My whole philosophy about education is that you start with an interest, a desire and you fan it, feed it, and nurture it so that it sustains itself. Some interests are pass after learning just enough to satiate your curiosity. Other interests become more. Become desires. Become passions. Become dreams. Become goals. It is my job to offer more so that my girl can continue to grow and move closer to achieving her goal and ultimately her dream.
The unschooling side of me is not passive. Opportunities just don’t happen. Often they have to be created. Earlier this summer I posted on our town Facebook women's page if anyone knew of a good baking camp. The responses were dismal. Kids decorating cupcakes with Fruit Loop cereal or making fruit kabobs. Hardly appropriate for a kid who has a goal of owning her own bakery. I have no patience or tolerance for spending our money on classes that are dumbed down or meant to baby sit rather than educate. So what did I do? I created my own Baking Camp with a little help from a lovely online South African website called YuppieChef.com. (made known to be by www.Se7en.org.za )
Two other moms were interested and a week was set aside. Each day from 1:30-4:30 the girls would focus on one tutorial from the YuppieChef free course: The Art of Baking. We watched the tutorial, baked the recipe, created something artistic to go in our baking binders, sampled the baked goods and then adjourned for the evening. Our camp ran Monday through Thursday and it was simply lovely.
Day 1: The 10 Rules of Baking and Cake Day
Day 2: Cookie Day
Day 3: Cupcake/Decorating Day
Day 4: Bread Day
Baking Camp Reflections: I am so glad I held this camp. It was very time intensive. Uber-organization is not my strong point and for this level of baking to run smoothly with three girls ranging in age from 5th grade to 7th grade, organization is a must. The best part of this camp was not the baked goods, although they were very, very tasty. It was not that they learned rules and tips for making sure cakes don’t flop and bread rises, and if you forget to cut the bread dough into thirds it will still come out okay! It was not that they learned the difference between attachments for a stand mixer or how to tell if your oven is operating at the correct temperature. It was not that they learned that recipes in grams are very hard to follow without a gram scale and it is acceptable to substitute a similar recipe in its place. It is not that they learned how to fill a pastry bag and pipe beautiful, perfectly peaked frosting onto light and fluffy cupcakes. All these are important. But what touched me deeply was the courage each girl had in attending. Three girls came to this camp who did not know each other or did not know each other that well. At the end of this camp these girls had two new friends in the neighborhood. Real friends with a shared interest. That makes all the effort worthwhile.