Menu Plan Monday 26/09/16 with My Routine Printable

Last week I talked about how I use a list to remind me to defrost food, start the slow cooker in the morning and more. It is a daily routine and checklist which you can download and adapt for yourself if you would find it helpful. I scale it to fit two lists on a page (the fit sheet on one page option in Excel), print double-sided and use in my half-size planner next to my diary for the week.


When I get off-track I can look at this and see what I ought to do next. If I manage to do all three routines in a day, my whole day runs much more smoothly – and so does the next. I at least try to check how I’m getting on throughout the day.

I use the square brackets as a tickbox. Since my defrosting/slow-cooking plan is different each week, I write in square brackets by hand to match my menu plan.

Monday: Pizza (see bottom of post for recipe) using leftover toppings from the food craft at mums and tots!

Tuesday: Bolognese with spaghetti/buckwheat noodles

Wednesday: Sausages and vegetables

Thursday:  Pork loin steaks with chips/sweet potato chips and vegetables

Friday: Slow cooker Spanish chicken with sherry and garlic. Guess what I didn’t cook last week!

Saturday: Eating with my parents

Sunday:  Herb roasted chicken from Living Well Spending Less


Menu Plan Monday

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday at Org Junkie.


A School Day for Bunny

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links I will receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you.

This month I am joining in with iHomeschool Network’s Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. Hop on over there to find out more and see what others are doing this year. This week is Day in the Life Week.

iHomeschool Back To Homeschool Blog Hop

Today we’re going to look at how a homeschool day actually works for me and Bunny. I thought the best way to do that would be to share the printable routine and checklist I am using at the moment. I have it printed off and placed next to the current week in my planner so I can look at it and my day plan at the same time. It is editable so if you like the idea and want to use it you are very welcome to do so. I scale it so that I can fit two on an A4 page, then print on both sides. (The “Fit Sheet on one Page” button in Excel)

checklist-picture I am using this to help me learn my routine – I have planned out how my day needs to work but I don’t yet have my routines as habits. I’ve written approximate times by some of our activities below but I don’t have a fixed schedule, we have a routine order of things which I try to stick to instead.

~6 – 8 a.m.: We get up in the mornings, get ourselves ready for the day, then do our morning housework. After that it is school time.

Today board and RRSP board

8 – 8:30 a.m.: Circle time: read the Bible verse of the week, read the story about the bible verse, read the weekly minibook and sing the song of the week (all from Raising Rock Stars Preschool); talk about the date and weather (Today board UK/US affiliate).

8:30 – 9 a.m.: Paper work: writing, dot-painting, stickers, colouring, cutting, gluing, taping, glitter, paint, play dough, worksheets, activity books… (We don’t do all of these every day! Maybe four or five each day.)

Snack time! We both normally need a break by this point.

Play time or out-of-the-house activities.


12 – 2 p.m.: Lunch time and nap time (sometimes Bunny sleeps before lunch, sometimes after).

2 – 2:30 p.m.: Another focused learning activity – printed games, Spielgaben, art or science. (Top: see my post One-to-One Correspondence with Counting Bears and Spielgaben; Left: Making and Using Glitter Numbers; Right: game printed from Life Over Cs)

Snack time.

Play time.

5 – 9 p.m.: Make dinner, eat dinner, go to bed.

I’m keen to see how others are running their homeschool days!  Are you more of a routine (doing things in a certain order but not a particular time) or schedule (doing things at the same time every day) person? Make sure to check out how other homeschoolers run their days at iHomeschool Network.


Ones and Zeros

Did you know that I love binary numbers? Probably not as I haven’t raved about it here yet… The joke is that there are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary; and those who don’t. If you haven’t got that yet, you will by the end of this post!

I’m going to explain how binary numbers work and how to add numbers in binary. Because that is very useful in your everyday life. And all those 1s and 0s are just pretty.


Now a review of how numbers work: when you were at school you probably used columns with H, T, U etc at the top to add and subtract. Those columns helped you to keep the numbers in line. H was for hundreds, T for tens, U for units and so forth.  We use 0 as a placeholder to keep other numerals in the right columns. A numeral 1 written in the tens column means the same as 10 units. A numeral 1 in the hundreds column means 10 tens. Because of these 10s, we call our number system base 10; a ten is 10 times a unit, a hundred is 10 times a ten and so on.

Binary is base 2. This means that each column is 2 times the next column down. When we write these out, we get column titles which are the powers of 2 (yep, that’s how it connects to Pascal’s triangle!): 128; 64; 32; 16; 8; 4; 2; 1.

I am going to work with 4-digit binary numbers here but this works equally for any number of digits. We’ll start by converting a number into binary. I’m going to pick 11.

We start by writing out the column headers:

8     4     2     1

Now we start with the highest number on the list, 8. The number we’re converting is 11. Is 11 bigger than or equal to 8? Yes, so write a 1 in the 8s column, then take 8 away from 11. We are left with 3.

8     4     2     1


The next column is the 4s column. Is our number 3 bigger than or equal to 4? No, so write a 0 in the 4s column.

8     4     2     1

1     0

The next column is the 2s column. Is 3 bigger than or equal to 2? Yes, so write a 1 in the 2s column, then take two away from 3, leaving 1.

8     4     2     1

1     0      1

The final column is the 1s column. We have 1 left, is 1 bigger than or equal to 1? Yes, so write a 1 in the 1s column, then take 1 away from our remainder 1, leaving 0.

8     4     2     1

1      0     1     1

So if we write eleven in binary, it is 1011.

Now let’s try adding together in binary. I’m going to add 6 and 7 together in binary. First I need to convert them: 6 in binary is 0110; 7 is 0111. Write these in columns to add, then add up the columns just as you would normally, carrying to the next column if the numbers add to 2 or more:


When you finish adding you will have 1101. Let’s convert this back to check it. There are 1s in the 8, 4 and 1 column, so add together: 8 + 4 + 1 = 13, which is correct! In some ways adding in binary is simpler, as you only have to add small numbers! As long as you don’t have to convert back to decimal, anyway.

Thank you for popping in to see some binary today. Do you understand the joke yet? (If not, convert 10 from binary to decimal) I had so much fun doing some adding of binary numbers to write this that I might write more about binary next week!


Measuring with the BunnyHand Unit

This post contains affiliate links which means that if you purchase anything after clicking on a referral link then I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Bunny aged 40.5 months

This makes a cute activity and one I might put in the memory box! Bunny loves the idea of measuring (especially since we started to watch the maths cartoon Team Umizoomi UK/US affiliate) but she’s not ready for rulers yet, so we made a “tape measure” of Bunny hands. Here are the instructions:


  1. Cut sheets of printer paper in half longways (I used 4 sheets and got 19 BunnyHands, about 2.4 m for A4 paper or 88″ using 8.5″ x 11″ paper, but I would suggest that this was too many, and 3 pages will probably be enough – you could always add another later)
  2. Draw around your child’s hand on the first piece of paper; they can spread out their fingers or not, whatever they choose to do. (It doesn’t matter if the tops of some fingers or bottom of the hand overhang the paper, the width is the important thing)
  3. Tape all of the paper strips together.hand-chain-and-write-numbers
  4. Fold the paper in a concertina so that the little finger and thumb are at the edges of the folds.
  5. Cut around the hand shape, leaving a little extra width at the thumb and little finger so that the paper chain is not too easy to rip. I managed to cut through all the layers using some adult scissors; I don’t think kid scissors would work though.
  6. Number the hands. Your child can help you with this if they are ready for writing.

Bunny was excited to see the paper chain and to use it to measure things! We started by seeing how many BunnyHands tall she is by holding it up to the pantry cupboard we mark her height on. She is 8 BunnyHands tall.


We then measured a lot of her cuddly toys, a dolls house, some play food… I asked her to estimate how big other items would be and she didn’t do too badly at that. I can see this being an activity she will want to do again!

Questions I asked:

How many BunnyHands tall/wide is this?

How many BunnyHands tall/wide do you think this will be? Is it bigger or smaller than the last item you measured? Will is be more or fewer BunnyHands tall/wide?

Linking up to Tot School at 1+1+1=1.


A Day Through Bunny’s Eyes 2016

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links I will receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you.

This month I am joining in with iHomeschool Network’s Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. Hop on over there to find out more and see what others are doing this year. This week is Through the Eyes of the Student Week.

iHomeschool Back To Homeschool Blog Hop

In case you don’t know what that means (I didn’t!) the post is written from Bunny’s point of view, using her words and photos (some of which I helped her with a little so you’d be able to see the whole object she photographed!). Bunny is in preschool so the majority of her day is play of various kinds. Now over to her!


“I help Mummy with the washing. I help Mummy make the beds. I pick my clothes.”


“I counted the dots on this stool. I took lots of pictures. We did school. We said what day it is. I like to change the month [year].” (calendar page from This Reading Mama)


“We sing and read. I cut some paper. I did my writing and dot painting.” (My ABC Bible verses UK/US affiliate links, Uppercase Letter Writing from Wildflower Ramblings as Bunny doesn’t like writing on dotted lines, Elephant from 1+1+1=1’s Animal ABCs bundle)


“I played music. I found Cs.” (on the keyboard)


“We waited for a bus to playgroup. I took pictures of cars. We added numbers, then I was bored so we played I Spy.”


“I played with dolls and we made a rainbow at playgroup.”


“We went on the bus home. We read the numbers on the houses we walked past. Then I ate my lunch and had my nap.”

Thanks for coming to see Bunny’s day! Her afternoons tend to be unstructured play for the most part. We use Spielgaben and do some science (UK/US affiliate links) or art activities if we haven’t been worn out by our morning!

Linking up to Through the Eyes of the Student Week at iHomeschool Network.



Menu Plan Monday 19/9/16 and Saving by Subscribing

This post contains affiliate links which means that if you purchase anything after clicking on a referral link then I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Happy new week! I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. We have been busy but it’s been fun! Today I’m going to look at Amazon’s Subscribe and Save (UK store US store affiliates) and explain how I work out whether it is worth it to me to subscribe for a product.

One of Bunny’s favourite foods is these snack bars (affiliate). They are not cheap. If you want to buy them in a shop then you’re generally looking at £2.50 per box. For six snacks. Just one reason why we limit how many she is allowed per day…

Sometimes they go on offer. The offer will usually be either 2 for £4 (£4 / 2 = £2 per box) or 3 for 2 (£5 / 3 = £1.67). Before I started to Subscribe and Save I would buy more when I saw a sale and hope it would last through to the next sale.

Looking at the price from Amazon when I’m writing this, a pack of 6 boxes of snacks costs £13.45. Per box that is £13.45 / 6 = £2.24 which is generally not a great deal. It’s better than when they’re not on offer, but it could be better. However when you subscribe to anything, your monthly delivery will be 5% cheaper than the general Amazon price.

The 5% off price for 6 boxes is £13.45 x 0.95 = £12.78. Now a box of snacks is £12.78 / 6 = £2.13 which is getting closer to my get-excited-the-snacks-are-cheap price of £2 per box or less.

The situation grows more complex when you find out that if you buy 5 or more items in your Subscribe and Save delivery you actually save 15%! I think I’ve always managed to have 5 or more things in my order and at the moment I have 13 active subscriptions, some of which are monthly but others are less regular.

The 15% off price for 6 boxes of snacks is £13.45 x 0.85 = £11.43. This makes one box £11.43 / 6 = £1.91. That’s cheaper than everything except the really-good, highly-unusual price (which Tesco are currently running…) on a 3 for 2 offer.

So that leaves me two options: Subscribe and Save or stockpile whenever a 3 for 2 comes up. I can’t guarantee a 3 for 2 and so I will end up buying full-price items too. To me, that makes Subscribe and Save worth it for that item.


The steps are:

  1. Keep track of how much you usually spend on something. Note the price which you are happy to pay and the price at which you get excited and think about stockpiling an item. You can do this by checking prices online if you don’t want to keep track.
  2. Check the Subscribe and Save store (UK store US store affiliates) to see what the price would be at a 5% discount by multiplying the price by 0.95, if you’re worried you won’t be able to subscribe to enough items.
  3. Check the 15% discount price by multiplying the price by 0.85
  4. Compare that with your “Happy to Pay” price and your “Stock Up Now!” price.
  5. If it is under the “Stock Up Now!” price, you’ll probably want to subscribe. If it is between the two, you need to consider whether your stockpile usually lasts between sales and whether you mind paying the extra amount more than “the best possible price”. If it’s more than the “Happy to Pay” price then don’t subscribe.

Generally I find that branded items have good S & S prices. If you tend to buy a store brand or value brand then the branded items available in the S & S store are probably not going to be cheap enough to match your prices.

I hope that helps you if you’ve been considering subscribing! Now on to my menu plan (implicitly containing Bunny’s aforementioned snacks between meals…)

Monday: Pork loin steaks with vegetables and potato/sweet potato chips

Tuesday: Pizza (see bottom of post for recipe)

Wednesday: Bolognese (half portion for just me and Bunny)

Thursday:  Toad in the Hole (recipe at the bottom of the post) with vegetables

Friday: Slow cooker Spanish chicken with sherry and garlic – if this goes well I’ll let you know about it! I’m adapting a recipe from the Ocado magazine.

Saturday: Eating with my parents

Sunday: Lunch-type food as we’re having a big lunch at church.

If you’ve read my MPM posts for the last few weeks you might notice the absence of a gammon roast. That’s because I finally managed to cook it! It turns out that I cannot defrost (big/time-consuming/non-microwaveable) things over the weekend because I ignore my list. I can’t just hope I look at my list, that didn’t work for the past few weeks. So I have now learned that I can plan to succeed by thinking about how my weekends really work. And maybe someday I’ll start to use my list at the weekend, who knows?!

Menu Plan Monday

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday at Org Junkie.


Pascal’s Triangle Triangles

Pascal's Triangle

Ahh, a sad day – this is the last of my planned Pascal’s Triangle posts. Let’s all take a moment to ponder the wonders we have found… Relationships between networks, probability, sequences of counting numbers, triangular numbers, square numbers, powers of 2, powers of 11 and the Fibonacci numbers. What better place to finish our tour of a wonderful maths concept than with colouring in?

You may be thinking “she’s lost her mind! What does colouring in have to do with maths?!”

But even if you’re not, I’m going to answer the question anyway! Do you remember colouring in a 100-square when you were at school? If you colour in all of the multiples of 2 you find a pattern, and it’s the same for the other multiples too. You could also colour in multiples of numbers to find the prime numbers and that was pretty too.

So today I have done some colouring in for all of us! And mostly for me. But for you too. Here is a Pascal’s Triangle you can use for this purpose, do print them if you would like to.

Pascal's triangle filled

So to start off our colouring, let’s do the multiples of two. This means colour in anything in the two-times table, a.k.a. all the even numbers:

Multiples of 2

How pretty is that?

If you imagined that the lone coloured hexagons were triangles (and the bigger triangles-of-hexagons had straight sides)  what we see is called the Sierpinski Triangle and it is a type of fractal pattern. And it is also pretty 🙂 If you were teaching this in a lesson you could ask students to predict what the next line would look like based on the line above (without doing any adding first!). Would there be triangles with sides of length 1, or 2, or 3; which row will be coloured all the way across the triangle like 8 is and so forth.

Think about the 100-square you coloured in when you were small. Do you remember how the different multiples produced different patterns? I have the triangles coloured for the multiples of 3, 4, 5 and 6 here. You could ask students to predict what the different patterns might be for different multiples, then colour them in and find out if they were right.

I hope you’ve had as much fun with Pascal’s Triangle as I have (you might need to colour some in to have that much fun though), I think it is just amazing how many areas of maths link together through this one concept! Thank you for joining me for Pascal’s Triangle and I look forward to talking more with you next week about one of the things I’ve already shared in relation to Pascal’s Triangle. See if you can guess which one it will be!


Posts in the Pascal’s Triangle series:

Pascal’s triangle with routes

Pascal’s Triangle with Probability

Pascal’s Triangle Sequences part 1

Pascal’s Triangle Sequences Part 2

Pascal’s Triangle Triangles

Letter Recognition for the 21st Century!

Bunny aged 40 months

Like most children, Bunny loves anything that Mummy and Daddy use. She has a pretend phone, pretend camera, pretend remote control… But she still loves playing with the real, grown-up version.


She raided our electronics box the other day and found an old keyboard, so we played a game of letter and number recognition with her using the keyboard. She loved playing with us and the old keyboard!

You could do this with an old phone (or a toy one!) or remote control to work on numeral recognition, and if your tot doesn’t know enough of the letters yet you could cover half of the keyboard so there is less to look at.


It was pretty tricky to catch her pressing a button for a picture…

This was impromptu schooling, integrating everyday life and learning. It’s great when Bunny comes up with an idea and we run with it into learning some new things or reviewing them, especially in a holiday week like we are having this week! How have you impromptu-schooled in your family this week?

Questions we used to play recognising the letters and numbers:

Can you find the letter/number __?

Point to a key. What does it say?

Where are the letters? Where are the numbers?

Where is 1? 2? What comes next?

Linking up to Tot School at 1+1+1=1.


Creating the School Room

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the product link I will receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you.

Yesterday I showed you our School Room and mentioned that we had converted it from a “spare room”. This isn’t strictly maths but I love a before and after picture so I’m sure you will too!

Here is the before-we-moved-in picture. Note the horrible wallpaper.


It took about a year to get to painting it (which my mum did, thank you!), because in the meantime we used it as a storage room. The problem is that in my mind, storage is somewhere you can put anything, and if you can’t quite get in the room to put your storage item in then throwing it is a very valid option.


So I had a mess on my hands. I asked Dana from A Slob Comes Clean what to do and she answered me: I needed to define the room. I thought about all of the possible things I could do with it and decided that the most valuable thing would be to make it into a school room for Bunny, since schooling in random places around the house, with our school supplies in several different rooms was not working for us.

Once I had decided what to do I started by following Dana’s steps: do the easy stuff first. This meant finding the stuff I needed to bin and throwing it away, then the stuff for the loft and putting that up in the loft (an important step I found quite tricky because that is a storage space too…), and finally anything else that should be in a different room I took there, as soon as I found it. Not making a big pile because that would risk trapping me in the room.

The part where I deviated from Dana’s decluttering plan is the part where I started to fail (so don’t do it, people!). I thought I would be OK because I loved the other rooms and I didn’t want them to stay a mess, so when the carpet for the room was fitted (by my parents, thank you!) I moved the dozen boxes I hadn’t sorted into other rooms. That was 6 weeks ago and I haven’t touched them since, because now there are more overwhelming messes in other rooms.

Anyway, other messes aside I measured the newly-carpeted room, plus all of the furniture items I had thought of putting in there. I added up lengths, took away lengths, multiplied lengths (there are two identical bookcases) and made a plan for the room. We moved the things into the room and now it looks like this:

I am so pleased to have reclaimed a room from the messy dumping ground we had before. Bunny and I both love it. Moving all of our school supplies and that furniture out of the rest of the house has made our whole house nicer and it all functions better. The rooms are no longer defined with several words (dining room/playroom/school stuff storage room) and I love them all so much more!

My next project is going to have to be reclaiming my sewing room (the wardrobe in the school room) from the boxes I dumped in there. I miss my sewing room!

Have you got any rooms like this in your house? Or does most of your house look like this? If so, Dana is releasing a real-life paper book on Nov 8th (USA)/Dec 15th (UK) called How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind (affiliate link). It would make a great Christmas present to yourself, or you could put it on your Amazon wish list (I am a big fan of wish lists because it means you get what you want so hopefully you won’t add clutter to your life!). I’ve preordered mine! Dana comes from a place of mess so she knows what it is like. You can see some of her mess at A Slob Comes Clean where she shares real life strategies for dealing with real life struggles which she still struggles with. If you’re someone who struggles with your home I highly recommend checking her out. This is not a sponsored post, I just love her! Dana’s methods have totally changed my home and my outlook on how I manage my home.


Menu Plan Monday 12/09/16 and Saving by Using my Freezer

“How do you save money by using your freezer, NumberJacqui?” I hear you ask.

If I create correct portion sizes for my family, then I will save money. Here is an example:

Pork loin steaks usually come in a packet of 6. We eat 4.5 each time we cook them. We could cook the extra 1.5 and use them as leftovers in lunches. The only problem is that I really don’t like leftovers. I panic about whether they’re still ok and I don’t enjoy them when I eat them; Hubby tends to forget about them when he is making his lunch. So if we cook all 6 steaks then we waste 1.5 of them. What do I do now?

I buy several packets at once. Here’s the maths:

We eat 4.5 steaks. Multiples of 4.5 are: 4.5; 9; 13.5; 18; 22.5; 27…

Packets contain 6 steaks. Multiples of 6 are: 6; 12; 18; 24; 30…

The first number which appears in both lists is 18. This means that it is possible to buy 18 steaks and divide it exactly by 4.5 to get meals for my family. 18 is the third number in the list of packets, so I buy 3 packets and it makes (18/4.5 = 4) four meals for my family.

What is the money saving, you ask? I generally buy 3 packets for £10, or £3.33 per meal. If I buy 3 packets and stretch it to 4 meals by freezing the extra then I pay £2.50 per meal, or you could consider it to be 3 meals at £3.33 and 1 free meal! Whichever sounds best to you!

However you do have to use freezer bags. I can buy 40 medium freezer bags for £1.50, which is 1.50/40 = 3.75 p each, and I would need three bags to freeze the extra steaks so 11.25 p. If we round that up to 12 p to be fair, £10.12 / 4 meals = £2.53 per meal. What is the saving? £3.33 – £2.53 = 80 p per meal. Does that sound worth it? Say we eat pork steaks every week. 80 p * 52 weeks = £41.60. That will buy you some Christmas presents!


Monday: Pork loin steaks with potato/sweet potato chips and veggies

Tuesday: Bolognese with pasta/buckwheat pasta

Wednesday: Pizza (recipe at bottom of post)

Thursday: Herb roasted chicken from Living Well Spending Less

Friday: Balsamic roast gammon in the slow cooker with potato/sweet potato chips, broccoli and carrots (I’ve worked out that this isn’t happening on Sunday because weekend days are out of routine and I forget to defrost the night before, so I’m moving it to Friday with lots of hope in my heart!)

Saturday: Eating with my parents

Sunday: Sausages in bread/coconut bread

I am linking up to Menu Plan Monday at OrgJunkie.

Menu Plan Monday