10 Discoveries of a Hallelujah Unschooling Week


Last week, I discovered a lot of things.

Each afternoon, I discovered my daughter Gemma-Rose lying on her bed, ear buds connected to some good music, a book in her hand. She’s in a Wilkie Collins phase at the moment. I talked about this in my last podcast, Wasting Time Watching Too Many Movies? She’s worked her way through The Woman in White and The Law and the Lady. Now she’s reading The Moonstone.

I wonder if Gemma-Rose would enjoy a movie version of The Moonstone or The Woman in White.

2. I found out that Lord Byron had a daughter called Ada. She was a scientist and mathematician and is often referred to as ‘the first computer programmer’. You can read more about Ada in this article: Who Was Ada Lovelace?

Or if you prefer the comic version, you can read The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua.

Over 6 months on the New York Times Bestseller list! Winner of the British Society for the History of Mathematics Neumann Prize, the British Book Design Award, and finalist for Goodreads Best Graphic Novel!Meet two of Victorian London’s greatest geniuses… Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron: mathematician, gambler, and proto-programmer, whose writings contained the first ever appearance of general computing theory, a hundred years before an actual computer was built. And Charles Babbage, eccentric inventor of the Difference Engine, an enormous clockwork calculating machine that would have been the first computer, if he had ever finished it.

But what if things had been different? The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage presents a delightful alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage do build the Difference Engine and use it to create runaway economic models, battle the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wider realms of mathematics and, of course, fight crime. Complete with historical curiosities, extensive footnotes and never-before-seen diagrams of Babbage’s mechanical, steam-powered computer, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is wonderfully whimsical, utterly unusual, and, above all, entirely irresistible.

Or if you don’t want to buy the book, you can read some of the stories online.

Or you could watch the documentary, Calculating Ada: the Countess of Computers. I haven’t yet discovered whether it’s good or not, but it sounds interesting.

3. My next discovery was a very special one. Casey from the blog A Bit Unorthodox stopped by to tell me she was passing on a Liebster award to me. Congratulations on your award, Casey, and thank you for nominating my blog!

If you haven’t visited Casey’s blog, please do. Her words overflow with her wonderful lively personality. I’m sure you’ll feel like you’re visiting a good friend when you read her posts.

4. Today, I discovered four very kind iTunes reviews of my Stories of an Unschooling Family podcast. Thank you, San, Lucinda, Vid and A.K.

If you’d like to read the reviews, they can be found on iTunes US and iTunes GB.

5. The next discovery isn’t mine. It belongs to a man wearing gum boots who was carrying a camera. Last Friday morning, my girls and I filmed another music video for Imogen. We chose a local river as our location and arrived before sunrise. We were setting up our cameras near the water when a man suddenly appeared out of the semi-darkness. I think he was rather surprised to discover us there at that time of morning. We exchanged greetings, chatted a bit about cameras and the beautiful sunrise, and then he moved a short distance away to take his photos. I think he must have been even more surprised when he discovered we were filming a music video. I wonder what he thought when Imogen started singing ‘Hallelujah’!

I discovered something while Imogen was singing: joy. There can’t be many things better than watching the sun rise over a gently flowing river while listening to a daughter singing ‘Hallelujah’.

If you’re interested, Imogen’s Hallelujah video will be posted on her Youtube channel on Wednesday. (Imogen would feel very encouraged if you decide to subscribe!)

6. Talking of Youtube channels, I discovered my friend Luminara has posted a new unschooling video: Unschooling in the Winter Months. I really enjoyed seeing where Luminara lives as she chatted about the challenges of unschooling in the colder weather. The area where she walks her dog is very beautiful.

7. I discovered a new blog and associated podcast centred around writing: Goins Writer and The Portfolio Life, and I couldn’t resist signing up for the email list. I was tempted by the promise of a free ebook:  how I built an audience of 100,000 readers in 18 months. Do you think there are 100,000 people out there interested in the subject of unschooling?

8. I’ve also been listening to a Shakespeare podcast: Shakespeare Unlimited.

9. While listening to an episode of Shakespeare Unlimited, I discovered a series of books called William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher. Shakespeare and Star Wars? Do you think that combination sounds fascinating?

10. My final discovery was that my most popular blog post of the week was Wasting Time Watching Too Many Movies? which wasn’t a surprise. It was the only post I wrote last week!

How about you? Did you discover anything interesting last week?

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  1. Reply

    Wow, what a full and newsy post, Sue! I clicked all over to the Shakespeare/SW books, the Padua/ computer programmer book and your friend's vid from the UK. ALl great stuff! Also, I know of Jeff Goins too, I sub to his blog/site and I have a book or two of his. He gives online writer workshops as well as building your audience workshops, which I've never taken. And he's given classes in the city ( NY) which I'd love to go to, but they seem to be super expensive…they could be amazing. hmmmm…maybe one of these days. I don't know that I can justify the cost, you know.

    What's going on with Angels part deux? Can't wait! (Is it out yet and I missed it? I hope I didn't miss an announcement!)

    Gorgeous pic by the river!! I sub to your daughter's YT channel; so I'll be getting her video sen directly to me! yay! And I mean it, when AGT has those open auditions, the girls need to come stay here. We'll take the train in to Radio City Music Hall with them ( one of these years! )

    Sue, have a wonderful Holy Week and if I do not "speak" with you, a Happy Easter to you and your family!

    1. Reply


      A full and newsy post? Oh, yes! I suddenly felt like sharing all the things I discovered last week. It was my first 'bits and pieces' post in a long time.

      I have one of Jeff Goins books too. There's not much chance I'll ever get to one of his classes unless, of course, we all arrive for the AGT auditions! Wouldn't that be fun? We dream about travelling the world, making videos and meeting people. Who knows? It may happen one day! How kind of you to subscribe to Imogen's YT channel. Thank you!

      Angels part 2 is going slower than expected. My illustrator is busy with her university assignments and so I have to be patient. Charlotte drew the illustrations and then we had a new idea and she is redoing them. I hope the finished book will be worth the wait.

      It's already Holy Thursday here. Everyone is busy practising their music for all the services. I saw your son is playing the part of Jesus for the living Stations of the Cross. What a special experience for him! I hope you and your family have a very happy Easter! xxx

  2. Reply

    I've read the classic trilogy books of William Shakespeare's Star Wars. They are a lot of fun. I think they would be a fun way to introduce someone to Shakespearean themes, iambic pentameter and showing how fun Shakespeare can be.

    1. Reply


      I'm very interested to hear your thoughts on the Shakespeare Star Wars books. I'm going to put the books on my wish list. Yes, they sound like lots of fun! I found an amateur production of one of the books on Youtube. I only watched it for 10 minutes or so, but it was very funny and the audience were obviously enjoying it. It seems Shakespeare and Star Wars are a great combination!

  3. Reply

    I enjoyed all your discoveries!

    I think what I discovered was the kindness and love and prayers of my family and friends taking care of me and making sure I rest as I recover from pneumonia. It's not at all what I thought I would be doing or discovering, but it is a beautiful grace!

    Thanks for the prayers!

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, we are so blessed to have families who look after us with love when we need the extra care. I'm so glad to hear you are recovering. One of my girls is prone to pneumonia. A cold often turns into something far more serious. I've worried over her many times. I can imagine how miserable you've been feeling. I hope you are back to your normal self by Easter Sunday so you can enjoy the wonderful feast!

    2. Reply


      Something I forgot to mention: Have your children read the Lovelace and Babbage comics? I wonder if these are something they'd enjoy. I thought of you when I discovered them. I have only read the first story, but if the reast are funny, maybe they'd appeal to your family sense of humour.

    3. Reply

      I forgot to tell you: I bought the book to tuck into someone's Easter basket!! What a great find, thanks so much for passing it on!

    4. Reply


      You bought the book? Wow! I hope your family enjoys it. Please let me know if you do.

      It's Holy Saturday afternoon here. We're anticpating the vigil Mass in a few hours' time. We're getting excited! I hope you have a wonderful Easter with your family. May God bless you!

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