50 States in One Summer

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had all these visions about the amazing enrichment projects I would do with my children someday.  Then, our first daughter was born and life took over.  Now, ten years later, I think we are finally ready to tackle our first big summer project!

So, I asked my three girls what kind of project they would like to do this summer.  My kindergartner suggested that we take a bike ride every single day – sounds fun but I was thinking about something a little more intellectually stimulating.  My second grader suggested that we re-read all the Harry Potter books – also sounds fun but not quite what I had in mind either.  My fourth grader has special needs so when I asked her what project she wanted to do this summer, she just smiled and smiled – I think so long as my voice is involved she will be happy!

I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands.  And, I decided to make up for lost time and chose a BIG project.  Here it is: We are taking a virtual tour of the United States - 50 States in One Summer.

And, we invite you to join us!  Every morning, Monday through Friday, I will post my summary for that day’s designated State.  We are starting with the first state to enter the Union (Delaware) and taking it from there.  I am including information I think kids would find fun and interesting – it is not exclusive by any means but rather a fun learning project.

Can we do it? Who knows.  Will I burn myself out in the process? Possibly.  But, if we can pull it off – what a great answer to the typical back to school question of “What did you do this summer?”

When I first presented my fabulous “50 States in One Summer” idea to our girls, they were not very impressed.  In fact, they were a little laissez faire about the whole thing.  Undeterred, I put together my to-do list and then got to work.  I did as much behind the scenes work as I could by making maps and conducting my research for each state.

I also wanted the girls to be involved in the process at least a little bit.  So I drafted a letter for them to send to both the Governor and the Board of Tourism of every single state.  112 letters total!  Are you wondering if your math is wrong?  Don’t worry – I included Washington DC and America’s five territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, America Samoa, the Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.

But, I had to take it a step further – I wanted the girls to sign all the letters.  Who could resist a letter that included the pictures of two cute little girls, as well as their names scribbled in red?  It took three weeks, two movies and a bribery of ice cream, but we got them all signed and addressed and out the door.  And, we can’t wait to see what we get back!  (Well, at least I can’t wait to see what we get back.)