Friday, September 27, 2013

Projects with the Five Year Old

For a long time, my youngest has been pretty resistant to  . . . well, she's been pretty resistant.  She doesn't like dong anything that isn't her idea, but she's also pretty dependent on her sister for company.  Now, a lot of times that's been great, because they could play together while I work; however, they do need time alone, something neither of them wants, but we can definitely see the effects in the form of knock-down drag-out fights that occur when they've been spending too much time together.  And she would defer to her older sister a lot, and it was hard to watch her get lost in Ella's interests all the time.

When she did have her own idea or interest, she had to do it her way.  Great for project work, you would think, except when she checked out a book on wolves (a recent interest), she hid it in her room and refused to let anyone read it to her.  It was her book.  Project time with me has been nonexistent.  Until recently.

One day, while Ella worked on math and I checked my email, Harper sat at the table nearby, brought in her drawing pad, paper, pencils, and markers, and went to work.

 I love these little creatures.  She draws them all the time.  Sometimes she calls them kitties, sometimes foxes, sometimes just cute things.  I love that she practices them.  On her own.  It's a thing of beauty, I tell you.

And it gets better.

We watch a lot of cooking competition shows together.  We love them.  When we found out some of the shows they like would be having kids on to cook, they were really intrigued.  Harper's face lit up while watching one recently.  A little boy was explaining his recipe and how he learned to make it when he was five, and she kept shouting, "He made that when he was five!"  Her eyes were huge, and I made the connection.  She's five.  I asked if she'd like to cook more with me.  Yes.  Then I asked if she would like to get some cookbooks and plan some meals.  Yes.  So, on our next library trip, I helped her find the kids' cookbooks, and she checked some out on her card.

Notice all three have something chocolate on the cover.  Yup.  No surprise there.

I gave her a pad of sticky notes and let her mark her favorites.  Later, when I was planning meals for the next week, I asked her to pick a few she would like to try and we made a shopping list.

So far, she's made brownies (duh), vegetable soup, ham & swiss grilled cheese, and fettuccine alfredo with mushrooms & peas.  I obviously have to read the recipes and tell her what to do, but she does most of the work.  Getting her to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and not jump around in the kitchen and on her stool has been a challenge, but she's already doing much better.  I've let her help in the kitchen in the past, and that's usually what has made me have to draw the line and ask her to leave.  Safety first.  But she wants to do this so, so much, that she's digging deep and finding that self control.

Bonus: I have a helper (for cooking and meal planning) and we've been eating some yummy food.  Can't beat that!

I'm looking forward to the day when I can kick back and let her take over entire meals.  This is definitely an interest I'm willing to "feed!"  (Sorry, couldn't resist. hehe)

In other project news, even though I'm a bit behind (life, I tell you, sheesh), I am getting SO much out of Lori's Project-Based Homeschooling Master Class.   I was supposed to blog more of my progress, but . . . yeah, life.  I have notes and photos and I'll get around to it all in time.  These are life skills, so the progress will be ongoing anyway.  The next class session starts Sept 30, and I highly recommend it.  You can sign up here.  

Also, if you haven't already entered, check out my post about Amy's new e-zine, Art Together.  The giveaway for a FREE copy is still open.  You can enter until midnight Sunday, Sept 29th.


  1. That's so wonderful!! Go, H!! My oldest has been helping his dad cook dinner on soccer practice night, when I'm coaching the 4yo's team & I bring the 9yo along too. We're brainstorming what he can do on his own on soccer night for dinner during his dad's next business trip. I need the help, and he needs the life skills. Win-win.

    I'm behind too in class too. Life.

  2. I love this post! I have been following your blog for the last 3 months, and before I knew you were in Lori's PBH Master Class, I had signed up for the October session already. We started 8 days ago, and it's a lot to process. Keep up with the posts, please. Gracias!


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