Individual Learning Plans - Cooking

by Gwen Thring
(Muswellbrook, NSW, Australia)

An individual learning plan is developed based on the interests of the child. For our family, we have developed some basic meal plans all our children (15 years down to 5 years) are learning to prepare. You might think that just involves cooking skills. Not so! As they master basic cooking techniques they take on the role of 'Chef' for 1 week at a time. For that week they have to menu plan, budget and prepare food for the week for our family of 8 (me, hubby, 2 working children plus the 4 'schooling' children). Just to make things more interesting there are special dietary requirements due to allergies, 1 incredibly fussy eater, differing work and study schedules plus after regular school hours activities.

Skills our children learn from getting to the 'Chef' stage are:
Maths - budgetting, multiplying recipes for bulk preparation, scheduling.

English - reading (new recipes can have tricky words), comprehension, following instructions plus the benefit of learning to spell new words through repetition.

Science - what happens when you mix different ingredients together?

PDHPE - clean up is always part of the process so covers health, along with the hygiene standards required to maintain a safe food handling environment, nutrition is also covered through planning balanced meals.

HSIE - we look at cuisines from around the world so encompass learning a little about the countries they come from and the cultures involved.

That is just a brief summary without going in to too much detail. I'm sure I will come up with other areas as we progress through the year.
Obviously the 5 year old isn't cooking at the same level as the 15 year old but he's learning from an early age what's involved in food preparation. Add to all the above the fact our children will not have to resort to take away to survive I can safely say developing an ILP has been a terrific idea.

In case anyone is wondering, yes, I got the idea for developing Individual Learning Programs (ILPs) from Marianne. I purchased her e-book on the subject then adapted her plan to suit our family. It's been a worthwhile investment.

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