I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Book Club Co-op: Mailing May & Valentine's Party

I am always amazed at the creativity of the other three moms in our homeschool co-op.  And this last meeting was NO exception.  Although everyone headed over here to the Unlikely Homeschool, it was the Radio Announcer's wife's turn to teach the lesson.  Her assignment:  Mailing May by Michael O. Tunnell, the delightful true story of Charlotte May Pierstorff who was "mailed" via the United States Post Office to visit her grandmother in 1914.  

After reading the book together, we talked a little bit about how postal regulations have changed over the years.  We logged onto www.usps.com, chose three of the kiddos, and used the on-line calculation program to determine how much it would cost for us to mail a small, medium, and large-sized child across the state of Idaho (May's route.)

First, we went around the room and gave estimates as to what we each thought the three kids would cost...loosely based on the fact that it cost May's family $.53 cents to mail her.  Next, we had to incorporate some math skills to determine the type of parcel we would need to mail a person, the weight of each "package," 

the height, width, and girth, 

until we eventually determined the price of each child.  Just as the story depicted, the Announcer's wife wrote the amount on a card and pinned it to each "package." 

If our calculations were correct, it would cost me $60.94 to mail Sweetie Pea.

Mailing May coincidentally just happened to fall on the same day that we had planned to have our annual Valentine's exchange.  The Announcer's wife used this as an opportunity to demonstrate proper mail delivery.  She made up green "city" signs using the last names of each of our families.  Each sign was complete with the "population" of that city...just like the real things found on the side of the highway.  Each "city" (family) had to take their city sign somewhere in my house to set up "residence."  The kids frantically raced to claim just the right locale.  

Once spots were claimed and signs were "hung," one of the residents had to come back to the living room which was designated as the central post office to be a central mail deliverer.  ALL the Valentine's cards were dumped into a communal pile for the central postal workers to sort out by "city."

Once they had gathered a small handful of mail for their city, they delivered it to their smaller city postal office.  Sweetie Pea made a very efficient central mail carrier.

One or two of their siblings were the designated city postal worker.  It was his/her job to take all the city mail and deliver it to individual houses (pre-made Valentine's bags for each child.)  Super Boy and Blonde Warrior volunteered to be the local postal workers to deliver the mail for Unlikelyhomeschoolville, population 6, soon to be 7.

Snack time was next, and although I knew the kids would receive more than their share of sweet somethings in their Valentine bags, I made these peppermint bark hearts from some mini candy canes I had purchased on an after-Christmas sale.  

Even the youngest book-clubbers enjoyed our little party.

After snack, we put together a quick time-line of the United States Postal System.  The Announcer's wife had printed off a map-style time line that had short clues describing different delivery styles, from tall ships and stage coaches to delivery trucks and jet planes.  She read each clue and let the kids choose from a handful of replica stamps depicting those particular delivery methods.  Once the correct stamp was located, it was taped onto the clue and onto the map.

We took some extra time to briefly discuss one of the most adventuresome delivery methods, the pony express.  She showed a replica of a "wanted" poster that advertised for young, brave, and wiry boys to deliver the US mail at lightening speed.

We took a pause to play a quick relay game to determine which pony express "team" (boys vs. girls) would make the fastest delivery.

Each team member had to run through the house carrying a "package" (a small baton), touch her hand, and race back to the next rider on his/her route.  

To round out a very fun morning, we played a Valentine's version of Bingo with conversation heart markers.

Shibley Smiles


  1. So, many great ideas! I'll have to look for that book at the library.

  2. Mailing May is one of my all time favorites! Wonderful activities. Thanks Kristi

  3. What great ideas! I love the weighing one!

  4. Did she create the map herself? It's a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I, honestly, don't remember. This was about 10 years ago.