I began homeschooling three years ago with grandiose visions of teaching my children all they would need to know about practical things like cooking, cleaning, laundry, and repairs. And of course they would also be advanced in all subjects, speaking several languages, and reading a book a week.
Okay, okay. Maybe my dreams weren't really quite that big, but I definitely expected to fit more in than real life normally allows.
One of those dreams was to teach my children how to cook. I figured that since my kids would be home all day, I'd just give each one a week of the month and they would cook for that whole week with me.
But I forgot something.
I don't like to cook with kids. Ever.
I'm not one of those moms that overlooks sticky floors, messy counters, licked spoons dropped back into the batter, and inedible results after hours in the kitchen. I typically find cooking with my children to be exhausting, frustrating, and an overall headache-producing endeavor.
This year, however, I am braving the kitchen with ONE of my children. I have decided that 5th grade will include a unit on cooking. Whichever season does not include a sport for the 5th grader will be the time they tackle this intensive unit. For David, my current 5th grader, that means now.
We started two days ago. And amazingly, it's going really well! There's something to say for a child who can use a knife without supervision, listen to instruction and actually do what they're told, read a recipe, keep the mess to a minimum, and have the good sense not to burn themself on the stove.
So far we've made stir fry and potato soup. On the menu for later this week are beef stew, chicken and rice casserole, spaghetti and other yummy meals.
I love that I am enjoying cooking with my son. It reminds me of when Josh and I first married and would cook a meal together - except that David doesn't use every single pot in the kitchen.
My goal is to have David cook an entire week of meals on his own by the end of this unit. Meaning that he'll have to plan the menu, make the shopping list, shop with me and pay at the register, and then cook all the meals.
He swears he'll never get married, so I have convinced him of the importance of this by appealing to his stomach. I mean, really, what man wants to eat microwave meals every night when he finally leaves the nest?
So, here I go! Wish me luck. And pray that I have patience in the kitchen for the next three months. Because after this kid, I have four more to go.