White baking flour covered the kitchen floor, the countertop, my jeans, and the twins' noses. Measuring cups were strewn about, mixing bowls sat side by side as the twins balanced themselves on chairs pulled up to the little island in the center of the kitchen. It was their first time making cookies, and I stood there wondering why in the world I had decided to double the recipe!
I was overly zealous that day as I taught the kids how to follow directions, maneuver a measuring scoop, and (what was I thinking?) hold an electric mixer! They loved pressing the brown sugar into the 1/4 cup and dumping it into the big bowl -- like little sand castles at the beach. Uh -oh... not all the sugar made it into the bowl...
"Guys," I lectured, "If you can cook, calculate and measure, then one day, you'll be great at Chemistry, because that's part of it." They looked at me quizzically while they popped chocolate chips into their mouths. After all, at only five years old they were in this for sheer fun!
I reasoned that every child should learn -- early on-- how to crack an egg, follow a basic recipe and eat the fruit of their labor! What I didn't expect was the mess... "Okay. Into the bath tub you two!"
In the last few blogs, I mentioned schedules, routines and the importance of keeping some consistency in our daily agendas. We talked about the crucial subject of math and how every concept builds upon the previous one. Before that, I gave you the schedule that we used up until high school, and mentioned that it's all about finding your family's particular rhythm, then going with what works for you.
Today, I'd like to talk about those key hours from about 3:00 until 6:00 -- what I call the "uphill" part of the day. If we were riding bikes, it would definitely be part of the course where we're pedaling uphill! It's the time that homeschool may be over (hopefully), and the next phase of the day begins, including a family meal together in the evening.
3:00 is a key time of day for kids, too. Younger children especially need some time to be physical and engage in recreation or something besides book learning. Why not (once in a blue moon, that is!) make some homemade cookies to celebrate the culmination of the homeschool day and a job well done?
As for recipes? I like the one on the back of the Nestle's Semi-Sweet chocolate chips. If you like oatmeal, I suggest the recipe on the lid of the Quaker Oats (regular) bin. I like to substitute chocolate chips for the raisins.
When I look back on the eleven years homeschooling, a fond memory for all of us was when we pulled our homemade cookies out of the oven. Ta -Dah! I can still smell the chocolate, butter and vanilla!
Ironically, both boys ended up liking and succeeding at Chemistry! Of course, I give credit to their outstanding and experienced Chemistry teacher at our co-op, Mrs. Crone, but who knows if the baking helped a tiny bit? I'd like to think so! All I know is that we had a great time laughing and eating cookies together on many winter afternoons.
Oh... one more thing -- don't double the recipe the first time you teach your children to bake!
Remember -- 3:00 is an important part of the day for moms and children. So, enjoy it!
Stay faithful in teaching!