Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cookie Break

It was a cold, blustery spring day in Montana (in other words - today). Instead of sunshine and inviting gardening weather, it was dark, gloomy and snowing. So we did what any good homeschool family would do - we closed the books and made cookies instead!

Look at it as a field trip to the kitchen. Nothing enlivens the learning process like a change of pace, and the promise of chocolate. But of course, all was not lost (this is the part where the unschooling part of almost unschoolers takes over).

What did we learn from cookie making?

  • Reading Skills - reading a recipe is very different than reading a book. We studied new abbreviations, and learned how to navigate between the ingredient list and the instructions of a recipe.
  • Math Skills - measuring, estimating (how do you know you have 3/4 of a cup using a 1 cup measure?), metric conversion - as a discussion of the differences between Fahrenheit and Celsius broke out, multiplication - 4 rows of 3 cookies makes a dozen on the pan, story problems - if there are a dozen cookies per pan, and eight people in our family, how many pans of cookies will we need for everyone to have three cookies? And how long will it take to complete the baking at 10 minutes per pan?
  • Socialization - learning to work as a team, making sure that even the youngest members of the team have a useful function in the cookie making process.
  • Life Skills - as we rolled the extra dough into balls for freezing, we added that to our list of grocery savings for the week. We won't need the dough boy for a while.

Finally, throw in a paper craft for the little ones - circle cutting, to make cookies and chips to glue onto them. Finish off with a family story time involving cookies (of course we'd give one to a mouse!), which leads nicely into a story writing project to be worked on while eating fresh cookies, and forgetting entirely that we didn't get to go outside to play today. Not a bad day's work after all.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

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