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5 Home-Schooling Ideas (Inspired by Coffee!)

We’ve all got one thing in common - our lives have changed dramatically. For some of you, that’s involved being plunged headfirst into the world of Primary or Secondary education. At home. With your own child. For an indefinite amount of time.

Now… breathe. It’s going to be fine. But we thought we’d help you out, by sharing a couple of ideas (inspired by coffee, of course) for homeschooling projects, to keep your kids interested. Probably - they are kids, after all. Try them out, and share the results with us on twitter or Instagram!

1. Draw and label the parts of a coffee cherry (biology)

Coffee cherry drawing

Chances are your offspring won’t even know coffee comes from fruit! The bitter black liquid (that they probably hate) comes from a shiny red cherry growing on a tree. Using the magic power of the internet, find them a diagram of a coffee cherry and get them to draw, paint, colour, or collage it themselves - and label all the separate parts!

2. Mark out the coffee belt on a map, and learn what it is (geography)

Coffee belt image

This is a bit more of a long-term project. If you can, print out (or trace?!) an outline of the world map. Using their research skills, get your kids to mark out the coffee belt - and then learn which countries fall into it, and the reasons coffee trees grow so well there - like climate, weather patterns, and other ecological reasons.

3. Learn some basic Spanish* (languages)

*The primary language of some of the largest coffee-producing countries

Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala speak Spanish - why not make that your child’s next languages project? Whether it’s learning a few basic nouns for younger kids (like “tree”, “farm” or “hill”) or trying out a language-learning app like DuoLingo for the teens, at the least they’ll be able to help you understand what the name of your latest brew means - and what a “fazenda” is, finally!

4. Write a report on commodity markets, and how they affect coffee farmers (economics)

This is one for the secondary school students. We’ve talked about commodity markets and - while they’re one of the drier topics on this list - it’d make a great research project. Get them to write a report or essay on 1) what it is, 2) how it works, 3) why it exists and 4) its impact on coffee farmers.

5. Learn about the chemical side of coffee ‘processing’ and roasting (chemistry)

Another for the older ones - though could be simplified for under-12s. For coffee to go from cherry to flat white, it has to go through a number of chemical processes. One involves shedding the cherry flesh to expose the bean, where it undergoes fermentation - to different levels depending on the method, which produces different results (like a fruitier, or more acidic taste).

The other is going from green bean to roasted - which also changes the taste and nature of the coffee, as varying levels of heat are applied over different periods of time. For big kids: get them to find out what’s happening on a chemical level, and the results of changing specific variables. The little ones can still get involved - drawing a step-by-step of the different processing methods like so:

Pulped natural process

If you have a go at any of these coffee-related projects, or come up with your own, tell us at @pactcoffee on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!


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