Prisma is the world’s most engaging virtual school that combines a fun, real-world curriculum with powerful mentorship from experienced coaches and a supportive peer community
When your classroom is in your house, learning doesn’t have to be confined to a desk. One of the biggest perks of learning from home is access to a full-sized kitchen and, with it, infinite possibilities for incorporating cooking lessons into your homeschool curriculum.
It’s no overstatement that a cooking class can intersect with any subject your child is exploring: math, chemistry, business, culture, health, and the environment, to name a few. For parents looking to take a hands-on approach with real world relevance, cooking is just about the perfect laboratory to design engaging projects that allow kids to build confidence as they express their creativity.
Here are some ways to approach cooking as part of your homeschooling — for a range of age groups and skill levels.
We’ll get to how we recommend using cooking in a minute. First, though, before you dive into a cooking-based project, ask yourself: What are your goals? Are you in the kitchen to teach your kids cooking skills or expand their interest in healthy food? To find a way to get kids excited about a subject they don’t love? To get them comfortable trying something new and develop a growth mindset?
As you identify your goals, keep them front and center; that will help you narrow down on your approach and avoid conflicting aims. For example, if you are having your child cook as part of a homeschool lesson on math, keep the recipe itself super simple so they can focus on fractions and not get distracted.
Learn about different cultures: understanding the traditional foods of a country is one of the best ways to understand its cultures and its natural resources. As part of our “Model UN” theme, each learner researched and prepared a dish from their chosen country — and added the recipe to a school-wide recipe book.
Teach nutrition: Research shows that when kids learn to cook real food, they’ll be more likely to incorporate it into their diet. Create a mission for your kids to cook a meal (or assemble a snack) using different types of food. Have them compare the differences in taste, texture, and how the food makes them feel afterwards (energy levels, hunger, thirst, etc.).
Foster entrepreneurial thinking: The kitchen is a perfect setting for teaching kids to create their own business. A kid who wants to consider scaling their muffin side-hustle will want to do lots of market research, price ingredients, consider a marketing strategy and, above all, practice, practice, practice. (Free samples, anyone?)
Tap into your inner scientist: Tweaking recipes is a great way to understand the chemistry of food. What happens if we halve the sugar or double the fats? How important are the rising agents? Is it safe to swap different foods in a pinch? What if we change the ratio of liquid to dry ingredients? In our “Food Lab,” our learners experience food science first-hand, as they use the scientific method to conduct food experiments on their favorite recipes.
Tackle growth areas: There’s room for everyone in the kitchen, the free spirits and the rule-followers alike. For kids who just need to kick loose, use cooking to help them break some figurative eggs: encourage them to try a “create your own recipe” challenge, no worksheets or printables needed. On the flip side, for kids who are working on developing executive function, go for step-by-step instructions, celebrating when they complete each step (clean up included!).
For Prisma coach Lauren Green, the cooking enrichment club she created is a way for her to help learners grow in a low-pressure environment; as the Coach, she receives similar benefits herself:
“I chose to create a cooking enrichment because I am always wanting to try out recipes, but am frankly not the best cook and never dedicate the time to this. For Prisma, I find it to be a fun way to socialize without the pressure school lessons can bring. We are all there to have fun, laugh at our mistakes, and have the instant gratification of creating something we get to consume,” Green says. “I've always found that allowing kids to have full reign of a kitchen brings out a different side of learning. The self-confidence students get from being trusted (in a safe and guided way) is huge!”
Cooking-based projects can take many forms, beyond the delicious food your child cooks up. Use the kitchen as a launch pad to try the following activities for all age levels:
Whatever you choose to do, we recommend you start small. You know your kids better than anyone, so make sure they don’t bite off more than they can chew. By the same token, kids (even young children) need elbow room, so once you see they can handle a task supervised a few times and have mastered things like food safety, etc., step back and give them a decently wide berth.
When we teach kitchen skills as part of our Prisma High School Life Skills class, we send students on beginner missions first (for example, locating utensils in the kitchen, learning basic skills, etc.) and then up the complexity once they get confident (prepare a dish that involves chopping, sauteing, etc.).
Once you’ve wrapped up your lesson, the real bonus is when the learning continues beyond the unit study. Whatever your kids learn, they’ll be more likely to absorb if they get ample chance to repeat them. It’s fun to make a yearly holiday meal for the whole family, but to develop real kitchen skills, a weekly (or daily) ritual might be more effective.
Give your child the job of prepping a weekly meal, organizing snacks, or contributing a soup or salad to dinner — clean up too!
Want to learn more about how Prisma can empower your child to thrive?Talk with usTalk with us
How kids can design projects that solve real-world problems
Falling in Love with Science
There are plenty of ways that homeschoolers make friends and engage with their peers, while still reaping the benefits of a homeschool education.
Tools to build self-awareness and resilience
The real world isn’t divided into school subjects. Learn how we design our interdisciplinary curriculum.
Explore the importance of education for children’s overall development and get practical tips for convincing your kids of its importance.
The Superpower that Turns Kids into Lifelong Learners
What would it look like if school prepared us for life?
Why is it that in a world of unprecedented technological advances and time-saving innovations, we seem to be busier than ever before?
Imaginative play isn’t just for preschoolers. Here’s how to spark your child’s imagination.
The job landscape is shifting before our eyes. Here’s how to help kids navigate future career choices.
If your child has doubts, here’s how to help them get to a “yes.”
With adolescent mental health in crisis, here’s how to support your high school student’s well-being.
At its core, creativity is the expression of our most essential human qualities: our curiosity, our inventiveness, and our desire to explore the unknown.
The concept of critical thinking can seem vast and abstract. But one of the most meaningful ways you can start to tackle it is by rethinking the role of the teacher.
Imagine your child exploring new countries, meeting people from different cultures, and gaining a deep understanding of the world in a way that simply isn't possible in traditional education.
Unstick your child’s creativity, stretch their thinking, and improve their writing skills with topics that tap into their passions.
I never expected to find a family within my child’s school, but the leadership, teachers, parents and kids have become friends for life
Homeschooling can be overwhelming for parents. Here's how to recognize the signs of burnout & concrete solutions.
What’s behind your child’s complaint — and what to do about it.
If building social skills has been a bumpy road for your kid, here’s how to help them form healthy friendships.
The homeschool day can be quite efficient, compared to a typical public school day. Then, their school work completed, kids have plenty of time for extracurriculars, hobbies, unstructured play and generally... fun.
Possibly. But here’s what to do first.
To instill life-long healthy eating habits, take a hands-on approach
Distance learning doesn’t have to be a drag. Here’s how Prisma creates a community-centered online learning environment.
Distance learning is gaining popularity. Here’s what you need to know about online learning for high school students.
A bridge into high school, middle school is the time to prepare for independent learning. Here’s how to set the stage.
ADHD is only one reason for a short attention span. Find the cause, then try these tips for helping your child focus.
There’s no roadmap to develop a true passion — but here are ways to make the journey more fruitful.
Kristen Shroff is an experienced educational leader who has been with Prisma from the very beginning, first as a Founding Curriculum Designer & then as Head of School. Now, as CEO, she will lead Prisma into its next stage of growth.
Meet Claire Cummings, our Head of Middle School. Claire started out as a beloved Learning Coach in our middle school program before transitioning to the Head of School role in January 2023! She is based in Detroit, Michigan.
From making a meal to balancing a budget, here’s how to help teens learn to thrive in the real world.
In our Meet the Team blog series, you’ll get to read more about the innovative thinkers behind Prisma. Next up is Emily Veno, one of Prisma's Founding Curriculum Designers. After two years focused on building Prisma's middle school curriculum, in her new role as Head of Learning Innovation she works across both the middle & high school programs.
In our Meet the Team blog series, you’ll get to read more about the innovative thinkers behind Prisma. Next up is Leena Williams, the Lead Coach & Curriculum Designer in our new high school program.
Get to the bottom of your child’s apathy and help them find their ‘why.’
At Prisma, we believe the families and learners who like to call themselves Prismarians—are our ‘secret sauce’! Here we highlight one of our favorite stories from the Prisma community
From national parks to beach vacations, design an in-the-field learning experience the whole family will enjoy
Online learning takes many forms. Decide why you want to go remote — and the rest will fall into place.
Here’s how parents of ADHD children can set themselves up for successful learning at home.
Online learning doesn’t have to be distracting. These tips can prime your child to thrive at home.
From early childhood through high school, homeschooling provides the ideal setting to facilitate a gifted child’s learning. Here’s how.
And how can you support them in the classroom?
From fostering a love of learning to developing problem-solving skills, child-initiated learning is a pillar of a successful homeschooling journey. Here’s how to get started.
Focus on number sense and you’ll help your child add math skills to their toolkit.
Combine fun with a pinch of self-discipline, and you’ll be well on your way to a wellness routine your child wants to follow.
Kids need to develop their own world as they mature. But the stereotype of the zip-lipped pre-teen doesn’t have to be your reality.
It’s not easy to juggle full-time work and homeschooling — but it is possible. Here’s what we’ve learned about how to thrive.
Learning languages opens doors, offers connections and inspires new ways of thinking. Here’s some advice about which one(s) to pick.
Critical thinking matters for academics, work and relationships. Here’s how to lay the foundations at home.
Read about the hands-on learning opportunities one Prisma high schooler tackled in the Secrets of the Biosphere theme
Creative thinking is the key to problem-solving. Here’s how to foster creativity at home.
Traditional four-year college is only one option. Here’s how to inform your decision.
The Montessori approach focuses on early childhood. Here’s how the popular pedagogical method can lend itself to home-based learning for all ages.
Here’s what parents need to know about the popular social media network.
Here’s what every parent should know about facilitating a routine that works for the whole family.
Hands-on learning benefits all students. Here’s how to incorporate it into your homeschooling.
There’s no evidence to confirm the validity of these popular labels. But here’s how auditory learning strategies can benefit everyone.
Although no studies link these popular labels to academic achievement, here’s how visual learning helps everyone.
Here’s what parents need to know about the free, popular chat app.
Incorporate these reading tips into your routine, and you’ll be on your way to fostering a love of reading in your child.
Ready to Deck the Halls? Here are projects to engage kids of all ages—and tackle your seasonal shopping with DIY keepsakes.
More than just asking questions in the classroom, the Socratic Method helps learners test their own ideas in a real-life context.
Here are some guidelines to help sift through the infinite options.
When students set the conditions of their learning experience, they show more creativity, passion and sticktuitiveness.
With built-in lesson plans, educational tools, and endless problem-solving opportunities, Minecraft: Education Edition can help motivate kids in coding, science, language arts, and more.
Get into the spirit of gratitude with these easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids.
Teach children gratitude and they’ll experience better mental health, well being and social connection.
8 tips to ensure learning disabilities don’t get in the way of building reading skills.
Why does your child dread Mondays? Once you know, take these steps to help them (re)discover their spark.
To stop bullying behavior, educate yourselves and your children.
Bullying is about a power dynamic between peers. To interrupt it, first understand why it happens.
Children’s Mental Health is in Crisis. Here’s How to Help Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem.
To reach their high potential, twice-exceptional children benefit from a flexible learning environment.
The holiday season is the time to get your hands dirty with these Halloween craft ideas - candy corn optional.
Dyslexic kids often lose their love of learning. Here’s how parents can help them rediscover it.
The challenges of adolescence can be magnified for LGBTQ kids. Here’s how to help them thrive.
From bullying to finding a safe bathroom, LGBTQ students navigate a tough landscape at school.
What we know about the relationship between ‘hard fun’ and learning. (Hint: It’s not about playing games in between worksheets.)
Here’s what we mean by ‘success’ at Prisma - and how we use it to help kids thrive.
What parents need to know about socialization in—and out of—the classroom to help your homeschooler thrive.
Child entrepreneurship is trending. Here are three steps to developing an innovative business that stands out from the crowd.
A hands-on approach to develop real-world skills, resiliency and a love of learning — here’s how we practice it at Prisma.
A Shared Name and Diverse Strengths Led Two Bens to Build an AI Writing Business.
When traditional public school isn’t the best option, consider these alternatives.
Five ways parents can help their kids see themselves as a work in progress.
Gifted kids face unique challenges when it comes to burnout. Here’s how parents can help.
For travel-hungry families dreaming of school vacation, there’s much to celebrate about shifts in the way we live, work and educate our children.
To create a customized education for your child takes more than a checklist. This three-stage framework can help you get started.
If you’re homeschool-curious, here’s what 100 families have to say about the biggest advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling.
With homeschooling, the sky’s the limit – and there’s a lot on your plate. Learn about how to make this growing trend work for your family.
Learning how to use the internet safely, smartly, and creatively is one of the most essential skills for success in our hyper-connected world. Prisma learners just wrapped up their Cyber Citizens learning
A live learning platform purpose-built for kids. It's a new, fun and engaging way for kids to learn and collaborate together virtually.
Technology has completely revolutionized how we shop, communicate, entertain ourselves, and even how we work, but no such revolution has happened in education.
We’ve officially wrapped up our first ever fall session at Prisma and are excited to share our learnings and observations with you.
Starting today, families can apply to join Prisma from anywhere in the USA. Here’s how it will work. You can still apply to any of our five founding cohort hubs (Chicago, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, or Tampa) if you live nearby.
Over the past week, as millions of parents have realized that traditional in-person schooling may not be safe or available come September, a new twist on an old phenomenon has emerged.
We're excited to announce the rollout of Prisma cohorts in 5 US cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Salt Lake City.