One of the things I have enjoyed about this book, is that although my kids know how to do a lot around the house, (including cooking), I found that Kay, in her experiment, took what my kids do a step further. When she made her kids responsible for one meal each week, they didn’t just cook it. They shopped for it. And they cleaned up after.
As a homeschooler (nearing the end of our 8th year) I did a ton of “real life learning” when the kids were younger. They shopped with me, helped me pick out produce, and learn to figure out the best price etc. However, this is definitely one area where I began to do things the quick and easy way… with a teenager in the house, I can leave the kids home and go shop all by myself! This has been a great relief to me, and I don’t see it as a bad thing. However, Kay made me think “how will my kids know how to grocery shop, if they go years without shopping?”
So it’s time for an experiment of our own. And this week being April vacation week for us, it’s a good time to do it, when it doesn’t add stress to an already crazy week for myself. This week each of the kids will be planning, shopping for, and cleaning up after a meal.
But instead of waiting for the experiment, this past week I decided we would dust off some old skills in preparation. My 14 year old used to cook dinner once a week. I teach piano lessons a couple afternoons a week. So in exchange for his cell-phone service, my son would cook and serve a meal on a day I taught. Good for me, and good for him! 🙂 Somehow, we lost this habit. And my 11 yr old daughter who has a real desire to learn to cook (because “someday I’m going to be a mom, and I need to know how to do this stuff”) would cook occasionally. I decided it’s time for her to follow in her big brother’s footsteps, and learn to specialize in some meals that can be “hers” to make.
It was time for some cooking this week! My 8 yr old daughter was the assistant to the 11 yr old, browning the meat for the pizza, and peeling and cutting the cucumber for the salad. They even did the oven by themselves! I stepped in to help with the oven, and because I had left them alone in the kitchen “to do it all themselves” they did not want my help at all. Kay was right, the pride that comes from being left to do it on their happens very quickly. And, also inspired by Kay, I had them wash the pots and pans afterward. (I use to say to myself “well, they cooked, so I’ll clean up for them.” Like that is going to ever happen in real life!)
Proud girls, serving their gluten-free cheeseburger pizza and salad!
To keep it fair, my 14 yr old also cooked a meal this week- he lucked out with waffles and sausage as that was already the plan when I opted to let him cook it. It was a good lesson in GF cooking! (I didn’t press for a photo. This time. haha!)
Do your kids cook at all? I promised my kids a while back, that when they left home they would know how to make all of our basic meals. Thanks to Kay and her book for getting me back on track! Oh, and for reminding me to let them wash up the dishes afterward! 🙂