Friday, November 16, 2007

Muffin Men

We haven't done formal, sit-down school in way too many weeks. But S3 and A2 are somehow reading more and more and more - I'm not really sure I can call them "non-readers" anymore, actually. We have extensive discussions about geography and history at the dinner table. (I highly recommend hanging maps in your dining room - great conversational spark! :-) We review our catechism every week for Sunday classes, though poor A2 isn't doing so well - he is just such a visual learner, simply trying to memorizing facts that we read to him leaves him terribly confused. This week we're trying something new. As we review, dh is pulling up pictures from Holy Cards on line to match the stories and information, and doing map studies of where everything happens. So far it seems to be helping quite a bit. Also, the kids have taken to watching Animal Planet obsessively and have learned all sorts of interesting facts about the natural world. I am continuously amazed at the knowledge all of them display, and to be honest, most of the time I don't even know how they know what they know!

I have a whole series of posts planned about my philosophy of education for my family - but they'll have to wait until after Thanksgiving, as my parents are visiting. They will be here tomorrow and I still have oodles and oodles of things to do to prepare for them! So for now, I want to just mention one touchstone that I use in our humble Academy. I see formal, sit-down academics as just one part of the education I want to give my kids. I not only want to see them leave my home with a solid foundation of basic and advanced knowledge, able to think and reason for themselves, but I also want more for them. Most importantly, I want them to grow to know and love our beautiful faith. My highest goal is to have them embrace their faith as young adults because they understand it and love it. They must know the facts, the reasoning, and the love behind what we believe. If I manage to do ONLY that I think I will have been a total success! Finally, though, I want them to be able to live independently, to be able to care for themselves completely when the time comes for them to be on their own. I want them to be able to do laundry, cook, clean, attend to their health, their finances - all those issues that you aren't born knowing or even wanting to know or realizing you need to know until it's critical!

To that end, yesterday J1 learned how to cook muffins. His first experience with baking. He can cook oatmeal, mac&cheese and scrambled eggs (sort of). Yesterday he made our "left-over oatmeal muffins" (which the boys inexplicably call "Muffin Men Muffins" LOL!)

Notice all the helpers he has? Can't really do much in my kitchen without having lots of helpers - I just love that! J1 did REALLY well making the muffins - to the point where I would now feel comfortable giving him the recipe and walking away. Wow, is he growing up!

It's so important, IMHO, to let kids practice in the kitchen. How can you know how to measure a cup of flour without actually DOING it? You have to experience it to gain the knowledge of what works and what doesn't. I kind of think all of learning is like that! :-)

I was so excited by how competent J1 seemed yesterday. I see a day in a couple of years where he will cook dinner one night a week for us. Oh, glorious day! :-) Especially since I am starting to see hints of that adolescent male hunger everyone talks about. J1 and A2 in particular are very preoccupied with When the Next Meal is Coming, lol! Already! Course, have I mentioned how much they're growing recently? I definitely get the sense that I need to teach all the boys how to cook before they're about 12, otherwise I will do nothing all day, every day, but slave in the kitchen. I feel sometimes like I do that already, so I'd best get busy training my helpers!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Good job J1! I think every woman loves a man who can cook. [And since I'm hoping to marry off some of my daughters to these boys, I truly appreciate how well you are raising them LOL!]