Maths and Other Wild and Yummy Stories

We’ve just had a very wild week.
A week ago, we thought we’d arrived at summer. But by Tuesday we’d been thrown back to winter. The temperature plummeted, the rain fell and the wind howled. On Wednesday morning we woke up to find part of our backyard fence lying splat on the ground. Resurrecting the fence, before Nora our dog escaped, was the first challenge of the day. 
We’d planned to go out to our usual weekly homeschool meeting, but we decided the weather was too wild and unpredictable to venture out. Instead we turned on the gas heater and snuggled up together on the sofa to watch a Youtube video.
Do you remember me telling you about the Tudor Monastery Farm series, which is available free on Youtube?

Historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold turn the clock back 500 years to the early Tudor period to become tenant farmers on monastery land.

Ruth, Peter and Tom obviously enjoyed living the life of Tudor tenant farmers. And we really enjoyed watching them. Can you imagine living in a time when the Church was a natural part of every aspect of daily life?
We finished watching this series last week, and immediately the girls were eager to begin watching War Time Farm, made by the same team:

Ruth and Peter are joined by archaeologist Alex Langlands, as they turn the clock back to run Manor Farm in Hampshire exactly as it would have been during the Second World War.

So we found the first episode on Youtube and settled down to watch. And it was good!

Would you believe Gemma-Rose has been taking an interest in maths?

One day Sophie said, “Can I have some maths problems to do, please Mum?” I do not lie. She did say that! So I remembered the Yummy Math site which has real life maths problems. She’s been dipping into the site (in an unschooly way) and learning heaps of interesting things. (So have I.)

The other day Sophie and I were looking at a Yummy Math exercise, comparing Pixar and Dreamworks movies. Which is the most successful studio? What criteria do we use to decide? Gemma-Rose heard the words Pixar and Dreamworks and couldn’t help herself. She peered over our shoulders as we were looking at various figures and graphs. Then she joined in with the very interesting discussion. 

We ended up on the BigPond Movies site looking at the Rotten Tomato ratings for various movies, and in the process discovered a movie we haven’t yet seen: Mr Peabody and Sherman. It has a 79% Rotten Tomatoes rating, which is supposed to indicate it’s rather good. Have you seen it? We might rent a copy tomorrow night and have a family movie night.

What shall we eat before we settle down to watch our movie? I don’t think we’ll be cooking sausages for dinner even though it’s Saturday night. Our sausage phase seems to be over. Now we can’t get enough of quiche… made with a tortilla crust. Have you ever tried making quiche this way? It’s delicious! We’ve been using shop bought tortillas but we might try making our own. I did a bit of research: Tortilla making sounds very easy to do.

Making a podcast is easy too. And fun. Maybe your children might like to try it. (Or you.) All you need is Audacity which is free to download. You could keep your kids’ (or your) efforts private, or upload the podcasts to Google Drive for free, and share the link on a blog, or with family and friends. Here’s a good basic Youtube tutorial video in case anyone would like to have a go.

I’m still learning about podcasting. This week I worked out how to improve the sound quality of my podcasts by adjusting the Audacity settings. I also eliminated those annoying pss pss sounds by using a pop filter in front of my microphone. I made my own filter by stretching an old pair of tights over a coat hanger. It worked perfectly! I think this week’s podcast sounds better. At least I hope so!

Today I realised it’s been exactly a year since the Hall Road bushfire which threatened our village. Yes, 12 months ago we were homeschooling in a crisis while the sun blazed overhead, and a huge bushfire blazed out of control down the road. Wild weather. Wild fire.

But today we’re not wiping the sweat from our brows. No, we’re shivering. Soon I’m going to put on my winter pyjamas and then snuggle up on the sofa next to my husband, with a glass of wine and a few pieces of chocolate. Does that sound good? I think so! The perfect start to our weekend.
So what did you do this week? Did you learn anything new? Anything wild or yummy?

It looks like there’s something yummy for morning tea. And is Gemma-Rose laughing wildly?

Before I finish this post…

My children’s novel, The Angels of Abbey Creek, is available from Amazon, as well as Lulu and Barnes and Noble.

You can also find me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page!

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  1. Reply

    Anything wild or yummy? Well, the weather has been wild – though, not as wild as yours. The children and the dog have also been wild at times – the dog thinks of himself as a fielder in backyard cricket but when he gets the ball, it ends up looking more like a rugby scrum.

    And, yummy – I just had some chocolate, too! I don't often eat chocolate but there was unopened box from Fathers Day in the fridge with the words 'Eat Me' written on it – so, I did!

    1. Reply


      I enjoyed your wild and yummy stories very much! I imagine you can keep pace with Gus so he can't run off too far with the ball. If our dog managed to get the cricket ball we'd never see it again. It sounds like you have a lot of fun with Gus. He seems to be a lovely friendly dog.

      Fathers Day was a long time ago. If there's any chocolate left I think you are entitled to help yourself! I hope you enjoyed it.

  2. Reply

    I have been following your blog for some months and have never yet commented. But I thought I would today to tell you how much my family and I loved Mr Peabody and Sherman. It is an hilarious, historical, pun-filled show. I saw it in the theater with my siblings. The wit made us all laugh. The only sad thing is that I think we were the only ones who "got" it. No one else was laughing when we did. 😉

    1. Reply


      I am so glad you stopped to comment today. Thank you! We are definitely going to watch Mr Peabody and Sherman after your recommendation. hilarious, historical, pun-filled show… that sounds perfect!

      Yes, it's sad when no one else 'gets' the humour but maybe it's even worse when most people think something is funny which shouldn't be funny. It's awkward sitting quietly while everyone else laughs loudly.

      Thank you for your comment!

    • Hwee
    • October 17, 2014

    Our weather has been very windy and rainy. Erratic weather is part and parcel of England so we're no longer surprised by the sudden changes. Hope all of you stay snug until the sun shines again!

    Is that Douwe Egberts in the first photo? It's my favourite coffee brand! 🙂

    1. Reply


      Our rain doesn't usually last long, unlike yours, so we can't complain. Actually we needed the rain so it was good. We could have done without the high winds though! Our sun is shining once more and I hope yours reappears soon too.

      The coffee is actually Moccona but after your comment, I now want to try Douwe Egberts! I don't think I have ever tasted that brand unless I've had it in a cafe without realising!

  3. Reply

    Yes, the weather has been a little unusual but things are fining up nicely now 🙂 Yummy things, oh yes! Ari has thrown himself into baking of late, he wants to bake nearly every day! I love to see him indulging in his passion so fully, but for me (a sweet tooth) who is trying to lose weight, it takes a lot of willpower to avoid enjoying his baking too much.
    We have watched the first 2 episodes of Tudor Monastery Farm, it's very enjoyable and I'm happy to see that so far they are representing the Catholic faith in a mostly positive way 🙂

    1. Reply


      I know what you mean about resisting all those yummy things our kids bake. Gemma-Rose loves baking too at the moment. It sounds like Ari is very talented, all that baking, and I love looking at his photos. It's wonderful watching our children involved with their interests, isn't it?

      I kept thinking that an adverse comment about the Church would spoil Tudor Monastery Farm for us, but that didn't happen. I think the team genuinely tried to understand the people and beliefs of the time. Even if it wasn't made from a Catholic point of view I don't think the series was anti-Church. I read a comment online (but didn't check it) saying that Ruth enjoyed her time immersed in the Tudor period so much she didn't want to return to modern life. Yes, it seemed a peaceful time. I guess the storm of the reformation was just around the corner.

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