There were some things in public school that just weren’t all bad. Some things were actually pretty great. Valentine’s Day parties were one of them. And Valentine’s day parties can be a little hard to do as a homeschooler–especially if you are an only child! Some things you just need a good handful of kids for! And…this is one of many reasons why you need a co-op in your life! (Psst…Did I mention we have an open house coming up? Message me and I’ll send you details!)
Growing up in school I loved making my little “mailbox” every year. It was usually a highly decorated shoebox with a little opening for the cards to be put in. I also loved going to the store and picking out my Valentine cards. There were so many kinds! The worst was when you got the exact same set as your friend and so you got duplicates. But even back then there were so many kinds that rarely happened.
But the most fun of all was the excitement and anticipation of when class time would be over and we’d finally get to “deliver” them all to our classmates. Reading each name and carefully and lovingly putting it in the correct “mailbox”. And then when you were done you got to sit down at your desk and open up each little card. It was just like getting grown up mail!
I always loved getting the mail at home. My kids love it too. It was so fun to walk outside and open the mailbox, putting the little flag up and putting it down. And on the rare occasion there might be a letter for me with my name on it! It was so exciting to turn it over, open it up and see – each letter contained a surprise – at least to me that’s what it felt like. Even if the surprise was just a note from Grandma it was this unknown and exciting thing! Something special and out of the ordinary. And that is what a Valentine’s Day party is like. A shoebox full of Valentine cards is just like getting grown up mail except you get a whole bunch – all at once!
Valentine’s day cards have actually improved over the years. It felt like every year I would get a set and there was always 25% of the pack that had romantic underpinnings to them (“You’re hot stuff Valentine!”) and I had to decide which 10 kids in my class were going to receive those cards with my name signed on it. That was the only part I hated. Ugh–who was I to tell this year was “hot stuff”.
Thankfully cards are now completely neutral! My boys can just give everyone a star wars mask valentine! How does that relate to St. Valentine and his sacrifice of love? I can’t think of any way it does at all. It is just purely for fun! LOL (And slightly for the sake of hilariousness–I got these cards at the dollar store and I think they were meant for a little kindergarten or first grade boy’s face–not my 12 year old! He looks like a storm trooper that has seriously outgrown his mask!)
But lest you think us entirely sacrilegious, you should know we did read the story of St. Valentine. It is part of the second grade enrichment curriculum and it is a lovely book commemorating him and his martyrdom.
The kids obviously had a blast. As teacher and “headmistress” I got some fun special things just from me to put in the boxes (again– the dollar store– I spent like $3 for all this joy): little mini skateboards, heart shaped balloons, and red bubbles. All of which were a huge hit! Surprisingly it was the deflated heart shaped balloons that brought the most joy.
As you can probably guess, Valentine’s Day might just be one of my very favorite holidays. (But just wait until St. Patrick’s Day!)