If you are a stay-at-home parent considering homeschooling, you might be wondering how on earth you will find time to get everything done when you have to spend so much of your day teaching. Providing nutritious meals needs to remain a priority, but that can take time. Don’t let this discourage you. There are alternatives to ordering pizza five nights a week!
Managing time for cooking healthy meals is possible, even within the busy schedule of a homeschooling family.
It takes planning and organizing and one huge day of effort, but many hard-working moms and dads solve the problem of making dinner with Once-a-Month Cooking. When I was in the middle of my homeschooling adventure, I was thrilled to come across a book with this title by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg.
The two authors provide recipes, shopping lists, and detailed instructions for you to make meals ahead. These meals are then frozen or otherwise stored to save time on your busy days. Of course, it is understood that you will modify these in your meal planning to suit the tastes of your own family. Understand, too, that you don’t need to do everything on the same day. You can spread the process out over two days or more if it is too much to fit into just one day. You can also decide to cook once a week. The concept is very flexible.
Applying the ideas behind once-a-month cooking doesn’t just save you time in your day-to-day. It can also leave you with ready-to-serve dinners in case of emergencies outside your family, too. Many church groups, for example, bring meals to members who have fallen ill or who could use some assistance.
Even before I found Once-a-Month Cooking, I had two books called Make-a-Mix Cookery and More Make-a-Mix Cookery. These gems contained recipes for such things as homemade pancake mix, muffin mixes, and seasoning mixes. In addition to these practical mixes, the ladies behind the Make-a-Mix series provided recipes for frozen meat and vegetable mixes, cooked in bulk and packaged in family sized servings. Just add pasta or rice for a quick and hearty family meal.
Good time management, planning and cooking ahead can free you for more home teaching time, but don’t forget that all that food preparation is another great learning opportunity for your children. Mixing and measuring, cooking and baking are nothing more than tasty science experiments! Every child needs to understand where food comes from. Getting the whole family involved in meal planning and preparation can be an adventure for everyone.