Did you have a pen pal when you were growing up? I had a couple, and it was always fascinating to me to hear about how it was to live in different places all around the world.
Homeschooling Geography in a way that can be relatable and interesting to your kids can sometimes be a challenge.
Luckily, there is a program that is different from a traditional pen pal, it’s really cool, and it will help you to widen your kids’ view of the world and more. I use it to spark the kids’ interest in geography, to build their curiosity about the world, and to get them more interested in writing (sneaky!).
It’s a totally FREE program, called Postcrossing.
The program works like this:
From the website:
“First, the short version:
- request an address from the website
- mail the postcard to the address
- wait to receive a postcard
- register the received postcard in the system”
Once you start an account, you simply request an address from the website. It randomly generates an address and special code for you. Create (if you make your postcard yourself, make sure it’s sturdy) and mail your postcard, making sure to include your special code in several spots on the postcard.
You want to make sure your code is in several spots, because you never know if one may get ruined or covered up in transit. This code is registered into the Postcrossing system by the recipient to signify they received your postcard, which in turn allows you to be eligible to receive a postcard. We all want that!
Then, wait to receive your postcard, and register the code on the postcard in the system and keep it going!
After we sent our first postcard, the kids were a little bummed by how little space there was on a postcard to write in. We found this handy antique that helps with that. We can fit in a lot and not have to worry about formatting a printer for a postcard.
Sometimes members will have a little profile about themselves on the website (that only members can see) that helps you to unfold a little bit of the mystery of the sender.
Sometimes people will prefer postcards that depict certain subjects, but you don’t have to adhere to that.
You can chose to have up to 5 postcards traveling at any given time, and you can chose to only exchange postcards internationally, or include your home country as well.
There are over 675,000 members from 208 countries.
“The goal of Postcrossing is to connect the world via real mail, by allowing you to exchange postcards with other random members around the world.”
We always look up the country on our world map, find some interesting facts about the country, and look up the sender on the Postcrossing website for their profile. This gives the postcard a life of its own, and really makes the postcard meaningful to the kids.
We tend to digress into many conversations and google searches depending on what we find out about the sender and their country. This is a great, organic way for the kids to lead in their own learning.
- Build a Postcard collection
- Start a Stamp collection
- Art – Design your own postcards to send!
- Writing – Build a love for writing in your kids
- There are no rules that say you HAVE to have kids to join this program! 😉
(This post is not an affiliate post.)