Home-schooling can be a mixed bag, and I would know – I was home-schooled way before any pandemic (totally hipster of me). If you are doing NCEA, you don’t get the fun TV channel, but that doesn’t mean assessments have to be an impossible grind. I’m a big fan of procrasti-learning, where a fun thing you do links to the work you are avoiding (which makes the work easier to understand and more appealing). You can keep up your school-work while learning a new and interesting hobby, and today I will demonstrate using bell ringing.

Bell ringing is a totally-out-of-the-box hobby from England. While usually bell ringing takes place in a tower or using small hand-bells, ringers have moved online while our towers have shut and we cannot meet in groups. What it involves is ringing any number of bells from the lightest and highest to the heaviest and lowest note, then switching the order (often in a specific pattern called a method). And you can learn math, physics, music, and history while you do it!

Here’s how you do it: I’ve organised resources by subject. No matter what level of NCEA you are at, you’ll find something interesting. If you are stuck for ideas for English, remember you can use this as a jumping-off point for most standards. I recommend starting with the general Math and Science resources first, even if you just look at the first three, because it gives a good basis in what’s going on with ringing.

Math and Science | Music | History | General Resources
Now, how about actually ringing? There are apps and websites to learn solo as well as a website to ring with friends or experienced ringers. I’ve also added contact details so you can find out about virtual practices and network with your local tower.

Learning apps:

– Apps to start ringing and learning (includes a website too, and iPhone and Android resources) – 
– Ring with others:
– Ideally use Chrome and a PC for this.
– If on your own, challenge yourself to do Plain Hunt Minimus ringing all four bells.

Australia & New Zealand Association of Bellringers and tower contacts:
Wellington –
Auckland –
Hamilton –The website is undergoing maintenance, but you can contact Mary Sluter at [email protected] and Wendy Tyrrell at [email protected]
Christchurch – email [email protected] 

Also, check out the development of the transitional ringing facility:
Dunedin – email [email protected]

Some towers have virtual practices, so even if you don’t live close to a tower, let them know you want to ring!

I hope you get as much out of it as I do. The beauty of school from home is you can work through the resources and your assignments at your own pace. Remember we all learn better when we are having fun! So have fun, stay safe, and be kind (including to yourself!).

Mackenzie is Tearaway’s resident evil Aspie queen. Mwahaha! She’s dead set on becoming a geneticist, but she’s interested in other things too. Like Sims, cats, owls, Sims, books, music, Sims, Ancient Roman life, Latin, Sims…