If you’re not sure whether hands-on homeschool activities are do-able for your family, you might start with just one learning adventure each week.
For our family, Saturday night was pizza night. We had all day to make the dough from scratch, then in the evening we’d pile on the toppings and pop it into the oven to bake while we selected a game or video. Soon our house was filled with the aroma of herbs and cheesy goodness. Mmmm…sensory learning at its finest!
If you’re wondering what you can learn from preparing a pizza, keep reading!
Of Leaven and Heaven
You can make a Bible study lesson out of something as simple as bread dough. Matthew 13:33 tells us that “the kingdom of heaven is like leaven (yeast), which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.” It’s amazing to me that it still takes about three cups of flour (meal) to make enough dough for one pizza crust. Our children loved kneading the dough–getting their hands messy, rolling and patting out the circle.
You might talk with your children about how Christians are like yeast mixed in with the rest of the world’s people. Ask if they can think where else the Bible compared unsaved people to grain “white unto harvest.” What does yeast do to dough that is similar to the effect the kingdom of heaven has on the whole of a culture? How much yeast does it take to make a difference?
Four Basic Food Groups
Pizza making provides an option to learn practical lessons, too. For example, you can teach your children about nutrition by pointing out that pizza is a complete meal containing something from each of the four food groups–the crust is bread dough made of grains. Then we add tomato sauce. Tomatoes are a fruit. (And what makes them a fruit and not a vegetable? You might have to go look that up while the pizza is baking!) Onions, peppers, and herbs are definitely vegetables. Are olives a vegetable or a fruit? They do grow on trees, but fruits and vegetables all go in one group, anyway. Then we put on the meats: ham, sausage and pepperoni. Finally we spread a layer of cheese from the dairy group. The perfect meal!
Mathematics and Mozzarella
Pizza “pies” are round, but your older children might like to take measurements and see if the area of your pizza is “pi R squared”…or if the circumference is “2 pi R”.
Young children can learn about fractions by cutting the pizza. Halves. Quarters. Eighths. If you make two pizzas, you can demonstrate how 16 eighths equals 2 wholes.
Even very young children can help measure ingredients and tell you if their portion is “greater than” or “less than” their sibling’s.
In my experience, children almost never complain about a meal they helped cook!
Our children are grown now, but homemade pizza is still one of our family’s treasured traditions.
If this idea has your mouth watering, why not give it a try this weekend?
If you need a recipe for dough, this one is very similar to mine. 🙂