“Back to School”- Never have these three words felt so … confusing. Every year, August is filled with some excitement and anticipation for parents and kids as the new school year approaches. Sure, there is a bit of sadness as we say goodbye to summer, but let’s be honest, after a few months of summer break, at least most parents are ready to get their kids back into the classroom.
This year, “back to school” has a whole new meaning. And we’re not really sure what that meaning is. No one is really going “back” to anything the way it was and everybody’s “back to school” will look different. As much as we try to focus on gratitude during these crazy times, we have to acknowledge the feelings of anxiety, confusion and sadness for many parents and kids when it comes to education in the time of Covid.
I definitely do NOT have solutions for academics during these times, but what I did want to share is one thing I have been doing and will continue to do as the new school year rolls around.
The kitchen is our classroom. Whenever I’m in the kitchen cooking, prepping or experimenting, the kids join me. I’m not the parent who can hover over zoom calls and check progress daily…(major props to those who can) but what I can do is cook and include my kids in the process. Cooking is math. Cooking is science. Cooking is creativity. Cooking is hypothesizing, taking calculated risks, problem solving, team work etc. … I could go on and on. It’s a place where learning is happening without the kids even knowing it. I love it!
- Try sorting and counting, find shapes and compare sizes
- Measure, use fractions ,and calculate ingredients using cups, spoons, scales etc.
- Compare temperatures using thermometers or just your senses
- Watch how food shape shifts from liquids to solids to vapor etc.
- Do certain veggies float or sink in water? Why? How about when you add salt?
- Plant an herb garden, take care of it and use the herbs in your meals
- Create chemical reactions just by adding yeast to bread dough for example
- Study crystals by making rock candy
- Plating as art and design
- Write down recipes with steps and instructions
The options are truly limitless and I guarantee you will find several concepts to teach your kids with every meal you cook. And if you don’t know the science behind something, just listen to your kids. They will notice something and make observations. And when they ask how or why something happens, don’t panic if you don’t have every answer. Ask our trusted friends Google or Siri! Take advantage of your online resources. I promise your kids will LOVE getting into the kitchen and getting involved. Not only is it educational and fun but they will also be more prone to eating food that they are involved in cooking. So get those kids into the kitchen! Trust me, it’s a win win for all. And perhaps when you hear the words “back to school” you will think of yummy recipes instead of dreaded zoom calls.