This was our first unit study of the 2017-2018 school year! It was pretty intensive and demanded quite a bit of my own time due to all the kitchen activities, but my children are also barely kindergarten age, so older kids (and their moms!) will have an easier time than we did. It was still great fun!
In our dairy unit, we learned about how milk comes from cows, the process of bottling it, how cows live, and the many products that can be made from milk. We also learned about bacteria, culturing and fermentation, chemical changes and states of matter, fat, traditional storage of butter due to lack of refrigeration, and pottery.
This article originally appeared on my old blog, Townsley Times. If you came here looking for this particular article but thought you were going to a different site, never fear, you’re actually in the right place. 🙂
Number of days: 7 to 8
Subjects covered: math (M), science (S), social studies (SS), art (A), home ec (H)
Field trip: dairy farm or dairy processing plant
Subunit 1: butter
- make butter from cream in a mason jar (M, S, H)
- learn about butter crocks (also called French butter keepers) and that butter is a fat (S, SS, H)
- YouTube making a butter keeper with clay (A; I originally wanted to make one ourselves but the difficulty of getting the two pieces to fit together properly and finding food safe materials stopped me)
Here’s some fun we had making butter:
Subunit 2: yogurt
- make yogurt in Instant Pot (M, S, H)
- make milk and water kefir (M, S, H)
- discuss probiotics vs pathogens (S)
- YouTube pasteurization, discuss pros and cons, watch videos of entire milk process (S)
Subunit 3: cheese
- make mozzarella (M, S, H)
- make cheese curds (M, S, H; you can make a DIY cheese press or purchase one if you want to age your cheese)
- YouTube making a cheddar and making a cheese press at home (S, H)
Subunit 4: ice cream
- use our yogurt to make frozen yogurt in ice cream machine (M, S, H)
- make ice cream in machine (M, S, H)
- YouTube grassfed cows (S)
We use the library, but I’m providing Amazon links so you can read reviews first and purchase if desired.
Please see my YouTube playlist “Homeschooling 2017-2018” for a full playlist of curated material for our unit studies as we do them! The dairy videos are right at the beginning.
- Mozzarella kit (contains supplies needed for both mozzarella and cheddar such as rennet, thermometer and butter muslin)
- Yogurt cultures
- Kefir cultures (I was not happy with this product and will use milk or water kefir grains next time instead)
- Mesophilic starter for cheddar
- Ice cream machine (you do not need one but it makes for a better consistency, otherwise just put the prepared base into a container and freeze, I like the rectangular flat 1qt plastic ware for this)
- Butter keeper
- Butter directions
- Yogurt (incubated in Instant Pot, there are other ways to incubate)
- Cheese curds instructions
- Cherry chocolate chip frozen yogurt
- Chocolate ice cream
PIN IT FOR LATER!