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Cooking Teacher Curriculum Set (digital downloads) Review by Laurie Gauger

Kids Cooking Activities

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Life skills are important in a child’s education, and homeschoolers have arguably, some of the best opportunities to learn those lessons. Forget the sterile, dated kitchens in high school classrooms where many of us got our start in home economics. What could be better than learning the principles of nutrition, food preparation, cooking, meal planning, and more, in the warmth of our family kitchen? 

I was considering how I would begin this review of the Cooking Teacher Curriculum digital set that we’ve been reviewing over the past couple of months. I could save you some reading time, and simply say, “Wow!”, but I suppose that you would appreciate a little more information, so please, read on. I was expecting a relatively short pdf book that would be cute, but not necessarily extensive, and I could not have been more mistaken. This is a full-blown kitchen and cooking course, and if you can believe it, works for all ages, from your sweet little preschoolers, to your blossoming teenagers.

There used to be a cooking show on one of the cable networks that was more than a basic, “Let’s make a cake”, type of program. The host included math, science, history, along with a generous helping of creative fun, as he taught viewers the art of cooking. Those aspects are what came to my mind as we worked through this course. You know, there is so much more to cooking than, well, cooking. 

Being a complete course, there are both a teacher manual, and a student manual. Lessons are offered according to age:

• Assistant Chefs - Three to Six years old
• Chef in Training - Seven to Eleven years old
• Junior Chefs - Twelve to Fifteen years old
• Senior Chefs - Fifteen to Eighteen years old

Keep in mind that these are suggested levels only. You will obviously know which level your young chef will do best in. Every level is overflowing with practical activities that will teach all manner of skills related to cooking. The material is beautiful too.

Included are bright, colorful posters that teach:

•  Matching games
•  Word searches
•  Crossword puzzles
•  Bingo games
•  Measuring charts
•  Knife safety
• Types of knives
• Kitchen clean up
• Proper hand washing
• Nutrition
• Kitchen conversions

Whew, can I take a breath? That is a mere sampling of information that is included in this curriculum. These posters beg to be printed (obviously), laminated, and hung up around your kitchen for easy reference. 

Much of these would be elements that you would expect to be included in a cooking class. This curriculum goes above and beyond the typical knowledge though and includes a variety of other subjects under the umbrella that is cooking. Math skills to be learned include counting, fractions, measuring, sequencing, and even money.

Reading skills are practiced through exposure to new vocabulary, and the reading of recipes.

Chemistry and science are practiced through the five senses, observing the changes of food as it cooks, experimenting with recipes, learning where different food grows.

As students learn where foods grow, and how recipes came to be, they learn history and geography. Don’t forget about fine motor skills as kids chop, stir, whisk, knead and roll. I haven’t even begun to cover it all. Are you seeing why my first response to this course was, Wow!? 

As if that weren’t enough to entice you, there are checklists for supplies, vocabulary words, and oh yes, recipes! Lots and lots of tasty recipes! There are adorable little apple frogs and cracker spiders for the littles, and for the more experienced cooks in training, kung pao chicken, and chicken broccoli roll ups, to name just two. 

There’s still much more than this. Colorful photos will demonstrate various ways to use knife skills to chop, cut, and dice. Students will learn the techniques to bake, broil, sauté, and steam. As you make your way through the material, a cooking tasks checklist will allow you to keep track of skills that have been covered. At the end of the course, there are certificates that can be printed. In short, this is an excellent resource.

There are many ways that this could be used. Homeschooling families, or any family really, would greatly benefit from this. It would also be a fantastic addition for church camps or co-ops. My daughters and I are sold on this one. It has proved to offer above and beyond what I expected a cooking course to include. Are you looking to fill that home economics gap in your student’s education? If yes, I urge you to investigate this curriculum.

-Product review by Laurie Gauger, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018