This is a bit of a blow because not only do I hate it, I’m not very good at it either – can even burn boiled eggs. The kids were excellent though and we did quite a bit when they were home schooling.
Cooking is underrated in educational terms. It still has that old stigma of domesticity about it, like the term ‘domestic science’ had at school years ago; a subject little better than gender stereotyping for girls. Grooming them to be housewifey whilst the boys did macho things with wood and metal.
Thankfully time’s moved on and celebrity chefs have also helped put a stop to that image. Have you noticed how cooking is considered worthwhile now the men have started doing it!
But twisted bitterness aside cooking is a valuable educational activity. It is an essential part of learning about yourself and being responsible for your diet and health. If better credit was given to it in schools we perhaps wouldn’t have so many overweight, potential parents, who think existing on a diet of salt, sugar and fat is okay. We’d also have better understanding of our food, where it comes from and gratitude to the earth for providing it.
Also, the activity of cooking crosses so many educational subjects it’s hard to define them all; research, reading, interpreting recipes, following directions, use of measurement, estimation, number, time, knowledge of food, food groups, geographical sources, biology and nutrition, practise of many practical skills as well as thinking, decision making…etc. It covers English, Maths, Science, IT, geography and history, if you’re clever with your discussions. So do include it in your home school days if you don’t already.
I think it was actually homeschooling that taught me how to cook, because I wanted the children to understand about food and how to feed themselves well. Plus make the occasional celebratory cake.
As I slap ingredients together now I remember how long it took to cook together and how patient I had to be. Today, I chucked things in the oven in a much more haphazard way and, thankfully, out come the most delicious brownies ever. Ironically this is thanks to my daughter who still does some baking for herself now living away from home and who put me onto the Jamie Oliver recipe. (Find it here).
Of course there is an advantage now – being a bit of a pig with a sweet tooth I get to eat them all myself.
Or is that an advantage, says she, feeling a little sick and catching sight of her waistline!