Are You Ready for a Challenge? Pan-states!

We underestimate the life-long effect homeschooling can have on students. As homeschool parents, we demonstrate fractions by cutting up brownies or “drawing” in yogurt. We take science class into the backyard with a magnifying glass and carefully ignite dry leaves with the sun’s rays or peek into the miniature world of creatures existing beneath our feet. We see lesson applications everywhere we go in life and in everything we do. And then we are still somewhat surprised when we see our students continuing their educational adventures long after our “homeschooling” days are over. My son is a prime example.

My son was spending the weekend with my daughter, and he began making breakfast for his sister. Being the unstoppable comedian that he is, the pancakes began taking on shapes other than the usually simple, but somewhat boring round disks. It soon became a breakfast geography challenge to “name that state” as Iowa, Utah, New York, and New Jersey each took shape on the griddle. Hawaii was an obvious success, but the sharply angled states were a little more difficult to discern. The name “Pan-states” preceded a rush to do states having panhandles: Florida and Oklahoma leading the way. The entire process was soon overridden with such hilarious laughter that attempting to swallow food was not a safe activity.

What doting parents have not treated their little ones to bunny-eared pancakes or a breakfast tribute to Mickey Mouse? I have been well acquainted with shaped pancakes in the past, but this was a new concept for me. Even the cakes I shaped like my children’s initials seem quite tame by comparison now. Pan-states — pancake batter dribbled into shapes roughly (very roughly) resembling U.S. states. It brings a whole new dimension to breakfast.

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