Hands on Cooking Unit

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that we can choose how we learn things. I love being hands on. They learn about a subject and then get to apply it. It's awesome. I've always loved the lapbooks at www.homeschoolshare.com. For a while, we stopped doing them as my oldest daughter is getting, well, older. I was becoming more concerned in her passing an ACT test. That's why I hate teaching to a test and its honestly hard to part ways from it, because you know its coming. I honestly, shouldn't let age factor in these fun projects. She has learned so much this week and it's a real life skill. That is the reason we homeschool. I found myself getting too "text book". My oldest memorizes wonderfully, so she would remember it for the test/review but not retain it. So I put the text books aside and we started doing these lapbooks again. I love how they are a unit, so not only do they learn about the subject, but there is science, history, writing, vocabulary, and math all in the unit that has to do with cooking. You can find this unit here.

In this unit this is what was covered:
Science: We learned about food borne illnesses (bacterial poisoning, parasite poisoning, protozoa poisoning, viral poisoning, etc.) 
Health: We learned about a balanced diet, vitamins, nutrients, and even diseases that are caused by vitamin deficiencies (such as rickets, scurvy, etc.). We learned about replenishing amino acids, visible fats vs. invisible fats, and so much more. 
History: They had to learn about all kinds of different appliances, then find inventors for the appliances. They also had to research how the appliance has changed over time from the time period that it was invented.
Writing: They had to do an appliance report, based on their findings of the invention of their choice. They also had to do a writing on what basic kitchen tools a person would need for their first home. After cooking their food, they had to write an article being a "food critic" and saying all the things they liked or disliked about a certain meal. 
Vocabulary: They had to learn about different words (specifically verbs) that they would find in a recipe book. Such as knead, broil, core, grate, etc.)
Math: This is when I loved seeing their math skills being put to use. They had to learn what to do if a recipe called for 3/4 cup of flour and we didn't have a 3/4 cup to measure. They knew that they would need 1/4 cup x3 to make 3/4. I was very impressed, even with my youngest at being able to do this based on knowing her fractions. Of course, there are so many more things that they did, such as making graphs based on kitchen tools working the best for beating an egg, as well as learning about thermometers, etc. 
We read a lot of books that had to do with cooking stories. Even though most of the books we read were picture books, they are still a lot of fun, even for my oldest. 
We also compared and contrasted differences, such as a dull pan vs. a shiny pan. 
They had to plan out their own menu and find recipes, make a shopping list, and then of course put it into action.
They had to learn about setting the table, garnishes, careers in cooking, good manners, being hospitable, helping the homeless, etc. 

I love these units. They have learned so much in the past two weeks about a simple subject of cooking. Why did I ever stop lapbooks? 

Kylee's meals that she chose were waffles from scratch, a pizza from scratch (divided into four parts - Hawaiian, cheese, pepperoni, and chicken), and a tomato basil flatbread (so good!).

Ashyn's meals that she chose were lemon tart poppy seed muffins, pigs in a blanket, and corn chowder from scratch (which was amazing!). They really enjoyed cooking and rotating their meals chosen for the family. 
They actually had a lot of fun cooking and continued doing it, even when we were finished with the unit.


  1. I love this! Definitely need to do this with my kiddos. We love unit studies, but life has been crazy lately and mom has been slacking... Can I get Ashlyn's corn chowder recipe?


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