Another real-life learning experience that we try to incorporate on a regular basis around here is cooking. Each day, I have a "helper of the day" who gets to help with special chores, gets to choose activities, etc. This was borne out of necessity of course, to prevent arguing. But, I'm sure that never happens at your house, right?! Anyway, the helper of the day usually has the opportunity to help out in the kitchen, often helping me to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am quite sure that, yes, it would be easier and quicker to do it without the little hands. But, the skills they learn and the time we spend together working at a common task (read: relationship building!)are well worth the increased time and effort! Today, the my son and I made this for breakfast:
French Toast Casserole
1 loaf of french bread
1/2 c of butter
2/3 c of brown sugar
cinnamon to taste
1 c of milk
1/2 t of salt
Melt butter in 9x9 pan. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over melted butter. Beat eggs, salt, and milk together in a bowl. Dip slices in egg mix. Place in pan and back at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Turn each slice over at 15 minutes).
We love this recipe and the helper and I decided to top the french toast slices off with peaches. What a hit! I have found so many benefits to having the children helping out in the kitchen this way. I mentioned a few of them above, but I also find that being more independent, more willing to take risks, and eager to help are a few added benefits. And also the children are learning so much about cooking, math, etc. while helping out.
Just another little bit of real life learning in our homeschool!