Monday, March 28, 2016

5 days of homeschool tips: Day 1~kids in the kitchen

I am going to be spending this week sharing my homeschooling tips with you along with other bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review crew. It'll be 5 days, with a new post each day. Today I am sharing about cooking with kids. Some other tips I plan to share the rest of the week are: Art (squeezing it in), field trips, nature study, and living math. I hope I can provide something helpful to you with all this. Sometimes I still feel like I am the one needing all the tips, but I think I've got a few up my sleeve. I am looking forward to seeing what tips I can find this week as well! Ok, on with the cooking tips...


Kids are naturally drawn to the kitchen, even from a very young age. They see us Mom's in there and are very curious, so they pull the chair over to the counter to get a better look at what we're doing. Before you know it they are helping in their own little way. "I want to mix!", they say. All my kids have done this, and they still do even as they get older. 

Finding time to let the kids explore the kitchen is easy when you homeschool. Being home all (or most) day(s) gives many more opportunities to help with meals and snacks, and even be a little creative. In today's post I want to share some tips on how we incorporate cooking and meal preparation into our homeschool.

1. Go to the library and get some kids cookbooks
I have one child in particular who went through a time where this was all he checked out from the library for several months, but through the years all my kids have enjoyed doing this. There are plenty of amazing kids cookbooks out there. Some very educational. Some with great pictures. We have discovered a lot of great kids cookbooks by just checking them out first, and trying a few recipes. We have purchased a few that we've really liked too. Another option is to let the kids search pinterest.

This is a book we checked out when we saw how fun this book was from some reviews last year. I wanted to give it a try ourselves.

2. Look for specific homeschool cooking curriculum

When my daughter was about 8 years old we started this Lessons in Responsibility for Girls book. It is a great book with recipes, and details as to why things are done the way they are in the kitchen. This was a great start for us getting her in the kitchen cooking by herself, and only one example of a type of curriculum you could get. I am sure there are many other books and even online classes that could be a fun "class" for your homeschooler. We also just discovered a great free kids cooking course at My son did the first lesson recently, and he really enjoyed it.

Lessons in Responsibility for Girls Level 2.

3. Let them do most or even all of the work

Sometimes, if I can, I just sit back and let them do it all. As much as is safely possible. I am there at the table just giving them advice or direction if they don't know where something is. They love this! They also sometimes think they can't do it, but they can. You'll find that they can do it, and will do it if you just step back. It's hard to do sometimes, but I enjoy just sitting there watching them rule the kitchen, and I don't have to do much! I don't recommend this with real young children, although you can let them do quite a bit too. But, if your child has had some lessons on how to do things, and you feel like they can handle it, give them a chance. It's easy for us Mom's to "just do it quickly," well don't! Let them mix or pour, or crack the eggs. These are steps they need to learn too.

Aric did most of this recipe on his own!

4. Let them pick what they want to try, plan, make a list, and then take them to the store to buy the ingredients.

Most of my kids' desire to cook comes from their own excitement about trying a new recipe that they have found. When they are interested in something I tell them to make a list of the things they need, and then I make the effort to take them to the store. I usually let them try something even if it's something that I don't really want to make or deal with at the time. This is very hard! But, if they own it, they will do it, and I find that I usually don't have to do much myself (with the older kids, that is). There is a time and place for kids to cook and help when they don't necessarily want to, they can learn that too, but let them explore sometimes too.

We chose Black Hole Swallow-Ups for our recipe from this book.

5. Include them in all meal preparations throughout the day, or have it be a part of a unit study or lesson

We love to jump into the kitchen for a fun recipe that ties into our lessons, or as part of our Five in a Row units. Those are sometimes the most memorable moments with the kids in the kitchen. We also have to have lunch everyday, so that means that everyone can help in someway to get it on the table. My littlest guy, he just loves to chop, so I can usually give him a kid-safe knife, and have him prepare some fruit salad. I've had the kids scrub potatoes in a bowl at the table. They think that always great fun. Pick a task and let 'em go at it!

The result is always fun to see.

6. Watch some cooking shows!

This has to be one of our most favorite ways to include cooking into our homeschool. There are so many great kid friendly cooking shows. Even YouTube is loaded with some great cooking tutorials, and even videos of kids cooking themselves. We love to watch Alton Brown for the science behind the cooking. We've seen a few episodes of MasterChef Jr, but since we don't have cable it's not one we see too much of.  Watching these can be very inspiring to little chefs.


7. Try out a real live cooking class, or host one in your own home.

We've done both of these. Our local parks and rec has a kids cooking program, and we usually try to sign up for a class when it's available. The boys actually have one coming up here in April, and it'll be "Cinco de Mayo" recipes. Pretty fun. We have also gone to cooking classes in other people's homes where they offered a class. With a little planning and preparation I think it could be a hit for any homeschool Momma to offer a class in her home to a few kids.


These are just a few of the tips I had today for getting your kiddos in the kitchen while homeschooling. It really is one of the great benefits of homeschooling. It is great training ground for kids to learn to cook, eat healthy, and get to know more foods.
Want to see what other tips are being posted this week? Click on the image below, and it will take you to the list of all the other TOS crew members participating.

5 Days of Tips for Homeschooling Parents

Here are just a few of the bloggers that are joining in to give some great tips if you want a place to get started...

1 comment:

  1. We really need to work on this more. Thanks for the link to the cooking classes online!


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