Effects of learning to cook


Here are a few examples of a 5 year old child’s learning in 3 years of learning to cook. These demonstrations of learning are taken from her experience of preparing “apple kesaribath”, a South-Indian semolina pudding sweetened with apples.

  • She has learnt several topics of mathematics while measuring out ingredients – including basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction and multiplication for now), fractions, ratios. For this recipe, we needed 1/4 cup of semolina (rava) and double that quantity of water. She was able to accurately measure out a quarter cup of semolina, and then calculated that double of quarter cup would be half a cup. This demonstrates an understanding of multiplication.
  • She has demonstrated the spirit of scientific inquiry, through observation of reactions between different ingredients and application of different processes to ingredient. For example: what happens when heat (a process) is applied to applies (an ingredient, a fruit)? She observed that the apples turned from crispy to soft, became stickier, and changed in color from pale yellow to light brown. She observed that cooking apples caused steam, despite not adding water to the pot, and was curious to know why. She asked questions about these reactions, and learnt that apples contain juice (which upon heating produced steam) and sugar (which upon heating caused caramelizing that made the apples turn light brown).
  • While preparing this recipe, traditionally served along with a spicy semolina porridge called “upma” or “uppittu” in small street-side cafes called “Darshinis” in Bangalore, Karnataka, she demonstrated a desire to understand culture, asking us to tell us the story of the dish, where the dish comes from, and how to eat it.

These are just a few examples of how cooking integrates education across disciplines, in a manner that makes learning natural, engaging and integrated into real life!

Homeschooling Day 1

Today will mark day 1 of homeschooling.We’re hopeful, dare I say ambitious? 

Here is the schedule we have put together for ourselves: 

Time

Ananya’s Activity

8:00-9:00

Breakfast

9:00-10:00

Call grandparents / Read

10:00-10:30

Shower, pooja

10:30-11:00

Writing activities – workbook – alternate between Language and Math

11:00-12:00

Learning activities – alternate between Science and Arts

12:00-1:00

Lunch

1:00-2:00

TV

2:00-4:00

Reading / Playtime

4:00-4:30

Milk / Snack

4:30 – 6:15

Outdoor time (if weather permits) OR Game time OR Exploration time (music/dash dot/ pick a topic)

6:15-7:00

Dinner

7:00-7:30

Call grandparents

7:30-8:15

Reading

So this is our ambitious timetable. As the week unfolds, it will be interesting to see how much of the schedule is replaced with screen-time. However, my daughter is great at self-regulating and doesn’t do well with a lot of screen-time. The thing she is truly going to miss is playing with her friends, but right now it’s all about the bigger picture. She’s been a champ at understanding the impact of coronavirus and COVID-19. She’s read through / watched clips including this one from Washington Post, and the episode “How do people catch a cold?” from Storybots. More on this in another post. 

Some notes on my homeschooling philosophy/curriculum: 

  1. I shall ensure my teachings align with Common Core and NGSS as applicable, and continue to work on developing A’s critical thinking abilities. 
  2. I intend to follow an integrated approach to her learning. This means that I will try to develop simple projects and activities to do at home which will guide her learning in Math, Language and Science. In this regard, cooking and baking remains a favorite especially considering we are confined to home, but we’ll see what else we can come up with. 
  3. My biggest challenge so far is possibly incorporating a Montessori approach to her Math lessons. 

Signing off for now. Wish us luck!