Friday, 27 May 2016

How To Make Strawberry Shortcake

This week's topic for the Unit Study Roundup is Strawberries and we decided to make Strawberry Shortcake for this. My DD really loves eating strawberries.

I found a recipe from

For your convenience, I am copying it here:

YIELD 12-16 scones UNITS US

2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar (use 1/3 for slightly sweeter scones)
2⁄3 cup milk

Heat oven to 425°F (220 Celsius).
Put flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl; stir mix well Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine granules.
Add sugar; toss to mix.
Add milk and stir with a fork until dough forms.
Form dough into a ball and turn smooth side up.
Pat or roll into a 6 inch circle.
Cut each circle into 6 or 8 wedges.
Place wedges on an ungreased cookie sheet- slightly apart for crisp sides, touching for soft.
sprinkle desired amount of cinnamon and sugar on each scone.
Bake about 12 minutes, or until medium brown on top.

Here are some photos of the mixing and rubbing process

After we added the milk, the mixture looked like this:

I got them ready for the oven and decided not to do the traditional round scones and instead made them into wedges or triangles (we had a My Little Pony friend join us for this stage):

And finally after the scones were out of the oven, we topped them with fresh strawberries and whipped cream (squirty cream) and this is the final work of art:

Now there is just one thing left to do and that is to tuck in! Happy eating everyone :-)

Please do read the posts from the other bloggers who have blogged on strawberries this time:

Find the Letter: S is for Strawberries from 3 Boys and a Dog

Strawberries Nature Study from The Usual Mayhem

Strawberry and Gardening Books for Kids from CraftCreateCalm

Fun & Easy Strawberry Paper Craft with Handprint Stem from Crafty Mama in ME

Strawberry Number Recognition Free Printable from Something 2 Offer

Strawberry Moon Outdoor Activities for Kids from FrogMom

How To Make Strawberry Shortcake from Tales of Education at Home

Strawberry Picking Sight Word Game from Books and Giggles

Strawberry Friends Printable Student Planner Free Pages from Look! We're Learning!

S is for Strawberry Letter Maze from Simple Fun for Kids

How to Make Strawberry Lemonade from The Jenny Evolution

Preschool Strawberry Math from Schooling a Monkey

Friday, 20 May 2016

Memorial Day - A Day to Remember

I am a Canadian and I live in the United Kingdom. I find it interesting to learn about the different holidays that each country has. In America, people are getting ready for Memorial Day weekend. What does that look like in other countries? Is there such a holiday or celebration?

I decided to ask my good friend Google about Memorial Day and I was surprised to learn that different countries have different days to observe their equivalent. Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died while serving their country in the Armed Forces.

In Australia and New Zealand, they celebrate ANZAC Day. ANZAC is the name that was given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers. They landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918). There is a commemorative service at dawn on the 25th of April because that is the time they landed in 1915.

In Canada there are two days, one is Remembrance Day which is observed on the 11th of November (11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) and another day is Vimy Ridge Day. That is a relatively new day and people only started observing that in 2003. It is an unofficial day. Vimy Ridge day is on the 9th of April. Canadians remember their lost soldiers from the Battle of Vimy Ridge from WWI.

Remembrance Day is a Commonwealth of Nations celebration and takes place on 11th of November. It is also known as Poppy Day (for obvious reasons). It evolved out of Armistice Day which is also on 11th November. Armistice Day commemorates the armistice of WWI (11th November 1918) An armistice is a formal agreement of warring parties to stop fighting.

In the Netherlands, they have Dodenherdenking which is on 4th of May. The royal family attends a ceremony held at the national monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam and at 8 p.m., the entire country grinds to a halt for two minutes in respect to those who died in wars or peacekeeping missions. Public transportation doesn't run and television and radio stations don't broadcast anything. It was orignally intended to honour those who were killed in WWII but now has evolved to be a day to honour the fallen from all wars. The Dutch also celebrate Liberation Day on 5th of May and that is a day to celebrate the Canadian Army (largely the Canadian Army) freed the Netherlands from Nazi occupation in WWII. It was an event that was celebrated every five years, however, since 1990 it is an annual celebration.

In Germany, there is a day called Volkstrauertag (literally Peoples' Sadness Day). This day was intended to be a day to remember those who died in WWI and there was a misunderstanding of how to go about observing it and it turned into Heldengedenktag, the Day of Commemoration of Heroes or a day of hero worship. This ended in 1945 and in 1948 Volkstrauertag was brought back to be observed with the original intent.

In France, they celebrate Victory Day which is a day to mark the end of WWII and the end of the Nazi occupation of France. It is a day that is celebratory and also a day of remembering those who died during WWII. It became an official national holiday in 1982 and is celebrated on 8th of May. It is the anniversary of when Charles de Gaulle announced the end of World War II in France on May 8, 1945.

I found lots of references to Armed Forces days in many countries, but I decided to focus on a few countries for this post as I didn't want to overwhelm people.  :-)

I have personally taken part in Remembrance Sunday which is the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day (11th November). I play in a brass band, and we as a band march to collect the troops and we march with them around a one mile block to the Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph. We accompany the everyone while they are singing hymns. At the end of the service, we march with the troops back to the place where we collected them from. It is a very moving experience to stand and look out at all of the troops. There are Cubs, Scouts, Sea Cadets, Army Cadets, and the serving Armed Forces along with the veterans. It is truly a sight to behold when I look out and see the sea of personnel and spectators. I count it as an honour to have the privilege of playing in that brass band on that Sunday.

Through writing this post, I have learned that so many countries have their own special Memorial Day or Day of Remembrance. Here is a photo of a poppy that I took when I was in France:

This is part of the Unit Study Roundup and the topic is Memorial Day. Please take some time to read the posts from the other members of this roundup:

Memorial Day Preschool Cutting Practice from 3 Boys and a Dog

How to Make a DIY Patriotic T-Shirt from Crafty Mama in ME

Ripped Paper Star Wreath Craft For Kids from Play Dough & Popsicles

Top 10 Outdoor Activities for Kids for Memorial Day Weekend from FrogMom

Memorial Day Books for Children from The Jenny Evolution

Memorial Day - A Day to Remember from Tales of Education at Home

Red, White and Blue Craft for Kids from CraftCreateCalm

F is for Flag Handwriting Letter Mazes from Simple Fun for Kids

Memorial Day Worksheet from Schooling a Monkey

Memorial Day Word Search from Something 2 Offer

Friday, 13 May 2016

Frogs of the Rainforest

We recently did a Geography project on the Amazon Rainforest for our local History/Geography Group. We started out with a lapbook that we bought from homeschool bits on Currclick (not an affiliate link). We read all about the different layers and learned about what the climate is like. We also learned about deforestation.

We made a diorama of the Amazon Rainforest that I found here from Confessions of a Homeschooler. It is a very effective way of showing the four layers of the rainforest. Here is our diorama (complete with a Barbie researcher hanging from the vines):

We decided to delve further into the rainforest by turning this into a complete topic by looking at how other subjects can be covered by on this topic. Today I am going to share some resources on the different varieties of frogs that live in Rainforests.

Here is a nice post about some Amazon Rainforest frogs and there is a photo of each frog listed along with some information about them in bullet point form: Amazon Rainforest frogs

The Amazon Horned Frog is rather interesting because the female is larger than the male and they are very aggressive and territorial. The villagers who live in the area have to wear high leather boots to protect themselves! The tadpoles are aggressive from birth and fight each other in the water. has some great facts about the Amazon Horned Frog.

We were at our local vivarium and saw some of the poison dart frogs that they have there. There are at over 200 species of poison dart frogs or poison arrow frogs. Their name comes from the toxic secretions they ooze through their skin. Indigenous tribes have been known to coat the tips of their hunting darts with the poison from them. Poison frogs are poisonous because of the spiders, beetles, ants, centipedes, termites and other insects that make up their diet. If these frogs are in captivity and fed a different diet, they are not poisonous.

Here is a really nice webpage that you can look at for some of the species of poison dart frogs.

I thought this video of the top 12 weirdest frogs was also interesting to look at. I think they started out doing a top 10 and then found two more that they liked :-)

If you have always wanted to learn how to draw a tree frog, here is the perfect video tutorial for you!

Grandma got in on the action and designed and printed some tree frogs with her 3D printer. They are actually Christmas tree ornaments (hence the ribbons around their necks):

This is part of the Unit Study Roundup and this week's topic is Frogs.

Here are the links to the other blog posts in the roundup:

Find the Letter F is for Frogs from 3 Boys and a Dog

Frog Life Cycle Free Printables from Natural Beach Living

Frog Books for Preschool from Look! We're Learning!

Frog Anatomy Worksheets from Living Life and Learning

Frog Hop Activity from CraftCreateCalm

Make a Fun Handprint and Footprint Tissue Paper Frog from Crafty Mama in ME

Free Resources for Frog Life Cycle from Something 2 Offer

5 Easy Frog Exercise Moves for Kids from FrogMom

Children's Books Featuring Frogs from The Jenny Evolution

Frogs of the Rainforest from Tales of Education at Home

Frog Theme Color Words Book {free printable} from Books and Giggles

Recycled K Cup Frog Craft and Skip Counting Activity from Artsy Momma

Frog Life Cycle for Kids {Printable Set} from The Natural Homeschool

Lots of Learning and Fun with Frogs Sensory Bin from Living Montessori Now

Frog Race Graphing Game from Simple Fun for Kids

Poison Frog activity from Schooling a Monkey

Non-fiction Frog Emergent Readers from Royal Baloo

Interactive Frog Life Cycle App for Kids from iGameMom

Frog Writing Prompts from The Usual Mayhem

Friday, 6 May 2016

Community Helpers In The UK

I live in the United Kingdom and there are different people who help the public. What is a community helper? According to the site: Community Helper
A community helper is someone who takes an active part in making their neighbourhood a better place to live. They give some of their spare time for free in order to have a say, make a difference or to give something back. In the process they learn new or hone existing skills, meet new people and gain a wealth of experience. Becoming a community helper is a win-win situation for everyone.

There are really interesting opportunities for volunteering in the community and I have learned a lot from doing research for this post. I was really surprised to learn that it is possible to volunteer for the police force.

You can volunteer for the police by using IT skills by watching CCTV footage, or updating websites, you can help process fingerprints or help with the Speed Watch initiative. You can also help as an office or admin volunteer at the station.

If you have gained enough experience volunteering for the police force, you can eventually apply to be a Special Constable. A Special Constable does not have the same powers as the police (they can't arrest people) but they do help to make the most of police resources.

It is also possible for young people to serve as volunteer cadets. They can get practical experience and training and make an informed decision abou pursuing a career in the police force. This opportunity also helps to channel young people away from crime. In the UK you cannot apply for a career in law enforcement if you have a criminal record.

There are also organisations around the country that help people when they move to an area. Home Start is a charity/organisation that helps families who are going through a difficult time. They will support someone emotionally or practically with issues that they might have.

I have personally volunteered in my community in a few different ways. One of the ways that I volunteer is with a local youth brass band. I sit and support beginners either by playing the music along with them, or by pointing to the notes they need to play. I also write down valve fingerings or slide positions for them.

Sometimes it happens that people have trouble with 'Officialdom' and in that case, there is an organisation that is called Citizens Advice Bureau also known as the CAB (C - A - B - not cab). The people who work there are volunteers and they help local residents with all manner of problems including but not limited to working with the Local Authority, landlord and tenancy disagreements, benefit claimants who have had their benefits cut off or are trying to apply for benefits.

People can also volunteer to teach adults some skills that they didn't get when they were in school, skills such as literacy and numeracy. There is also the option to teach adults Skills for Life. One of my friends teaches adults how to cook a particular genre of food. These teaching opportunities are often offered through the Local Authority or a local college (a place that 16 - 18 year olds go for their Grade 11 and 12 equivalent in the UK).

There are so many ways to volunteer in the local community, what opportunities do you have where you are?

This blog post is part of the Unit Study Blog Roundup on Community Helpers. Please do see what the other bloggers have posted by clicking on the links below the picture:

Community Helpers Letter Find Worksheets from 3 Boys and a Dog

Spanish Community Helpers Printable Pack from Look! We're Learning!

Teaching Preschoolers about Community Helpers from CraftCreateCalm

Teaching Children to Appreciate Community Helpers from Crafty Mama in ME

How Kids Can Help In The Community from Play Dough & Popsicles

Fire Station Tour from Something 2 Offer

Community Service Books from The Jenny Evolution

Community Helpers in the UK from Tales of Education at Home

Community Helpers Graphing Game from Simple Fun for Kids

Community Helper Learning Toys from Brain Power Boy

Community Helper SuDoKu from Royal Baloo

Community Helper Game from Schooling a Monkey