Early in our homeschool journey, I discovered the fabulous Julie Bogart and her Brave Writer Lifestyle. One of the activities that Julie Bogart mentions in the Brave Writer Lifestyle is Poetry Teatime. Poetry Teatime is a great way to enjoy literature while bonding with your children. I was immediately attracted to this “enchanted education” and knew we needed to add it to our homeschool.
What is Poetry Teatime?
Put simply, Poetry Teatime is a time to set down with your kids to read poetry while enjoying snacks and tea. It shouldn’t be difficult. It shouldn’t require an advanced knowledge of poetry. It is a time when your kids can enjoy poetry without being bogged down in literary analysis.
Steps to Poetry Teatime
Step 1: Gather poetry books
Find some poetry books that your children would love like Shel Silverstein or Robert Frost. You can find poetry books at the library or in your local bookstore.
Step 2: Set the table
Set a place setting for each person including a teacup (or mug), dessert plate and napkin. Light candles or place a decoration on the table.
Step 3: Prepare snacks
Choose snacks your kids love. These can be as thought-out as cupcakes or scones or as simple as store-bought cookies.
Step 4: Brew tea
Start boiling the water to steep your favorite tea. If your kids are not fans of tea, then substitute with something they would enjoy like hot chocolate or lemonade.
Step 5: Hand out the books
Now it’s time to read some poetry. Pass out the books and let your children choose a poem to read. If you have non-readers, then read the poem out-loud for them. Don’t forget to pick out a poem for mom to read as well.
And, that’s it. Poetry Teatime is finished and there were no reading comprehension questions or analyses involved – just fun reading poems.
Our First Teatime
Our first teatime was a huge success. We invited grandma to tea, snacks, and a little poetry. We cleaned off the china, whipped up some apple turnovers, and pulled out every Shel Silverstein book we owned. The girls were beyond excited to read and recite their favorite poems. And even though they discovered they didn’t really care for the tea I had brewed (I have since found much better quality tea), they begged for more.
FaceTime Poetry Teatime
After our initial foray into Poetry Teatimes, we realized that inviting other people added a bit of “fairy dust” to our homeschool. We knew our cousins, who also homeschooled, would love to join us. But, unfortunately, they lived too far away to hop over for some quick tea and poetry. So, we came up with FaceTime Teatime.
The iPad sits on the table while we eat our snacks and drink our tea. The girls read poetry to each other, giggle, comment and cheer each other on. Not only are they sharing literature with each other, but they are also bonding as a family.
Library Poetry Teatime
FaceTime Teatime was such a hit that we decided to expand on it. Now, one of our favorite ways to host poetry teatime is with other homeschooling families at our local library. We schedule the first Tuesday of every month in our library resource room. We have snacks and tea. We read poetry that is based on a particular theme and then we write poems. What started as a couple of kids is now a thriving poetry teatime of 20-30 boys and girls each month.
Book Club Teatime
Teatime keeps sneaking into our homeschool. Sometimes it doesn’t even include poetry, but it is always surrounded by great literature.
When our local book club read a book that was set in England, we had to add a Secret Garden Teatime.
Simple Poetry Teatime
And then, sometimes it is just the three of us – sitting at a table – enjoying some beautiful literature. Poetry Teatime is a special time when we can decompress and enjoy some of our Favorite Things.
Here are some great ways to start a Poetry Teatime in your homeschool: