As a classroom teacher, I found that if I gave the students a purpose for doing a task, they would be more likely to do it and enjoy what they were doing. Reading is no different. If there is a purpose for reading, kids are more likely to do it willingly and enjoy the process.
What do children crave? Often, with our hectic lives, they want time with their family doing something meaningful. Parents' time is at a premium, so how do you combine reading, special family time, and getting things done that need to be done? Cooking works to fulfill all of these things. As an added bonus, cooking is filled with practical math skills, including those pesky fractions. It also reinforces that you need to follow directions if you want the recipe to taste good.
Start with easy recipes that are forgiving. That means that if the measurement is off a bit, it cooks too long, or you need to substitute an ingredient, the recipe will still work and taste great. Find some recipes that everybody in the family likes. You can go through cookbooks or go online and do a search. If you go online, make sure that you print out a recipe to use.
After choosing your recipes, read through them together. Discuss what ingredients and equipment is needed. Talk about how long the recipes will take to prepare. Are there things that you need to do before you start making these recipes? Have the child do the final read through before you start creating the food in each recipe.
Have the child read the ingredients as the parent sets those ingredients out. Then, go back through the recipe and follow the directions. Let the child have a major part in cooking and cleaning up afterward. Keep the mood light! Let them do tasks that are commensurate with their age. Be cautious about letting them use kitchen tools where they could be injured. For a child, getting cut or burned making a recipe defeats the purpose!
The Related Links below this article have some easy recipes from my BellaOnline Sandwiches Site. They are recipes that I made with our children, when they were young. The Baked Devil's Float is a real winner in the chocolate department!
Find that extra-special time to make reading an enjoyable experience with your children. When they learn how valuable reading is, it goes a long way toward making them lifelong readers. Reading easily and effectively will make their lives easier in the long run.
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