Kindergarten Cow Unit - Vegan ideas?

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Kindergarten Cow Unit - Vegan ideas?

Unread post by lcm1 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:38 pm

Hey there! I've read the cow thread in MFWK ideas for this unit and haven't seen this addressed, so I thought I would reach out for ideas and brainstorm as well!

My family and I are vegans and eat an entirely plant-based diet. My 5 year old son is vegan by choice and loves people and animals with a passion (all of our extended family is NOT vegan and also most do not identify as Christians, so my son is well exposed to other beliefs/lifestyles :) and knows Jesus' love unites us all). The cow unit has me a little stumped as to how we can adapt it to how we eat and what we believe.

We make raw almond butter, raw almond milk, raw coconut milk from the water and coconut meat and more vegan goodies but that isn't really related to the cow. We could make our own vegan butter on Day 1, discuss cashew cheese and homemade cashew sour scream on Days 3 & 4, but that isn't really intertwined with the lesson/theme. I love love love how everything in My Father's World is integrated. My kindergartener really thrives from this format! I'm so thankful for this curriculum.

My son is educated about breastfeeding and how a mother's milk helps her baby, toddler, and child grow in many ways (physically, developmentally, emotionally). He also knows how a cow's breast milk is specially formulated to help a (on average) 65 lb baby cow grow into a 700 lb calf. We've talked about how God's design and breast milk for each animal is amazing. God knows exactly what a baby, human or animal, needs to grow big and strong.

Our local farms do not allow the baby cows to breastfeed from their mothers, so a field trip to a dairy farm isn't an option for us. I'd prefer to not fill this unit with supplemental/unrelated worksheets just to keep busy, so if anyone has any ideas please share! :)

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Re: Kindergarten Cow Unit - Vegan ideas?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:40 pm


You might try searching “dairy allergy” - even if not vegan, there are several of us who have to be dairy free, and have posted ideas.
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Re: Kindergarten Cow Unit - Vegan ideas

Unread post by lcm1 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:25 pm

Hey! Thanks for your reply! I actually searched and read the board for a couple hours before posting. I saw some ideas for families/children with dairy allergies, but I didn't see anything that cohesively goes along with the cow unit, only dairy substitutions for the foods and party. We can do this as well; however, making our own homemade vegan cheeses and butters isn't related to the cow.

My best idea so far is to turn the unit's focus on the special bond some animals have within their families, and how beautiful a calf's relationship is with his or her mother. Something along the lines of this- "The mother cow is able to provide breastmilk for her calf, which was specially formulated by God to be exactly what her calf needs to grow big and strong. God has written that he looks after the sparrow and we can know He watches after us too (maybe listen to the hymn as well). Just as God has provided for the baby cow, God provides nourishment for us. We need to cling to Him, our Heavenly Father. We need to be seeking our Father to receive nourishment for our souls. As we walk alongside Him, He will provide us with exactly what we need in this life." Then maybe go on a nature walk, just my kindergartener and I (without his two siblings) for some one-on-one time :) and relate this to how God wants one-on-one time with us as well and how important that is in our lives.

I just love how cohesive MFW is and my son thrives when things flow. He's absorbing every unit like a sponge. I love it! I'd love to come up with a way to keep the unit cohesive with the theme. I have a few supplemental materials but my son becomes easily distracted/bored with just doing worksheets. When the worksheets are related to the theme as a whole and take more of a Charlotte Mason approach, he's totally into it all.

Julie in MN
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Re: Kindergarten Cow Unit - Vegan ideas

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:08 pm

lcm1 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:25 pm
My best idea so far is to turn the unit's focus on the special bond some animals have within their families, and how beautiful a calf's relationship is with his or her mother.
I love your idea :)

I'm not sure if you've already started and have enough ideas, but I was reading about your situation and started thinking of ideas to expand on the unit.

For instance, maybe you could take the farm aspect and talk about jobs cattle have had on farms - especially back before tractors did all the heavy labor.

Or, you could expand on the cow family and just enjoying everything about the cows that God created -- learning the parts of a cow, different colors of cows, weight, lifespan, where on the planet they live, finding out why they moo (not sure if Temple Grandin's research on cows mooing would be too much about the beef industry), etc.

And I personally find it very cool that such a large animal can survive on grass - there's a creation lesson in there somewhere (Answers in Genesis might have something about large animals that don't eat meat). And there's a lot more I don't know about cows eating, such as how cows regurgitate their food a bunch of times.

To replace fun stuff like cooking and making butter, my go-to activity was always a skit or puppet show -- it could be about cows (and their babies). Or paint a big picture as a familiy of a cow scene or what you have learned about parts of a cow. I envision a party where you serve something that looks like a huge amount of grass :)

It could also be a time to discuss your family's stance on these things. I like this idea that you may have seen:
cbollin wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:51 am
I'd let it be a lesson about there is no substitute for the word of God even if there are substitutes for cows.
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Re: Kindergarten Cow Unit - Vegan ideas?

Unread post by TXGRL » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:49 am

If food helps your child connect to information, use the cheese and butter ideas you had above and use the opportunity to educate him on the source of their conventional counterparts, you would not believe how little people know about where their food comes from (I ran a produce co-op for awhile and seriously got a complaint about no strawberries in December when we focused on local in season produce, lol). And I love your idea about cow families and the other poster's idea about the jobs a cow can perform. Good luck!
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