Tuesday 12 March 2013

Day 2 - Schooling in the Kitchen

The culinary arts are generally an over looked valuable resource in home educating. We are often focused on the academic achievements of our students, in order that they are able to access tertiary education, that we forget to arm them for real life. The future generations are losing the ability to cook wholesome food and our daughters don't know how to prepare healthy home cooked meals or stock a pantry.

Last year Sir N and I delighted in watching Junior MasterChef. The thing that struck me time and time again was the young ages of the contestants.  The 12 who made the final selection in Season One ranged in age from 9 - 12 years old.  These young people had definitely not learned to cook in the month before starting on the show.  I was impacted by their passion and the knowledge of their skill shone through.  How did these children get here ?

It starts here
Real life kitchen learning starts in the preschool years when we buy all those cute play sets and allow them to play in the sand pit and bath. Repetitive play at this stage reinforces and refines the fine motor skills needed to work safely in a kitchen.

 Once they have attained a certain level of prowess progress to the kitchen with child safe instruments and allow them to cut soft foods (banana, avocado, bread, etc) and help make lunch. Most importantly get them helping you to clean up the kitchen after they have finished.

As they grow taller and depending on the height of your benches expand your children's repertoire in the kitchen to helping cook dinner.  Remember to take them from being spectators to participators and onto creators in your kitchen. 

Life Lessons in your Kitchen
Sarah over at My Joy Filled Life gives a comprehensive breakdown of subjects your children can learn in your kitchen.  The ideas are endless and only limited to your imagination. The most important thing to remember is to keep it fun and enjoy the process.
  • Reading - Recipe's, Ingredient lists on products,
  • Language Arts - Learn about the abbreviations used in cooking and science
  • Math skills - Budgeting, Measuring, Multiplying,
  • Science - Chemical Reactions, Density, 
  • Home Economics - Meal planning, Storage, Cleaning, Storing food appropriately
  • Biology - Parts of an animal in cutting meat, 
  • Safety - Using equipment Safely, 
  • Geography - Find recipes of traditional foods of the country you are studying
  • History - Find out how food was prepared and what was eaten in the era you are studying and try it out.
  • Gardening - Grow your own herbs on the windowsill.
  • Art - decorate biscuits, make a ginger bread house, etc
  • Gift Giving - cooking a meal for a friend in need, baking biscuits for the elderly, etc

On the www
Since it's close to Easter we decided to bake an Easter Egg Rainbow Sponge Cake.  Sir N loved seeing what would happen with the colours and all the taste testing. . .


Beverley Paine
"Children love learning until we kill that love by insisting on teaching when they are already busy learning. Be mindful of what our children are learning when we get that urge to teach - let's learn how they learn optimally and tune into that and help them learn what we want them to learn as well as what they naturally go about learning themselves" - Beverley Paine

How do you apply Delight Directed learning in your Kitchen ?


This post is part of a week of blog hopping hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew: 5 Days of Teaching Creatively Day TWO

5 Days of Teaching Creatively
Day 2
  1. Delight Directed Instruction
  2. Schooling in the Kitchen
  3. Toy's, Games & Puzzles
  4. Homeschooling in a Crisis
  5. Hands on Projects

Don't forget to enter the Teaching Creatively Giveaway.  Pop on over to Ben and Me to enter in order to win one of three prize packs. (1st prize $525 value, 2nd prize $225 value and 3rd prize $190 value)

**Images from Free Digital Photo's: Child playing with Kitchen Utensil - Stuart Miles, Senior Chef Teaches Young Chef To Cut - Marin

Here are some more posts by homeschool moms with ideas about Schooling in the kitchen


  1. I never knew of the junior master chef show. I'll be watching it later. :)

    Annette @ A Net In Time

  2. Great post and resource Chareen! Thanks for mentioning my post!



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