Each day at the center, we involve the children, from young toddlers through Kindergarten, in the process of creating the daily bread which will nourish the community throughout the day for snack.
Challenged by Dr. Angeline Lillard in 2007 to make our Practical Life Area more practical, we seized the opportunity to utilize the young child’s budding independence, order, coordination, self-confidence and love of learning in a way that would fuel all developmental planes.
Regardless of age, race, gender or ability- you will find children gravitating towards the Slow Food Inspired Cooking Curriculum which links not only the program’s gardening, but also the areas of Math and Cultural Studies. Each child has the opportunity to cook every day, throughout the day, as long as an apron is available. If one is not, the child is welcome to watch the process nearby.
Cooking together can become much more than getting a bite to eat- watch as Ms. Jaime begins the morning bread baking routine:
In making bread together, we see evidence of all Eight Principles of Optimal Education described in Dr. Lillard’s research.
According her findings, learning occurs best when:
1. movement is linked with cognition,
2. children are interested in the topic,
3. extrinsic rewards are left out of the mix,
4. choice and control are offered to the child,
5. it is situated in meaningful contexts,
6. children are grouped in blended ages amongst their peers,
7. the environment is orderly with consistent routines and rituals, &
8. the adult guides in a firm and warm manner.
“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life.”