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Mailing May {FI♥AR}

This was our first time reading Mailing May, so I did the lesson from the manual on the cover illustration. Eliana guessed that May was going on a trip, but never guessed that she was being mailed to get there!

Yes, Mailing May, based on a true story, is about a little girl, who in 1914, is mailed to her grandmother in Lewiston, Idaho for 53 cents in stamps!

We had fun with this one! We started out with an art lesson on how to braid that turned into making a braided rug, learned about healthy eating habits, went on a field trip to the post office, mailed some "unusual" items, and more!

Art: Learn to Braid/Make a Rag Rug

Inspired by the story and the lesson in the manual...

Sewing strips of fabric together...

Braiding the strips...

Sewing the rug...

Trimming the threads...

We used this braided rag rug tutorial and I machine sewed it using a wide zig-zag stitch.  (If I did this again, I would hand sew it.)

Science: Nutrition and Emotional Health, Finding comfort during times of stress

The kids made a list of ways to cope with stress:
  • essential oils like Stress Away or Peace & Calming 
  • listening to music
  • a hug
  • talk about it
Then we did a unit from Visual Learning Systems called Healthy Eating Habits.

Healthy Eating Habits
  • eating a well balanced and healthy diet
  • reading labels
  • meal planning
  • shopping for healthy foods (reading food labels)
  • preparing healthy meals
  • handling food safely
  • plan a healthy meal
See more of what we did in my review.

Plan Healthy Meals for a Day

We each made a healthy meal plan.

Eliana's Healthy Meal Plan
  • Crepes, sliced strawberries, fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Fruit plate with different types of fruit, plate of turkey and chicken with cheese and lettuce wraps
  • Salad with herbs and lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots, a few pieces of turkey, olive oil and vinegar

Malachi's Healthy Meal Plan
  • Eggs, turkey bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Whole wheat rotini with spaghetti sauce and fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Homemade chicken pot pie and salad  

Michelle's Trim Healthy Mama Meal Plan
  • Jay Robb Vanilla whey protein isolate shake with cashew milk (FP)
  • Cream cheese crepes with sliced strawberries and whipped cream sweetened with stevia (S)
  • Big Mac Salad - grilled cheeseburger on a bed of lettuce with finely chopped onion, and special sauce (ketchup, mayo, and dill pickle chopped finely) (S)
  • Cottage Berry Whip (FP) or Triple Zero Strawberry Yogurt (yum!)
  • Grilled salmon with lemon and quinoa seasoned with garlic and low-fat chicken broth (E)
And lots of Good Girl Moonshine to sip throughout the day (I use ginger and lemon essential oils in mine!).

Social Studies: Idaho, Daniel Boone, Life in the early 1900s
Idaho notebook page from COAH's Road Trip USA

My husband is from Idaho and we've made many visits for family reunions.

Idaho is famous for it's potatoes, and we will have potatoes with our recipe this week.

May says she feels "as adventurous as Daniel Boone" so we read Daniel Boone, by Arthur Guiterman from Favorite Poems Old and New - page 428-430.

Field Trip to an Old Mercantile 

My friend, Jenny, lives in Dayton and knows the owners, so she arranged a special field trip for us!

Since 1882!
The couple that bought the mercantile had intended to turn it into a home. Here is their beautiful new kitchen! 

And dining room...

And their living room...

A store! Right in their home. :) The town asked them to keep it as a store and they were happy to.

Old fashioned peppermint sticks like in the book! 

Upstairs in their home, is a museum of animals that the husband has hunted and collected from all over the world and we also discovered that he collects stamps! The oldest one dates to 1939 - just 19 years after May was mailed.

I had planned to make homemade peppermint sticks, but after seeing them at the mercantile, I let the kids each buy one (phew!).

Math:  Field Trip to Post Office 

How much is a single stamp? a roll? a sheet?

Vocab: parcel post, priority mail, COD, & media mail

We toured a post office in Dayton. A cute little post office!

It was fun to hear how the postmaster of this town handles unusual mail! She told us she does get unusual mail - live pigeons and sometimes baby chicks! I smiled and mentioned that May was classified as a baby chick when she was mailed. :)

Our post office is bigger, but still very old fashioned.

Math: Weights & Measures, Stamps & Money

May's weight is recorded and stamps are purchased according to her weight so she could be mailed to Lewiston, ID.  We did weights and measures with the old postal scale at our post office. We weighed some "unusual" items to weigh to make sure they were 13 ounces or less.

And we weighed produce at the grocery store...

A ticket to ride the train cost $1.55, but it only cost $0.53 to mail May. Eliana covered how to write 50 cents in cents and dollars in her Math Lessons for a Living Education, so that was a nice tie in.

Memory Making: Happy Mail ~ Mailing Something Unusual

I fell in love with the idea of 13 Ounces or Less via Kids Activities Blog - Unusual Things You Can Mail and planned right away to mail some unusual items for our row.  

Our loot to mail:

Jumprope, bouncy balls, Sky Bouncer frisbee, and a plastic baseball bat and balls to local friends and to the boys of a blogging friend (who wrote the cutest thank you letter back!).

I was unsure about the mailability of our items, but this Happy Mail How-To was super helpful.

While you can mail unusual items, the postal lady on duty seemed a little impatient to have to sell so many stamps.

I bought Elli various stamps to start her own collection.

Including the Inverted Jenny, which was her favorite.

Language Arts:

We covered aliteration for "Mailing May" and came up with a few including Marching Malachi.

FIAR Recipe: May's Comforting Chicken Pot Pie

Shopping list:
  • butter
  • onion
  • celery
  • carrots
  • flour
  • chicken stock
  • potatoes
  • chicken
  • parsley
  • dill
  • frozen peas
  • lettuce

Shopping for our healthy ingredients. 

Ingredients for our Chicken Pot Pie, salad, and fruit for dessert. 
We didn't end up making our meal. I put the chicken in the crock pot and we had chicken enchilada soup one night and I had intended to make the chicken pot pie the next night, but we had leftover soup instead. I used the rest of the chicken for chicken salad sandwiches on our trip. But guess what?! Luke's aunt had chicken stew waiting for us the night we arrived at the Grand Canyon - chicken pot pie without the crust! 

But we did make... 

FIAR Recipe: "Grandma's Butterscotch Cookies"

Mailing May is a Five in a Row selection from volume 4.


  1. You always make a FIAR unit study so awesome. I miss the books and never read Mailing May. We are doing Neil Armstrong right now from Beyond FIAR.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Yaye... rowing Volume 4!~! There are so few posts about Volume 4 and yours are the best! We are rowing V. 4 this year too and you just convinced me to do Mailing May... looks so fun. :) Cass @ TheUnpluggedFamily.com

  3. What a fun, hands-on row! I bet your kids will have wonderful memories of the learning experience.

  4. Great pictures! So glad we could participate in part of your row. I shared your post with Elaine, the owner at the Mercantile.

  5. Mailing May was a book I read to my girls in a train depot! We had so much fun. Brings back fond memories.