Cooking with Children Helps to Boost Learning Performance
© Beverley Paine
I am learning, rather belatedly, that the only way for me to remain motivated about cooking (and not feel resentful that in my adult family I am still the one who plans, shops and prepares most of the meals!) is to give myself plenty of time for preparation and cooking of meals. I have always left food preparation to the last minute - it's an area I've slotted into the 'chores' basket, rather than consider it a life-saving and soul nurturing task.
Food is an essential element of each and every day. The quality of our lives hinge on what we and how we eat. It is very important. Helping our children understand this and giving them the tools to take over the kitchen is, in my opinion, more important than educating our children!
If we made the planning, preparation and cooking of meals, together with cleaning up afterwords, a loving ritual that we shared with our children each day, I think we'd find that motivation. But we won't be able to do this if we are pushed for time, or make meal preparation a low priority on a daily basis. This is what I am finding, and finally correcting, in my life. Healthy eating helps make us happy people. Happy people have voracious learning appetites!
One resource I am finding useful is Mary Ann Kelly's Menu Planner from her website www.thehomeschoolmom.com/kitchen . Mary has a host of free resources, including the e-book Fast and Healthy Meals for Busy Women : Reliable Recipes for Busy Families , for homeschooling families.
If motivating ourselves to enjoy kitchen life is difficult, how can we interest and involve our children in the kitchen? One idea may be to try Laura Bankstown's Cooking With Kids System in a Box. Laura, a homeschooling mum, writes regularly on her blog Homeschool Cookbook. Be encouraged to get your children involved from an early age detailing developmental benefits with this by her in the Child Care Lounge.
The important thing to remember is that we're not alone with this issue - many homeschooling parents struggle to balance their daily workload and often it's mealtime planning and food preparation that loses it's sparkle. By networking with other parents we can more easily find solutions that suit our individual families.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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