It was the last race of the season. There was wind! Elizabeth thought we "almost tipped" about ten times, so she's not that comfortable with heeling yet. We actually had her stand in the cockpit for most of the race - I think Mike's son was a little nervous about a repeat of the shoe incident. She said she didn't mind.
It was not too cold, it didn't rain and there was the most glorious sunset. All in all a very fitting end to a rather weird season. In the end we got out five times, which is five times more than I had expected at the beginning.
Today featured a socially distanced leaf fight with neighbour Simon, climbing trees (the latest obsession) and a socially distanced bike ride with Erika down to the locks. On the way to the locks we stopped to do a buy nothing pickup of doll clothes for Amelia's teddy - to her great delight!
At the locks we stopped to look around and found a friend! Mister snake needed protecting from all the bikes trying to squash him as he glided across the path. We were interested to discover that snakes know how to swim, but he didn't seem to be having much success climbing back out on the other side. With the lock water level dropping rapidly and Erika not having much success with rescue attempts the kids were not too happy when I declared we better move on. (I was getting increasingly concerned about Michael or Matthew falling in!) Luckily for the snake, as I was buckling the littler kids into their chariot Erika finally managed a rescue and we were able to return triumphantly home.
We are starting to get into a rhythm of school I think.
Kindergarten stations this week: Fall sensory bucket, play kitchen, reading, paper dolls, math games. Daddy was not a fan of the "kitty litter". Amelia's class had a story about a mouse this week and they wrote mail to special people. She made an envelope and gave it to Matthew. Matthew returned the favour by drawing things on the computer for his sisters (and Erika). Both Amelia and Matthew worked on sorting things alphabetically, which I found amusing. Amelia only had to sort by the first letter though. Amelia's class spent an inordinate amount of time discussing unicorns (they are following the interests of the class). Apparently Amelia's small group owns quite a herd of unicorns. Amelia knows a surprising amount of unicorn related vocabulary and was heard educating the teacher as to the difference between a unicorn and a Pegasus.
On Wednesday I took the younger three to a nearby park to meet up with a couple of Amelia's classmates "in real life". It was fun but hairy - the park was very, very busy. Our kids and classmates mostly kept away from the other kids and we didn't do too badly at the distance. Then a completely random kid literally grabbed Michael by the hand in order to "help him" while Michael was minding his own business climbing the play structure. I was not amused but was proud I didn't completely lose my temper. We shortly thereafter moved to a completely different (quieter area), before leaving altogether.
Elizabeth and Erika went for a socially distanced bike ride; the perks of virtual and pandemic school means that they are both free earlier in the day and can do stuff between school and activities.
Matthew is still often at loose ends during much of his class, especially in math. We aren't sure whether or not this is because the class is in a review period. At the same time, he is struggling quite a bit with the reading requirements. I *think* his reading level is better than Elizabeth's was at the same age but he's definitely prone to trying to read, finding it hard or too many unknown words and then just throwing up his hands in the air and goofing off for the rest of the period. I've got a teacher interview lined up with the math/science teacher Monday morning which should give us a better idea of where things are at.
Matthew was supposed to have a supply teacher Friday afternoon, but there's a teacher shortage generally so no one showed up. Matthew played prodigy for a bit while refreshing the meet screen periodically. We eventually decided no one was coming after about half an hour.
I still have no idea what Elizabeth is doing but she seems happy. I'm not getting alarmed emails from teachers so for the moment while we're figuring out the things I know are problems I'm trusting that the school is actually teaching her something.
Friday was also Franco Ontario Day, so we wore green and white and had green and white snacks and lunch.
We decided it would be prudent to go apple picking on a weekday this year. So we skipped part of the morning's school and headed off to Mountain Orchard at the beginning of our first asynchronous period.
Amelia did her rendezvous early so she didn't miss much.
Elizabeth and Matthew finished their asynchronous work in the car. We'd intended to be back before classes started at 1pm, but didn't quite manage so Elizabeth and Matthew logged in and started their classes in the car on the way home.
The orchard only runs wagon rides during the week, but we thought there were too many people waiting for a ride out when we arrived and when we left so we walked instead. Might have been able to have a ride if we'd timed our departure earlier but it was good exercise!
We picked Cortland apples - billed as a good, sweet eating apple that doesn't get brown when cut and excellent for baking. I don't think we've picked Cortland before but everyone had fun filling our bag to the brim. Michael and Amelia at first were rather inclined to yank the apples with such vim they flew onto the ground (thud!) then fired them into the bag (splat!). Poor, poor apples. After we were done, Brendan and I lugged our very heavy bag around the forest walk (the kids insisted).
We had thought about the playground and corn walk (no maze this year due to covid restrictions) but it was already noon so it was time to go home.
But not without some donuts and apple cider...
Xander is NINE! Karen dropped off some chocolate confetti (Xander's cake request) and we celebrated over zoom.
Amazon managed to deliver on the right day (yay!)
The kids made some cards. Michael filled the page with scribbles, Amelia's featured a unicorn, Matthew insisted on using the computer to make some kind of special world (maybe a minecraft theme?). Elizabeth's is probably the most obvious :)