Our Great Big 50 States Adventure – Part One

There are three cycles of information spanning Ancient History to Modern in Classical Conversations. This upcoming year (cycle 3) the focus is on US History and Geography. We’ll be memorizing the states and capitols, as well as geographical features and historical timeline events.

As we hone in on the United States next year, I thought it would be exciting and enriching to see what stories and facts I could get regarding each state, from people who actually live there. So, I’ve set upon a great adventure to collect information in the form of mail (good mail…the kind with a stamp on it) for my kids. Mail is just flat out fun. Bonus: I got to sign my name 100 times. I love signing my name.



The Plan:

1. Mail (not e-mail) a letter explaining our studies and requesting information to the Tourism and Travel Department for every single one of the 50 states. Also send letters to the Governor of every single one of the 50 states.

2. Wait.

3. Receive awesome maps, brochures, letters and (hopefully) details about each state that can only be given from the perspective of folks who live and work there.

4. Use unopened packages as incentive for my kids during our studies. Be wildly successful at this manipulation.

5. Learn TONS and have a super-awesome-great-fun-good time in the process.

So far, the kids are really into this gig. They helped me stamp all the envelopes. The Spiderman stamps were a big hit.

All 100 of them. Interesting note. Give kids who can read this job and they will probably pay attention to the addresses. Since most tourism departments, and ALL governor’s offices are located in the state capitol, there was memorization happening even with this simple task.

They actually were having such a good time at the post office that an older gentleman (seriously old…and in a three piece suit) stopped by to tell us we were having far too much fun and “what do they think this is…a birthday party?”. A nice old man. Not a yelling, grumpy old man. 🙂

And, whenever they came upon a city or state named after a President (Jefferson City, Washington, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln), they broke into our Presidents Song from last year’s memory work. Yeah man. That’s what I’m talking about. Memory work review without even trying!

 

If you’d like to join us on this adventure, I’ve provided the lists of Governor’s Offices and Tourism Departments that we used for our mailings. I cannot guarantee that these are all correct as I didn’t individually check them – but the sources seemed legit. I suppose we’ll see if I get a bunch of “return to sender” mail instead of awesome packets of information. You could do this even if you aren’t part of CC, or not even a homeschool family. If you are taking a trip with your kids to a different state, why not have them write a letter to the tourism department or Governor?

Oh, and if you have a tech savy person who can set up a mail merge document for you – this whole process will go much…MUCH faster.

State Governor’s Offices List

Tourism and Travel Departments State List

 

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