Oct 7, 2014  •  In Claire, Entertainment, Motherhood, Parenting, Personal

Homework: A Family Effort?

Claire should technically still be in preschool. However, because she missed her school’s cutoff age by only a couple of months — and because she’s a bit advanced for her age — her teachers recommended she start pre-kindergarten early. (As such, she will always be one of the youngest kids in her grade.)

And one of the things that distinguishes preschool from pre-k is the inclusion of homework.

I was shocked when they handed us her first assignment at pickup. Really? Homework for 4-5 year olds? (At the time, Claire was only 3.) I don’t remember getting homework until the 2nd grade!

They also included a sheet of instructions in her homework folder which included things like:

  • Establish a scheduled time and quiet place for homework to be done. All written homework should be done at a desk or a table. Define a carpeted work area for card games.
  • Complete all homework. Remember, we are trying to lengthen your child’s attention span.

And this gem:

  • Be sure homework is neat. Perfection is the final goal.

WHOA! I don’t know about you, but that seems a bit demanding, if not unrealistic. (Or perhaps my expectations are too low?)

Additionally, the instructions clearly state that they fully expect the parents/guardians to help with the children’s homework. “Supervision is very important,” they emphasized. Not only do they want the parents to assist with, check over, and (if needed) correct the children’s work, they also instruct us to ask the children related questions to the assignment to help reinforce what they’re learning.

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As you can see in the photo above, Claire usually doesn’t have a problem with homework time. If anything, she enjoys it! (I think she gets this nerdy quality from her mom. ;-) ) And little Aerin, who is currently at a stage where she wants to copy and do everything that her big sister does, also insists on doing work when it is homework time. For this reason, I have looked up simple worksheets online and printed them out so that she can also “study.”

Claire gets 1-3 sheets of homework every weekday. And it goes without saying that she needs my help with all of them, and rarely gets everything correct on her own.

Will this be the norm from now on? Am I expected to help my children with, and check over their homework for the next 14 years?

“Your parents never helped you with your homework?” J asked me. “Mine always made sure I completed my homework, and checked it over to make sure I did it correctly.”

This is brand new territory for me! My parents never helped me with schoolwork, not even large take-home projects. Nor did they ever have to remind me to do my homework — I just knew that it was something I had to do, and did it unquestioningly.

If anything, I believe this taught me independence and responsibility.

Is homework from a very young age — homework that is expected to be done with the parents and checked over by the parents as well — another byproduct of the helicopter generation? Or is it just a better, improved method of education?

I may never know the answers to these questions, at least not for a very long time. All I know is that Claire’s school seems to be doing something right if she was able to read and write simple words at the age of 3½ — and who am I to question them?

Additionally, homework is a good way for me to keep up with what my daughter is learning at school. For example, I didn’t know that she knew how to write her own name until we did her first homework assignment together. And a lot of times, I am surprised by what she knows. Like her homework assignment from yesterday:

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I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to do that just as I had turned 4. 

Oct 6, 2014  •  In Entertainment, Geek, Movies

Things David Fincher Doesn’t Do [Brilliant!]

This video has been popping up on my favorite blogs since last week, but I haven’t had a chance to watch it until now.

And it’s excellent. One can’t help but be utterly impressed with David Fincher afterwards.

I don’t think the average movie goer notices the things that Tony Zhou points out in the video, even when watching the same flick multiple times. (At least I don’t. Do you?) But once you see it, you can’t ignore its brilliance. I mean, who knew so much thought and planning goes into each shot, angle, and perspective to get the desired story, mood, and message across to the viewers?

So if you have an extra 7 minutes today, I highly suggest you take a look at this analysis by Every Frame a Painting. And check out his other videos for more exploration into some of Hollywood’s most loved movies, directors, and actors.

Via Visual News.

P.S. — Have you watched David Fincher’s newest movie, Gone Girl? What did you think?

Oct 4, 2014  •  In Art/Design, Geek, Science

How Do Computers Render Curves? [Video]

If you’ve ever used vector graphics programs such as Adobe Illustrator, you probably know what a Bézier curve is. But do you know how they work? (In other words, how your computer draws them?)

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The following video by Peter Nowell explains just how. It’s a geeky “how does it work?” instructional that is sure to captivate illustrators — heck, even those with no interest in computer graphics will find this engrossing!

If you want to see more Bézier curves in action, check out these interactive animations by Jason Davies. :-)

Via Gizmodo.

Sep 30, 2014  •  In Claire, Motherhood, Personal

Happy 4th Birthday, Claire!

At this time 4 years ago, I was admitted to the labor & delivery ward of Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ.

11 and a half hours later, our Claire Emmanuelle entered this world.

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I love her for her confidence and sass.

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I love her for her for her curiosity, intelligence, and hilariously sharp wit.

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I love her for her passion and tenacity.

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But who really needs a reason to love her? Sometimes, just loving someone for no reason is enough.

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Happy birthday, my love. May you continue to embrace life. May you continue to bring laughter and joy to those around you. May you never know a day where you didn’t feel loved by God.

I love you.

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Claire’s school does a “Montessori Celebration of Life” activity for each child’s birthday. We were asked to write a
short essay (to be read out loud) and bring in photos to share with the class. I may have gone a bit overboard. :-P

 

Sep 28, 2014  •  In Art/Design, Relationships

12 Shoes for 12 Lovers

Most people would rather forget about their exes, but Sebastian Errazuriz is not like that. You see, the artist’s latest series consists of 12 intricately designed shoes that are meant to reflect 12 of his ex-lovers.

Each shoe, made in conjunction with Melissa (a shoe company that has collaborated with the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Karl Lagerfeld), comes with a short description of, or a story regarding to which the girl it is dedicated. (WARNING: they contain NSFW language!)

Some are endearing, while others not so flattering.

A few are laugh-out-loud funny.  :lol: 

But based on the writing style and its numerous references to sex, I’m sure that a portion of the population would view Errazuriz as nothing more than a chauvinist pig. 

Personally, I think each shoe design and its accompanying story are all entertaining in a crude and truthful manner. ;-)

Either way, you can’t deny that “12 Shoes for 12 Lovers” is deeply personal and powerful. (And I wouldn’t mind wearing “Laura” or “Jessica”!)

“Honey” Natasha:

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