Our kitchen is the heart of our home. I love to cook and my husband comes home for lunch each day so we spend a lot of time there. We use our kitchen in the traditional ways for homeschooling as in using the kitchen table for our desks, but I thought I would share with you some of my non-traditional uses of our kitchen for our homeschool.
1. Science Experiments – We love turning our kitchen into a lab and watching salt crystals grow, growing plants, making homemade playdough, etc. Check out your library for some great books on experiments you can do in your kitchen using items you have around the house. We recently finished using this awesome unit on growing beans and corn and had loads of fun trying out experiments on growing things.
2. Cooking Together – Since I love to cook, I enjoy sharing that love of cooking with my kids. I have found that even my youngest can do some small task in the cooking process. I let them pull up chairs and help instructing them in cooking safety, food preparation, and healthy eating. It is much easier to do it myself, but I think the value of teaching my kids some life skills in the kitchen is worth the effort it takes to teach while I am cooking. A couple of days ago, we searched for a recipe to make our own Homemade Nesquik. I gathered the boys in the kitchen and taught the boys how to double and triple recipes. This turned out to be a great reinforcement in adding fractions. My oldest had just finished a unit on fractions and he was able to see how you can put that knowledge to practical use.
3. Table Time – We try to make it a point at some point in our day to all sit around the table together and have some devotional time in the Bible. Usually this is the way we start our homeschool day right after breakfast. We discuss what we have read, ask questions and spend time in prayer. We gather around the table most nights for meals and on Sunday night, we gather and have a family meeting sharing with each other and reading a devotional together.
4. Music and Dance – Our CD player is in the kitchen so we enjoy incorporating music and dance into our day. It can help us relax or relieve stress. This year we have been enjoying several great educational musical resources including Song School Latin, Rock, Rap and Tap CD, and Sing the Word: Great in Counsel and Mighty in Deed. We all like to dance and we find that chore time is always more fun when music is playing.
5. Chores – Work is part of life and the earlier that we can get this across to our kids, the better their attitude toward work will become. When work is expected of kids, according to their abilities, they learn that they are a vital part of how the family functions and it will strengthen their sense of purpose in the family. Our kitchen is chore chart central and I usually make a list on the whiteboard, or more recently, I have given them each a weekly checklist to complete. I feel that teaching my kids household chores is an integral part of our homeschool. If I prepare them intellectually for the real world, yet do not give them the practical life skills they need to run a household, we are missing out on an important part of the equation.
I hope that you were inspired by some of these ideas and if you would like to read more about how others homeschool in the kitchen, click on the link below.
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