a bunny. I asked A- to scribble where the animals had broken bones, the treatment, and the starting letter of their names and her name.
  • I was looking for more popsicle recipes. A- pointed to my screen and said, “What’s that?” I asked her if she could read it. She said no, so I said we could just scroll past. W- was curious about my refusal. I told him, “It starts with c-h-o-c-o.” A- leaned closer and read it out loud: “chocolate coconut cream popsicle.” She really likes being able to read things for herself.
  • W- printed out two simple D&D-style adventures for young kids that just focused on fighting four monsters with various abilities. I was the DM. I also controlled one character (the fighter) while A- played the wizard. We used Heroica microfigures and cones to keep track of heroes and health points. A- got the hang of it quickly.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Sleep 31.6 34.7 3.1 58.2 5.1
Unpaid work 2.1 4.1 2.0 6.8 3.3
Discretionary – Family 0.2 1.5 1.3 2.5 2.2
Personal 4.3 5.5 1.2 9.3 2.0
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Play 0.3 0.0 -0.3 0.0 -0.5
Business 1.2 0.0 -1.2 0.0 -2.0
Discretionary – Productive 7.6 5.0 -2.6 8.3 -4.4
A- 52.8 49.4 -3.4 82.9 -5.8

Weekly review: Week ending July 24, 2020

  • I watched some presentations from the Play First summit. I think some of the ideas might be a good fit for A-. I’d like to get better at supporting and building on her play.
  • We did lots of sensory and art exploration outside. That was lots of fun, and A- really liked painting with her feet.
  • I made PDFs to share with Lola during video chats. A- seemed to like that too. She asked me to make a PDF of Tagalog words using our cat pictures, so I made a book of opposites.
  • We dove into building lots of things with LEGO. Microscale tutorials are fun to work through together. We also made things up ourselves. A- liked the model of our kitchen.
  • I made a goblin mask for A-. She liked pretending with it. We swapped wearing the goblin mask when we played the monster player in LEGO Heroica. I wonder if I can get her interested in decorating masks.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Sleep 29.0 31.6 2.6 53.1 4.4
A- 50.7 52.8 2.1 88.7 3.5
Business 0.4 1.2 0.8 2.0 1.3
Personal 3.9 4.3 0.4 7.2 0.7
Discretionary – Play 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.5
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Family 0.7 0.2 -0.6 0.3 -1.0
Unpaid work 4.4 2.1 -2.3 3.5 -3.8
Discretionary – Productive 10.9 7.6 -3.3 12.7 -5.6

Weekly review: Week ending July 17, 2020

  • I freed up a lot of space on my server by pruning old Docker images and containers.
  • I added sketches to my journal system.
  • I read more on scaffolding pretend play and helping with early childhood education.
  • We built more LEGO sets with the parts that arrived.
  • We took turns reading the Heroica manual and the comics.
  • A- didn’t want to draw with crayons, but I was able to tempt her outside to draw with chalk. She scribbled a little, but then refused to do more. I probed, she protested, and she said that she was afraid of making the wrong shape. I tried to reassure her. She came up with the idea of drawing with chalk using her foot, so we both did that laughing. She also played with the effect of water on chalk. I wonder how I can make messy scribbling more okay for her, and how I can help her develop appropriate expectations too.

Blog posts

Sketches

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Unpaid work 3.0 4.4 1.3 7.3 2.2
Discretionary – Productive 10.4 10.9 0.5 18.3 0.9
Business 0.1 0.4 0.3 0.7 0.5
A- 50.5 50.7 0.2 85.2 0.3
Discretionary – Play 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Personal 4.1 3.9 -0.2 6.5 -0.4
Discretionary – Family 1.8 0.7 -1.1 1.2 -1.8
Sleep 30.0 29.0 -1.1 48.7 -1.8

Weekly review: Week ending July 10, 2020

  • W- finished the porch skirt. We hung out on the porch while he worked so that we could keep an eye on stuff and so that A- could hand him tools.
  • I experimented with different sewing patterns for face masks.
  • We played lots of LEGO Heroica. It influenced A- to pretend that she was a wizard, a golem, a goblin, and a dark druid. She’s so awesome.
  • There was a big thunderstorm with hail. I forgot to pull the plants closer to the house, and the taller tomatoes really suffered. Let’s see how they do.
  • A- didn’t want to do the craft activity during the literacy workshop. It involved colouring circles, cutting them out, and gluing them to make a stoplight. She told me later that she has a hard time colouring within the lines, which is totally normal. I wonder how I can help her have developmentally appropriate expectations too.
  • We practised playing pretend with LEGO sets, and she now regularly asks me to play pretend with her.
  • We had a great time experimenting with bubbles. We figured out how to get bubbles to stick to the deck. Sometimes bubbles bounced off each other, sometimes they touched, and sometimes they merged. We also used a straw to enlarge bubbles.
  • A- skinned a dollar-sized portion of her knee when she fell going over a small depression in the road. She stayed calm as I untangled her from her bike and snuggled her close. W- washed the wound with water and applied the bandage from A-‘s backpack first aid kit. She waited patiently while he fetched a “health potion” (a box of frozen desserts from the organic food store). She biked home. She’s getting better at managing her emotions when she gets hurt. (KP2.4)

Blog posts

Sketches

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Productive 8.2 10.4 2.2 17.4 3.7
A- 49.1 50.5 1.4 84.9 2.3
Discretionary – Family 1.7 1.8 0.1 3.0 0.2
Discretionary – Play 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Personal 4.6 4.1 -0.5 7.0 -0.8
Business 0.7 0.1 -0.6 0.2 -1.0
Unpaid work 3.9 3.0 -0.8 5.1 -1.4
Sleep 31.8 30.0 -1.8 50.5 -3.0

Weekly review: Week ending July 3, 2020

Us:

  • I linked tags and fixed the search feature in my sketch viewer. I added more flexibility in referring to images, got rid of Coffeescript, and updated from Node 8 to 10.
  • I remapped my tablet’s bezel buttons to make it easier to use Krita, and I switched to using Krita’s built-in grid instead of importing a grid layer.
  • I tweaked journal-related code in my Emacs config and updated it to work on Emacs 28.
  • We reorganized A-‘s play area, rotating out things that she didn’t use as much so that we could make more space for new interests.
  • While tidying up, I came across printed copies of my yearly/weekly/daily sketches from A-‘s first year. I miss doing that. Maybe I will try doing that again.

A-:

  • A- asked me to turn the garbage can upside down. She then pretended to be a taiko drummer. She’s gotten the hang of alternating hands and including pauses. (KP18.2, 31.2)
  • A- did some more Khan Academy Kids. She liked having me watch nearby. The activities with moving parts seemed to rattle her a little bit, so that might be good to practice. She said the activities were fun, but that she was tired of hearing “Cool beans!” all the time.
  • We started playing LEGO Heroica. A- got the hang of it quickly. She was initially too scared to fight the monsters, but has since worked up the courage to regularly take on monsters with a strength of 1. She likes playing the wizard because she can attack monsters from a safe distance, even around corners. I think both Heroica and Khan Academy Kids might be good ways for her to practise emotional self-regulation in exciting situations, and I’ve been talking to her about how feeling a little scared and feeling a little excited can be quite similar. (She’s probably a little too young for proper anxiety reappraisal, but I might as well lay the groundwork!)

Blog posts

Sketches

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Sleep 30.1 31.8 1.7 53.5 2.9
Discretionary – Family 0.6 1.7 1.1 2.8 1.8
Personal 4.2 4.6 0.4 7.7 0.7
Discretionary – Play 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
A- 49.4 49.1 -0.2 82.6 -0.3
Unpaid work 4.4 3.9 -0.6 6.5 -1.0
Discretionary – Productive 8.8 8.2 -0.6 13.7 -1.1
Business 2.5 0.7 -1.8 1.1 -3.0