If You Let Your Kids Make Donuts Instead of Doing School
Chances are, the results will be more gratifying than you’d expect.
As homeschooling parents we try our best to stay on track while making everything exciting and interesting. However there are somethings that require lots of practice, like: writing, reading, and basic math. You can’t just put together one fun math lesson and generate an expert. You have to make mental pathways in the brain to memorize your basic math problems, for example. This happens through repetition of the lesson. Now, in no way does this mean you have to sit your child down and simply have them write their basic math problems until they remember it. But after a while your child kind of gets that even though the activity is different, the lesson is the same.
I know that my children love homeschooling just as much (if not more) as I love homeschooling them. While my previous statement is absolutely true, sometimes homeschooling young children can be monotonous and frustrating. There’s nothing wrong with that fact; those two truths may exist at the same time. You can enjoy something that is frustrating at times. It is very easy to become impatient as a parent. Equally, it is very easy to become distracted and uninterested as a young child. Sometimes you just have to break the monotony!
We decided to make homemade donuts from scratch and make our own icing! These donuts were absolutely amazing. We decided to make a double batch and we were so glad we did. Trust me you want to make a double batch! You can find the recipe that we used here at Baking A Moment. *Side note: We did make a few minor changes to the recipe based on what we had on hand. We used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. We used only dark cocoa powder instead of combining regular and dark. And while we definitely wanted it, we decided we didn’t need the extra crumb topping because the donuts were delectable as is and staying in shape is hard to do when you have treats this tasty in your house. I’m sure it would have been heavenly but I’ve got a sweet tooth that is hard to tame. To be honest, I don’t think I would do well with the extra temptation. What can I say, I am a gigantic sucker for chocolate.
So what happens when you break that monotony with an exciting project like making homemade donuts?
They are appreciative!
The first thing I noticed was how excited my children were about this little surprise. They quickly turned that excitement into appreciation. My daughter must have told me she loved me four or five times in the couple of hours it took us to make these donuts. With great enthusiasm, my son asked me if he could help me make lunch once we were done. These are all signs of appreciation. Children don’t usually say “I appreciate this thing that we are doing.” They will say it with different words or with certain actions. An appreciative child will always do more than expected.
Doing something for your child that warrants a natural appreciation is a great way to teach them how to show appreciation. It is easier for them to understand what showing appreciation looks like while they’re in the middle of doing it. For instance: you could say, “I see that you are so excited about this project. I like that you are telling me you love me so much, you must be really happy with what we are doing. Thank you for sharing that feeling with me.”
They are excited to learn!
This is my favorite part. They want to know why you need to put certain ingredients in one bowl and other ingredients in another bowl. They want to know why things turn a certain color or texture when mixed. They are anxious to know how to measure properly. They are determined to master cracking the egg without getting any shells in the bowl. (Pro tip: let them crack the egg in a bowl separate from the bowl it is supposed to go in. That way you can get any shells out without loosing it in the other ingredients.)
You know someone is interested when they are asking questions and willing to repeat certain steps in order to master them. Keeping a child interested in the concept of gaining knowledge will ensure they do not ever remain stagnate later in life. If they get genuinely bored of something, then they will move on and find something else that holds the attention of their beautiful mind.
They become more focused!
I know that sounds a little bit backwards because of how we were taught to think in public school but the truth is we were taught wrong. There are times when I have written 800 words and the words just keep flowing out of my mind. There are other times when I write 200 words of pure garbage. By the time I erase it and rewrite something else I’ll typically end up with 500 words in the same amount of time it took me to write an entire article the week before. Does this mean we don’t buckle down and get what we need to accomplished? No, of course not. But there are two things we should be aware of: First, we should be aware of the fact that humans are creatures of routine but, as long as we have good motivation, taking a day to do something interestingly different will only encourage us to hone in and focus on our main goals. And second, we need to be aware of our limits. Sometimes you just need to step away from something in order to see it more clearly, and that’s okay too.
You might think I’m crazy but choosing to bail on school to play in the kitchen and then at the park for the rest of the day was one of the best decisions I have made. It won’t be one that is repeated weekly, of course, but once a month we will be adding a new adventure to our curriculum. Because what’s better than getting your hands dirty and learning about measuring, baking properties, patience, and math? Only one thing, eating these scrumptious homemade donuts!