Friday, 16 January 2015

Button it up!

World War II propaganda.  For better or for worse, the British government used propaganda for many reasons and we took a look at some of their slogans and adverts they used.

Make do and Mend

We had a brainstorming session to create new slogans. 

The Boy drew a great picture of an evacuee at the beach.  

After lunch the children worked on Spanish, English and Maths.

And in our History of Britain book we read about Charles II re-taking the throne following his 11 years of exile, during the rule of Oliver Cromwell.

We finish the week with two Ballet Classes and some chocolate for Mummy!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Sweet Rations and Tap Dancing

1940s sweet rations.  

What better way to understand this than head to a nearby traditional sweetshop and order 4oz of sweets each, which was a child's weekly sweet ration during WWII.

A fun way to start the morning!

We burned off the sugar at the park under a beautiful January sky.

The Boy had an injection at the doctor's just before lunch which upset him a fair amount, so we set up a sweet shop for an extra bit of fun this afternoon.

The children used their ration books to order their sweets.

Paper bags made out of tissue paper.

Science and Spanish happened later this afternoon before two lessons of Tap and Modern dancing for this gorgeous girl.

Monkey Girl made her speciality shortbread.

And Sea Cadets for the two eldest.


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Tales from World War II

Our elderly neighbour spent a while with us this morning, drinking tea and recounting stories from when she was a young girl in World War II.  Wow.  Just wow.

We heard how she unintentionally picked up and then dropped a shell that was still warm. After an inspection by the local warden it was found to be still active and had to be detonated.

She is still moved by the sight of Lancaster Bombers after seeing them battered and low in the skies, trying to make it back to base after a night flight over Germany.

She pointed out some local fields where two aeroplanes tragically crashed after not making the flight home, mortally wounding all the crew.

And the stories about rationing: Queueing one day outside the local shop for an orange, which was such a rare treat that they ate the peel too; Her mother had an allotment for all their fruit and vegetables to supplement their weekly rations; Breeding and eating rabbits; Craving sweet food; Deciding how to spread the food allowance: use the sugar for jam or for cake?  

Baking was done on Sundays in batches, ready for the week.

Her father was away for four years as a solider in Belgium and her mother took in washing from around the village to have a steady, albeit small income, as the government pay was not always reliable.

She hid under the table with her dog after hearing a guided Doodlebug and she remembers the blackouts and search lights in the sky, looking for enemy planes. How unbelievably terrifying.

It was an informative and moving morning for us all.

Later, we made carrot biscuits using a wartime ration recipe:

1 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoons sugar + a little extra
A few drops vanilla flavouring
4 tablespoons grated raw carrot
6 tablespoons Self Raising flour (or plain flour + a half teaspoon of baking powder).

 Method: Cream the fat and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the flavouring and carrot.
Fold in the flour.
Form mixture into about 12 or 15 small balls.
Place each ball on a baking tray and flatten.
Sprinkle with sugar and bake in a brisk oven for 20 minutes.

After lunch the children enjoyed their outside play so much that I let them play out there for over two hours in the freezing cold after which they got ready for three Gym classes and Tap and Modern Dancing.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Rations and Football

In 1940 Britain created the Ministry of Food and rationing began.  It didn't end until nine years after the end of the war.  The children made their own ration books and national registration identity cards.

The Boy made one for his most special Blankey and he even measured his 'height' to have all the correct information in his national registration identity card.

We measured out a weekly ration for an adult.  1 egg and 50g of cheese is not much at all.  Goodness.

After lunch the children worked solidly for two hours on English, Science and Spanish.

 Panda Girl had Grade 3 Ballet this afternoon.  The Boy was Star of the Day at Football!  And Ballet Girl and Panda Girl had an hour of Inter Foundation Ballet.

Monday, 12 January 2015

World War II and Evacuees

Moving through our 20th Century thematic unit we have paused on World War II.  

We have some super memorabilia from my maternal grandparents who were in the RAF and WAAF.

I set out lots of posters, propaganda, newspapers, articles, government leaflets, and photos for the children to look through in the morning.

And we commenced with the early 1939 pre-war precautions: evacuating the children and providing gas masks in case of gas attack.

The children dressed as evacuees and packed their suitcases (one set of clothes, teddy, book, biscuits and gas mask).  Unbeknownst to them I had pre-arranged with my sister to drive to hers and offload them as evacuees in her lovely, grand, old house.  They were unsure of our destination and we talked about how this must have been how the evacuees felt.

They had fun role-playing in her empty upstairs rooms.

After lunch the kiddies worked on Maths, Spanish and English...

 ...And The Boy drew a super dinosaur!

Monday afternoons are for Trampolining and Sea Cadets.