I don’t give this little six year old enough credit. He has some pretty creative ideas if I just ask him and step back. I forget that his education doesn’t fall solely on my shoulders. At some point I have to start teaching him how to be a lifelong learner and that starts with asking him what he wants to learn. So I thought the summer would be a great opportunity to explore some passion focused projects. And he surprised me! This little guy wants to be a chef. Anytime I let him help cook he completely lights up with this ball of energy and excitement. So we’ve switched gears from our regular unit studies during the school year. I am a huge self advocate for clean eating but I’ve always just prepared the food for them without educating them. And he’s excited for the education, so here we go!
- Focusing on local Japanese fruits and vegetables. Once a week we are taking a quick field trip to the local farmers market to find something new to try. They have plants for sale too so he can see how an eggplant grows.
- Assisting with meal planning. Teaching him what makes certain food nutritious and others not so much and how to plan a meal that varies our nutrients and meets our daily meal requirements.
- Practicing math, reading and writing. Measuring, adding, subtracting, halving recipes…engaging him in reading recipes and math practice without breaking out the boring worksheets for summer. He’ll be practicing writing with grocery lists and dinner menus.
- Geography and history. Learning where our food comes from is also important, so realizing if we are buying rice from India or Japan, which foods are being imported, what importing means, and how local food such as rice plays an important part of that countries cultural history. Also, teaching him what food looks like to different cultures around the world as we travel and learn about the world ourselves. These images in particular of what a weeks worth of groceries looks like in different countries fascinates me.
Edited to add: Found this food timeline on how food has evolved through history.
- Food prep and kitchen safety. Teaching him age appropriate ways to help in the kitchen.
- Kid-friendly recipes. Giving him kid friendly recipes that he can read and follow on his own and create something that he will be proud of and have the satisfaction of eating.
This will be the basis for our summer curriculum and I’m excited to let go of our morning schedule and realize learning will take place throughout the day. I just need to make the point to let go and involve him in every aspect of food this summer and I know the learning will follow naturally. Anything you’d recommend adding?
Is anyone doing a similar project based summer curriculum? I would love to hear about it!