CORE CONNECTIONS – WHAT ARE THEY?
Within our units are BONUS Core Connections. We began adding these for free as a courtesy, since 2021. Were you looking for how to count this toward high school credits? Go HERE instead. Otherwise, read on and we will explain our entire approach!
In With the Skills of | A Professional Chef, your family is naturally learning all about science and chemistry by nature of the topic (cooking science, the chemical properties of food, Earth science with herbs and spices, Maillard reactions, emulsification properties, etc etc…). We go over it all within the unit. The unit can be classified as a science unit all on its own (a fun one where they kids don’t even realize they’re learning, haha!). BUT here’s what we also put into the unit for those who want it:
HIGH SCHOOL CORE CONNECTIONS:
- Math: We teach throughout all 12 lessons about what the professional chef ACTUALLY needs to learn for the profession and in culinary school. We teach about units and conversion, recipe scaling, yield percentages, purchasing the right portions… AND, we give math problems for them to figure it out with the formulas chefs use (APC, APC per unit, APQ, EPQ, Yield percent, etc)
- History/geography/social studies: From the history of butter to Chinese involvement with the invention of cast-iron cookware, our historical connections aren’t just “boring history in a history book timeline.” We are able to bring in lessons from all over the world with history that connect to aspiring chefs in the most incredible ways. We also focus on how history impacts the present. IE: How is our modern-day professional chef or family cuisine different BECAUSE of the events that happened in history (including famines, etc)? What a better way to connect to history/geography/social studies and retain learning like this?! Our “History Connection” approach, in general, is to tie history to what matters to the student. We connect to unique parts of history that most textbooks overlook, while also tying connections to US and World History in chronological order. We may use a lesson to connect to an important war or time period and challenge the student to think critically about how it impacts present day; or, we may connect the lesson to something that the student may have never learned about before (such as the invention of cast iron and how that ties to our modern-day bridges… which is just as important). Or, we might be going down the path of the history of medicine, or the history of meteorology…. It all matters and connects.
- Language Arts: we use all 12 lessons to take the student’s hand and lead them through the “language arts” skills specific to a professional chef (although the skills can be used in any and every part of life!). Adjectives, word choices, menu items, communication to staff, making their food sound better than their competitor next door (with nothing more than WORDS). So many children hate learning “language arts” (not many enjoy sitting down and diagramming sentences). But… when you connect language arts to something they love, it just clicks. They’ll start sharing new adjectives and better ways of communicating! We also focus on speech and communication in this unit (not just written language arts).
Our “LA Connection” approach, in general, is very Charlotte Mason-inspired. The lessons emphasize creative writing, writer’s voice, speech, picture studies, word choice, communication skills, adjectives, literary techniques, and also place a focus on the language arts skills needed for that career field (as mentioned above). We lead the student through it lesson by lesson, as it gradually increases in difficulty and works toward an overall unit theme (typically ending in an essay, speech or project of some sort).
- Bible (we include a Faith Talk devotional in every lesson)
- Critical Thinking (we include a Think Tank/ethics conversations to challenge critical thinking in almost every lesson)
- Spelling: We incorporate a spelling list based on the exact words that are in this unit and that chefs frequently use
ALL OTHER AGE GROUPS: All of the other ages (elementary – high) have Core Connections that look similar to the high school example above, except it is all age-appropriate. Same basic concept, gently maneuvered to match your student’s development.
We do not have Core Connections for pre-readers, nor do we have a phonics program.
Why did you start including Core Connections?
We discovered through job shadowing the professionals and using our curriculum with our own children that almost every part of a child’s schooling can inherently be connected. For example, when we would job shadow a Volcanologist (which is 100% science, right?), she would say something like, “You know, this science was discovered because of XYZ in history, over on ABC island….” This led to deeper questions about History Event XYZ and the geography of ABC island. That led to a conversation in social studies…
Then, she started sharing about how a portion of her job is to write Emergency Action Plans or persuasive reports and how that looks in her professional field (language arts!). Then, we learned about many of the common controversies and hardships in the volcanologist arena (critical thinking!). Math was a big one, as she shared all of the different formulas they use to determine lava types and flow….. it just went on and on. The connections were endless. In all of our different units, we realized our child who previously disliked history was soaking it up. Our child who wasn’t that into science didn’t even realize they were learning science and kept asking questions! The one who loathed language arts? The same one who spit out a paper for us (pretending to be a professional) without our asking for it. The connections being made were so priceless, and the memory retention was so strong that we couldn’t NOT provide that to our customers, as well. For now, it is included for free in all units.
It’s priceless information that we wouldn’t want to leave out. This is what will actually help equip a person to USE what they learn in the real world, even in other areas of life and ultimately in a future profession.
IS THIS A CORE CURRICULUM?
It can be used as such (we advise adding math). However, it is so much MORE than a core curriculum. Campfire Curriculums was originally designed to be used as an extracurricular but is used as the foundation of core curriculum for a large percentage of our customers. You can do either! It offers something that is completely missing in the homeschooling world: job shadowing, skills enhancement, and life awareness from home. High school students had no way to access anything like this before. Elementary children had nothing that could really and truly spark their passions as they shared with their family. We specifically made it open-and-go so that FATHERS could get involved and bond with their children—just like in days of old as they sat around a campfire. There really is NOTHING else like this. We use REAL professional contributors, and we combine it all into a very Charlotte-Mason inspired approach (which means lots of experiential learning and loads of fun while you’re at it). Job/skill shadowing and life enhancement from home… there’s nothing else like it.
Use it on its own or add it to your regular core curriculum… it’s as flexible as you want it to be!
SEE HOW TO USE IT FOR HIGH SCHOOL CREDITS HERE
GO BACK TO “HOW IT WORKS”