Friday, January 29, 2010

Edible school!

As "Scrimpalicious says about wearing a uniform" aprons are a great thing to start out with. For me, it keeps me going when I'd want to sit down and leave something undone... the apron reminds me to persevere. My Mom made me this one along with some for the girls as well!

Lily is just four now and I've begun to teach her her letters. One letter a week and we are only on week two. Last week we worked repeatedly on the sounds of A and recognizing the letter in words and so forth. She wrote "A" a little, but wasn't into that quite as much as she really likes to be able to do something well immediately. When she's older though it will be physically easier for her to write letters and I'll help her more specifically with that. Now we are mainly doing recognition and sound.
What better way to teach her about the letter "B" than to Bake some B's! And "A's" too. :] After our school today she was remembering the sounds quite well.. and then would eat a cookie. "Can I have another one?" "Yes, find an 'A'..... what sound does an 'A' make?" Then she'd sing the "A" song like our fridge alphabet! She's doing really well so far and this is only the second week! I'm only doing school with her like three times a week, but that seemed appropriate for pre-school and just to get us used to homeschooling. :]

The girls pretty much had cookies as their food of choice for lunch, BUT these cookies are whole wheat and are essentially as healthy (or more so) than a breakfast bar! I've made them forever and all different shapes. Gingerbread men and stars are the usual preferred shape. Youssef calls these cookies "hardy" and this is the first time I've made them into letters!

Want the recipe?

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl--

4 cups flour (I use whole Wheat.. you can add a cup of white if you want or make it all in white.. it just won't be good for you anymore!)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
(You can also add more spices like Allspice or Ginger or whatever if you want it even more zingy.)

In a separate bowl mix up the "wet" ingredients.

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup honey (or brown sugar)
1 cup molasses
1 egg

Now add a half a cup of the "dry" mixture at a time into the molasses mixture until the cookie dough feels *just* able to be rolled out and still soft and light feeling. The remainder of the flour mixture can be periodically sprinkled on the table to always keep it from *just* shy of sticking. (If you put too much of the flour mixture into the dough it will get too heavy and dense, so don't over due it... just use enough to let you roll it out.)

Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.. I've done thicker and also thinner, but this is probably the nicest thickness. Cook on 350 for 7 to 9 minutes. If you like soft cookies remember that it will come out softer than how it will be when it cools, so if the first batch comes out of the oven the texture that you like, set the timer for a minute or two less than that and it will cool into the texture that you like.
After they helped make and eat the cookies I had to clean up! I just took these pictures in case someone is out there who feels like they can't have their kids "help" with things like this because of the mess. Yes... there is a mess, but it's okay to let it go until the end and do a big clean up afterward! (Anyway, I made "C" and "D" cookies as well so this one mess created edible school for the next two weeks as well too! Oh, and I did make her name in cookies. Fun fun!)

Renna got away for a minute after "helping" with the flour and powered the couch with her handprints! Needless to say, I did some vacuuming after cookie baking as well, but the girls helped to pick up toys and just like everything else it all ends up being a teaching moment for them and a growth in patience and so forth for me. ;] It's amazing though how well children respond when you are calm and encouraging to them... how well they learn and obey and just how happy in general they are! ... and then so am I. :]


mrszug said...

GREAT idea. thank you- I can use this

RickCapezza said...

Very cute and creative way to teach! I love finding alternative ways to educate that are fun. Part of why I love homeschooling!


jeremy and lenore diviney said...

that is most excellent. you are an excellent mum. I am proud of my friend!