Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lost focus

I lost focus for a while. I'm not sure why. It does sometimes feel like regular parenting takes a lot of effort, and my job takes effort, and so I run out of energy for other things.

I also am having trouble because, well, it kind of feels like the amount of output is not equal to the amount of input, but I guess that makes sense.

He is still enjoying his classes though. For one of them, the children made little stores and then on parents' day, they sold the things they had made to the parents. The parents also made stores. It was very cute. Each child made a book for the bookstore and toys and pets for the toy and pet stores. Then in pairs, they ran the different shops. First the children ran their shops, and then the parents ran corresponding shops. B chose to run the bookstore (honya) so I got to run a bookstore with another parent. I made colouring books for all the kids, with the added feature of find-the-penguin-on-each-page.

It was fun! I had a bit of trouble remembering the words for buying and selling, but I muddled my way through and don't think I messed any of the kids up. I couldn't tell how B did but I think he did better than I did. He was very excited about his purchases, although he apparently had a lot of trouble deciding at some of the stores (each parent brought 11 items, one for each child, but some parents did the same thing for all of the kids and some parents brought a variety. Plus, when you are 5, choosing which colour you want is a big decision). 

I went to Daiso the other day and bought a math workbook in Japanese. He does a bit of math in his Japanese classes and he likes math, so it's an easy way for me to get Japanese practice in. I'm just going to find little ways until I can get organized and focused again. I've barely even been reading to him!

Okay, I'm going to go tidy up and get everything in place to do something fun this afternoon. I'm trying out making lift the flap pages for him. Sometimes I just need something new to make things feel fresh, maybe that'll push me a bit.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A good year

Today when we arrived at Japanese school, there was a book under B's attendance record. I had ordered a lot of books back in November. We received 13 of them in January - a picture book and a bunch of children's non-fiction (dinosaurs, flowers, vehicles, etc).

What arrived today was a sort of magazine style book. There is an intro to the characters, a short story, a sticker activity, and a couple of one page stories. It's aimed a bit young for B (it's more for 3 or 4 year olds) but he still enjoyed it and will do the activity. I told him that the school will set it up so that he gets one each month for a year, and he said, "that's a good year".

There are other series you can order, including ones that the school didn't offer in November, so perhaps they will arrange for them next year. This year the school only offered the book order to the 4 and 5 year old classes, but maybe if this year went well they will expand it for next year?
This was one of the inserts. I haven't looked at the YouTube channel or anything else yet, but we will take a look on a day when we feel like doing something different for Japanese practice.

So it was a fun day. B made some kind of elastic band device in Japanese class. He says it is his favourite. It is a folded piece of a juice box with an elastic holding the fold together. The elastic is twisted once and is held in place by slits cut into the juice box. When he opens the book-like juice box rectangle and basically turns it inside out, it jumps.

In English news, he can now read. He's reading fairly simple phonics based readers, but he's reading. He's pretty pleased with himself - we've been working on this in small doses for over a year now, and I don't think he realized that eventually he'd be able to read by himself. I'm pretty excited for him.