girl doing homeschool

Using Kids Cook Real Food with Your Homeschool Curriculum | Homeschool Cooking Class

Home economics classes have plummeted in the last decade, to the point where I’m thrilled if I hear of any school that offers cooking in their curriculum.

Homeschooling, of course, is a perfect opportunity to teach what you want to your kids and make your own priorities.

For many families life skills, like learning to cook, are a very important part of their homeschool curriculum. Although it’s certainly possible to integrate cooking into other subjects and throughout the week, many families find it helpful to have a little more structure. This ensures that their kids learn to cook and that part of the curriculum doesn’t accidentally get skipped over. Life gets busy!

Here at Kids Cook Real Food, we know about half of our student families are homeschooling. They know how to use curriculum and specifically sought out the best cooking curriculum for their homeschool plans.

Many moms tell me how wonderful it is for their kids to hear something in a subject from someone other than their mom. (This is true for non-homeschoolers, too!)

homeschooling mom and son

Our homeschool cooking curriculum is perfect for any number of kids, all ages, and pretty much any way you like to structure your homeschool week. A homeschool mom says, “I could tell there was a lot of intentional thought and planning behind the course to make it as easy as possible to make it work in real life …. Structured, but flexible … just how I like my curriculum!”

Recently I asked some of our homeschooling moms how they like to use Kids Cook Real Food to teach their kids to cook during their homeschool day. They gave such great ideas that I had to share them with you all.

Your Kids Need Life Skills

It’s up to us parents to prepare our kids for the real world. Get a free family pass to the #LifeSkillsNow Summer Camp!

#LifeSkillsNow Summer Camp

Free Virtual Summer Camp June 13-17, 2022

Prepare your kids for life with solid skills for living that aren’t taught in school!

LEARN MORE & SIGN UP HERE

How Do You Incorporate Cooking into Your Homeschool Academic Curriculum?

Because cooking so easily connects with math, geography, science, history, and more, our members had some great ideas for integration into what you’re already teaching. Most of them taught our classes separately but made sure their kids had practice through other ways. For example:

Math Skills in Cooking

Our members incorporate cooking into the following math skills (and vice versa):

  • fractions
  • grocery shopping
  • checking price points
  • adding and subtracting with money
  • ratios
  • and more!

Amber’s seven-year-old loves math so much that he’s actually disappointed if they use a recipe without having to convert to a larger batch size. What a perfect way to teach ratios, fractions, multiplication, etc.

For younger kids, of course, kitchen time has lots of counting, putting items in size order, and beginning to understand volume through experience. These are all math mindsets that will help them later.

The Science of Cooking for Homeschoolers

Cooking (baking in particular) incorporates all sorts of science. In fact, in our Holiday Baking Challenge, we do some serious science investigations using baking soda, salt, and yeast to teach kids a little bit of the science behind putting their muffins in the oven.

Lisa Clark lets her kids do lots of experiments in the kitchen as well. Remember that any time your kids are making hypotheses and testing them, they are practicing the scientific method, whether you call it science or breakfast

mother and son doing homeschool

History and Geography Integrate with Cooking

Many of our members share beautiful pictures of food that they’ve made from locations or times in history that they’re studying during their homeschool week.

I’ve seen a Guatemalan food celebration for the end of a unit, bread, and challah from many countries in Europe, and even one student with a goal to start a sourdough baking business! And, of course, all these skills translate wonderfully for kids with an entrepreneurial mindset (hint hint).

As you study various countries and times in history, I highly recommend integrating a recipe or two from those locations into your meal plan. Be sure to have the kids involved in the creation. Books that discuss the significance of that food to the culture you’re studying are very easy to find at the library.

The International Cookbook for Kids is a wonderful, highly rated resource often celebrated amongst our homeschool families.

Stay safe in the sun, with reef-safe sunscreens

Over the last decade+, I’ve personally tested over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, my standards are very high, and nothing I recommend is considered dangerous to coral reefs.

My top recommended tier with only around a dozen winners is where you really should be spending your time. These formulas are held to the highest standard with rigorous government testing.

Ingredients refined to perfection that most of the time you could practically eat and efficacy and performance tested by the Kimball family in the field.

Find all my reviews of safe sunscreen that works here!

raw elements sunscreen

If you’re looking for the best reef-safe sunscreen, simply start there. Here’s a list of some of my ultimate favorites.

  • Kōkua Suncare with tons of antioxidants and my kids’ favorite scent and application (use the code KS for 15% off from Kōkua’s online store!)
  • 3rd Rock Essentials rubs in well and reliably prevents burns in our tests (use the code KITCHENSTEW for 20% off!)
  • Raw Elements for so many reasons, including their tinted stick for adult faces (all styles, use KS10 for 10% off!)
  • Maelove, which I call the best “transition” sunscreen when moving away from chemical ‘screens
  • Others that make the top-recommended cut: Badger, ThinkBaby, Adorable Baby, Kabana

If you’re worried about the white cast on your skin from zinc oxide sunscreen, check out my video on how to apply mineral sunscreen correctly to minimize it.

Literature Incorporates Cooking Easily as Well

Just as with history and geography, many members enjoy making recipes that connect with books their kids are reading as part of their homeschool curriculum. For example, Little House in the Big Woods makes it easy and obvious to have homemade butter, bread, and more. Plenty of other books include a scene with a feast or mention the character’s favorite foods. Recipe connections aren’t hard to make.

On the creation side, when your kids are learning how to cook there are many opportunities to practice writing and other literary skills as well. One of our homeschool moms has kids take notes on what she is doing in the kitchen when they’re learning a new recipe. They are basically learning a journalistic skill and an opportunity to “do research” on cooking.

Another family is creating a recipe book with favorites from each family member. This includes annotations of how the recipe went and what people liked about it. Hello descriptive essay!

Learning to cook also might include memorizing recipes, which is a good precursor to acting and memorizing lines.

mother and daughter homeschool

Cooking Is a Life Skill and Service Opportunity for Kids

Teaching kids to cook, of course, isn’t just about integrating academic skills. Those homeschooling families rarely choose to homeschool purely because of academic options. Homeschooling is a way of life that encompasses all that we do, far beyond the intellect.

Here at Kids Cook Real Food, when we ask new members why they chose to purchase our cooking curriculum, the top chosen answer currently is to build life skills in kids. We have seen this desire increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

Member mom Angie says it this way:

I’m determined to teach my kids lots of life skills to ease their transition into adulthood. Kids Cook Real Food is something I use to teach kitchen skills each year.

Kara Arnold sees life skills as not only the ability to feed oneself but the knowledge of real food and how impactful it can be. She is in the process of reversing multiple chronic diseases, and some days it’s been tough to just get off the couch.

In spite of her fatigue, Kara is so committed to teaching her kids to cook that she pushes through. After a few months of effort, she now has four kids who can completely cook a meal from start to finish, take over if she’s tired, and are brimming over with confidence. They absolutely know how to nourish themselves with whole foods, and right down to the three-year-old feel that they can prepare food for themselves and their family.

It’s a beautiful thing. Even something as simple as the ability to follow directions is a life skill that our homeschooling families identify as paramount in the kitchen.

Hospitality and Service as a Benefit of Kids Learning to Cook

I know in my family, I always say I want to raise my kids with a heart for service. I want them to see the needs of others as a call to action for themselves.

One reason I’m always grateful my kids can cook is that it gives them a tool to use when they are called to hospitality. Check out all the ways in which our members use cooking as a service.

  • hosting and providing hospitality to loved ones and guests in the home
  • taking meals to elderly neighbors
  • preparing meals for those who are sick or having a new baby
  • volunteering in local organizations where cooking skills are put to use

And finally, of course, we don’t need to look far to find people in need. The act of making a meal or snack for our own immediate family is also a beautiful gift. It connects our families together on a spiritual and emotional level and shows kids that they can do authentic adult tasks.

Your Kids Need Life Skills

It’s up to us parents to prepare our kids for the real world. Get a free family pass to the #LifeSkillsNow Summer Camp!

#LifeSkillsNow Summer Camp

Free Virtual Summer Camp June 13-17, 2022

Prepare your kids for life with solid skills for living that aren’t taught in school!

LEARN MORE & SIGN UP HERE

Lisa Clark intentionally expanded her Kids Cook Real Food coursework into hosting and hospitality. Check out her kids’ final exam:

After the kids learned their skills (I had three advanced leveled kids.), we invited their church leaders over for dinner and the kids managed the whole thing. They planned the menu, set the table, and prepared all the food with very little help from me. We worked on hosting skills.

Lisa and Kara are both awesome examples of getting the kids in a regular meal rotation. Whether that’s one kids’ cooking night per week where everyone works together; or, for older kids, each child can take a meal (breakfast or dinner) and be fully responsible for cleaning and cooking each week. Lisa continually impresses our community with her organization, yet she always says that it’s not natural organization, it’s just from necessity and makes her family run more smoothly. Here’s one routine she has implemented:

We’ve worked over the last few months to make sure that each child has 3 healthy family meals they can prepare without my assistance. They rotate through the week so that each of three children cooks one of their “specialties” per week, meaning I have only 4 nights to plan for myself. Someone else in charge of meal prep three nights a week means that I can prepare for more in-depth studies in our other classes too. Homeschoolers, in general, have more time available for these crucial life skills and can really make them work for them.

To inspire you as well, here’s the list of meals her kids can make that Lisa shared with our community, which I share here with permission:

  • dinner salad bar (with protein options)
  • side salad
  • spaghetti
  • “Greek skillet” – a beef, tomato, rice, and spinach dish
  • chili
  • pot roast and veggies
  • glazed chicken with couscous & green beans
  • breakfast for dinner
  • chicken pot pie (including homemade crust) – 11- and 13-year-old boys work together on this one
  • maple glazed pork tenderloin
  • quiche
  • tacos

Lisa’s kids are on the older side, between 11 and 14. May this inspire you to simplify your family life by teaching your kids to cook!kids making breakfast - sausage and homemade latkes

Stay safe in the sun, with reef-safe sunscreens

Over the last decade+, I’ve personally tested over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, my standards are very high, and nothing I recommend is considered dangerous to coral reefs.

My top recommended tier with only around a dozen winners is where you really should be spending your time. These formulas are held to the highest standard with rigorous government testing.

Ingredients refined to perfection that most of the time you could practically eat and efficacy and performance tested by the Kimball family in the field.

Find all my reviews of safe sunscreen that works here!

raw elements sunscreen

If you’re looking for the best reef-safe sunscreen, simply start there. Here’s a list of some of my ultimate favorites.

  • Kōkua Suncare with tons of antioxidants and my kids’ favorite scent and application (use the code KS for 15% off from Kōkua’s online store!)
  • 3rd Rock Essentials rubs in well and reliably prevents burns in our tests (use the code KITCHENSTEW for 20% off!)
  • Raw Elements for so many reasons, including their tinted stick for adult faces (all styles, use KS10 for 10% off!)
  • Maelove, which I call the best “transition” sunscreen when moving away from chemical ‘screens
  • Others that make the top-recommended cut: Badger, ThinkBaby, Adorable Baby, Kabana

If you’re worried about the white cast on your skin from zinc oxide sunscreen, check out my video on how to apply mineral sunscreen correctly to minimize it.

How to Fit Cooking into Your Homeschool Curriculum

Homeschoolers and traditional schoolers alike share something in common in our day and age. Everyone is so busy! So even though homeschoolers have a lot more flexibility in the week, it still can be a complicated question to figure out how to fit in “one more thing.”

For myself, as a traditional schooler, I scheduled 10 a.m. on Monday every week for a whole summer. I also chose to allow each child to invite a friend over, both so that they had more fun being social and so that I had other families counting on me so that I didn’t skip that “event” in the calendar.

I asked our homeschool community at Kids Cook Real Food to share ideas with you about how they fit it in. Chris Clark (not related to Lisa) did what many of our members do. She incorporates Kids Cook Real Food cooking curriculum as a Friday funday event. Chris also reported that she had a child already interested in cooking, which was a benefit to her because grandma bought the lessons as a Christmas gift with some new aprons.

After running some Friday funday lessons her seven-year-old daughter now makes breakfast and lunch most days. When you teach kids to cook everyone wins! Cooking together is a great way to wind down at the end of the week but still have a very worthwhile bit of curriculum on that final day.

Some of our members subscribe to the Charlotte Mason philosophy of homeschooling, and cooking is folded into the handicrafts portion of the week. Charlotte Mason talks about handicrafts and afternoon occupations: non-academic skills you learn that can be used to serve others and be a source of joy and beauty throughout one’s life. Cooking fits the bill perfectly.

Holly and Katelyn both share that because the curriculum was already laid out in an easy-to-use fashion, they didn’t find it a challenge to fit it into their homeschool week. Both also said what I hear from many: it’s so nice for the kids to hear from someone other than their parent!

girls cooking

For those who feel like their homeschool week is already full, you can use Renita’s recommendation and use cooking class as a fun elective over the summer rather than attend summer camps. Renita calls it a bridge class to build life skills and reinforce math and science.

Sonia also chose our cooking curriculum as an elective course for her kids to give them valuable life skills. She reports that not only do her kids have practical skills, but they are enjoying eating wholesome food, including from their own garden, now that they are involved.

And if you’re nervous because you were never taught to cook, and perhaps you have some traumatic memories as you became an adult and failed at it, never fear.

Amber reported that she chose to purchase our cooking curriculum because although she was okay inviting one kid into the kitchen while she was cooking, she wasn’t sure how she could teach both kids to cook at the same time. She reports that her own cooking skills were self-taught out of necessity, so she’s been learning some new skills too.

And finally, if you have little ones younger than age five, Megan reminds us that because they are so motivated to be involved already, that’s a great time to teach them to cook – before you are in the rigid structure of grade-school curriculum.

RELATED: What’s the best age to teach kids to cook?

Choosing the Right Cooking Curriculum for Your Homeschool

There are so many reasons to teach your kids to cook as part of their homeschool experience. Whether your focus is:

  • academic connections
  • life skills
  • healthier eating
  • service and hospitality
  • authentic confidence
  • or sharing responsibility in the households …

Kids Cook Real Food is here to make it easier for you. Definitely check out our curriculum map to see the skills we teach using a “skills over recipes” approach. I’m determined to make teaching kids to cook very easy for you. I’ve done all the thinking, all the connecting, and figured out what skills are appropriate at what age. You can try out our classes for a Friday fun activity, a summer extracurricular, or as an afternoon productive handicraft.

I know homeschoolers are a frugal crowd as well. So you’ll be glad to know that you get 30 days to try out the lessons, and we give refunds for any reason it’s not working for you! (Our refund rate is very low because we strive to delight.)

SEE MORE ABOUT KIDS COOK REAL FOOD HERE!

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe to The Healthy Parenting Connector

I interview experts about kids’ health every week – stay in the loop with a quick Saturday morning email:

SUBSCRIBE TO BE NOTIFIED!

2. Try a Free Preview of my Cooking Class for Kids

Our members’ favorite lesson is always our 10-minute knife skills and safety class, teaching techniques with unique & memorable phrases from butter knives to chef’s knives (ages 2-teen). Take a peek here and try it out with your kids.

3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:

Enroll now in the Wall Street Journal’s #1 recommended online cooking class for kids (also rated 5 stars on Facebook). See what fits your family best HERE.

About Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.

Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.

A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[?&]
[?&]
[^&#]
[^&#]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[?&]
[?&]
[^&#]
[^&#]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[?&]
[?&]
[^&#]
[^&#]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[?&]
[?&]
[^&#]
[^&#]
Send this to a friend