Parenting: Teaching math the tasty way

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Parenting: Teaching math the tasty way

My 9-year-old son Nicholas enjoys helping out in the kitchen, especially when my wife is baking something yummy like an apple pie (so do I). But little does he know he's actually practicing his math skills while helping.

The various steps to baking or cooking involve fractions, measurements and ratios in a hands-on, real world context.

Our kitchen instantly becomes a 4th grade classroom, whether my kid realizes it or not.

Most experts will tell you that baking is an opportunity for education. Recipes and ingredients encourage reading, figuring out measurements, and following directions. And when something is in the oven, there's also the importance of time management.

It can be an everyday teaching activity - and don't forget the fun of eating the finished product. That's where I come in.

And then there's the issue of healthy eating. Studies have shown that children who help out in the kitchen are more likely to try new foods... and not to mention that a family that cooks together, usually sits down to eat together.

What we have seen in our house is that our child really feels like he is accomplishing something and making a contribution by helping out in the kitchen. And that goes a long way to promoting a healthy self-esteem.

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