Yelling at Maths Games and Other Stories of Our Week

I didn’t make a Thursday video this week. I wonder if you
noticed. I meant to. I even had a ‘great’ video idea. I’d planned to interview Andy,
my school teacher husband. A school teacher with unschooling children? That
might have generated some good conversation. But I never actually got around to
doing the interview. Andy and I got side-tracked with other things.

One thing in particular took up lots of hours this week. We’ve been formatting my children’s novel, The Angels of Abbey Creek, ready for publishing. We? That’s not
quite right. I didn’t format a single word. Andy and my older girls did all the hard work. I just
Have you ever self-published a novel? It’s a bigger task
than I imagined. On the publishing website it says…
6 Easy Steps to Publishing a Book
Step 1: Write, edit and format your book.
That made us laugh. Whoever wrote this first ‘easy’ step has never written, edited and
formatted a book.
Imogen and Charlotte now know how to self-publish a novel. They’ll be able to use their new skills when they want to publish one of their own books. Perhaps this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo novels will eventually be edited into something worth sharing. Yes, the girls are busy writing. It’s week 2 of Camp NaNoWriMo, and word counts are rising. Did you
know there’s a lot of real life maths involved in NaNoWriMo?
“How many words did you write today?”
“4 456. That makes 27 689 words all together. That means I
need to write 22 311 more words to get to 50 000. How many days left in the
month? Hang on a minute, and I’ll work out what my average word count needs to
be if I’m going to hit 50 000 by the last day of July…but what if I decide to write
more than 50 000… or what if I want to finish early?” 
(btw, I didn’t check my maths so there could be some mistakes in the last paragraph!)
Oh yes, numbers, as well as words, are swirling around
inside everyone’s heads… even Gemma-Rose’s. She’s been doing lots of maths without
even realising it.
Talking of maths, yesterday I browsed the Internet for some fresh
strewing resource ideas and I ended up on a website packed with maths games.
Now I’m rather suspicious of online maths games. Are they just dressed up
drill? The best way to find out is by playing them. So I
decided to do just that. It didn’t take long
before I became very frustrated: “Where are the instructions? I can’t work out
how to play.”
Gemma-Rose heard me complaining. She plonked herself down on the sofa beside me and
said, “Let me help you, Mum.”
I-hate-maths-Gemma-Rose, was willing to help me with a
maths game? Well, we ended up spending a rather enjoyable hour
yelling at the games together. Did we learn any maths? I don’t know but we had
fun as we tried to work out what we were supposed to do. I guess we did a lot of problem solving if nothing else.
Another game I found is called Wuzzit Trouble. It’s a free app
available for both iPad and Android tablets. I was rather intrigued after
reading this recommendation:
“Wuzzit Trouble is a true game, not a rote practice
application or the so-called chocolate-covered broccoli that places a veneer of
gamification over traditional drill. The game is not a reward for correctly
answering math problems, the game is it’s own reward and math skills are a mere
side effect of play … ” – Marie Bjerede

Chocolate covered broccoli? Oh yes! That’s a wonderful
description of most maths games. (Though I have nothing against broccoli. I rather like it.)
“Hey Gemma-Rose, would you like to play a game with me. I
found a new app.”
“Is it a maths app?”
Ignoring her question, I said, “I wonder how we play…”
“Let me see. I’ll work it out.”
Soon we were rotating gears and freeing Wuzzits We did quite a lot of maths as we were spinning those gears. The game was more like a puzzle than an
exercise. My brain had a bit of a workout. Is Wuzzit Trouble worth playing? It’s probably worth taking a look. And if you don’t like it (or your children don’t like it), it won’t matter because it’s free.
I’m sorry there was no video for you to look at this week. Maybe
that’s a relief. It must be hard to find enough time to watch all my videos.
And looking at the time, I can see it’s time to finish this
post. I am due up at the hairdressers in a few minutes. Maybe you’ll see
my newly trimmed fringe in next week’s video, if I find time to make it.
So that was my week. How was yours?

Did you discover anything interesting? Learn
anything new? Go anywhere exciting? I’d love to hear from you!

I didn’t make any videos or write any blog posts this week, but I did manage to update my Sue Elvis Writes Facebook page a few times. Maybe you visited and noticed!

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    • Hwee
    • July 11, 2014

    How you got Gemma-Rose to be engaged in maths is quite hilarious. Children (and most people) learn best when they are not stressed about it. I'm often curious about the dynamics between a school teacher and unschooling children. It'll be interesting to learn about it when you get a chance to do it! No pressure, Sue! 🙂

    1. Reply


      Gemma-Rose likes maths, I'm sure. I can't understand why she says she doesn't when I was so careful about how I exposed her to the subject. We really enjoyed playing around with those games together!

      I will definitely make that video. Lovely of you to be interested! Thank you.

  1. Reply

    I think I enjoy these posts the best Sue. Just a peek into how unschooling works in regular life. I too will look forward to your husband's point of view. I'm sure it will make for very interesting listening!

    1. Reply


      I am so glad you enjoyed this post. I find these bits and pieces posts fun to write. I don't have to be too concerned about making lots of sense. I just go from one thing to another and hope it's interesting enough to be read! Thank you for your interest in my proposed video. I will catch Andy when he has a free afternoon and do the interview. Thank you for your comment!

  2. Reply

    I hope you do find time to make that interview, I think it would be very interesting. This week has been a week of coughing, headaches, runny noses and a lot more coughing. It hasn't been the best and we haven't been able to do a lot but things are slowly improving.
    I'm looking forward to your book, what an exciting undertaking!

    1. Reply


      Your comment posted!

      I'm sorry to hear you and your children are unwell. Mine have colds too. I guess it's just part of winter but it's a bit frustrating because the girls need to be well so they can prepare for their upcoming music exams. I hope you are all feeling better very soon.

      My book is finished and the file has been uploaded for printing. A proof copy should arrive in our mail box in a few days time. Exciting!

  3. Well, now I have to go check out the math site to see how frustrating it is 🙂

    1. Reply

      Wouldn't it be funny if no one else finds the maths games frustrating? What if it is just me? That thought makes me smile!

  4. Reply

    Math can be so frustrating! But I for one love it when you do not do videos. My hearing is a little impaired. Not enough for it to be more than mildly irritating in my everyday life, but enough to be a bother when I watch videos – calling for a volume, irritating to others around me – and malking me tired from concentrating. And it's worse in a foreign language. I love the idea of interviews, and it's good to hear your voices, but I have never sat through a whole video yet.

    1. Reply


      I understand completely about how difficult it is to watch videos. Yes, it's much easier to read a post. No doubt most of my posts will be written ones rather than videos, so I hope you'll continue to share them.

  5. Sue, I also love these kinds of posts. One day I hope to write as naturally and engagingly as you! And I too very much look forward to your interview with Andy. And seeing your new haircut, of course. 😉

    1. Reply


      You are so kind! I thought I was just rambling on but you enjoyed my post. Thank you! btw, you already write beautifully. I always enjoy reading your posts. I will definitely do that interview!

    • San
    • July 13, 2014

    Self publishing, wow! Hope they manage to sort out the techie problems. Sorry I have beeen missing from popping in here, I have been meeting myself coming backwards and there has been an increased level of sickness at this end 🙁

    1. Reply


      We sorted out all the technical problems. Now we are waiting for the proof copy of my book to land in our mail box, perhaps this week! I understand about sickness, and now you are on holiday. No need to worry about commenting. Just relax and enjoy yourselves and get better. btw, I love hearing from you!

  6. Reply

    You are just fabulous! And I happen to like the videos!! But I do understand no being able to do everything. I mean, look at me..I sometimes take forever to get around to reading/watching your blogs/vlogs. I find that it is always worth it. You are so cute and funny and just an all around beautiful lady.

    Even if it takes me a while to get to it, I am always cheering you and your family on through your learning and successes <3

    1. Reply


      You wouldn't like to start a blog, would you? You are such a delightful person, always encouraging me along. But I'd love to 'see' you and your family and hear more about your homeschooling. Anyway, just a thought. No pressure! I will just have to soak up all your beautiful comments if you're not a blogging kind of person.

      My blog posts and videos will always be here, (I hope!) It doesn't matter if you take forever to catch up with them. I'm just grateful you want to share them and our lives.

      Have a great day, beautiful Virginia!

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