Have you been hearing about poetry teatime in the homeschool community but wondered what it is or if it would be a good fit for your family? I was in the same boat about a year ago but now poetry teatime has become one of our favorite times of the week. I’ll share some ideas to help you start this awesome family activity as well as some of our favorite poetry books.
My kids have always loved having tea parties. Sometimes with pretend tea and foods and other times I’d help by making them some real tea and treats. They’d get dressed up in their fancy clothes ( usually some type of old Halloween costume) and let their imaginations run wild. I loved to watch them practicing their table manners and being oh so polite, in this house that’s always something we are working on. I never thought tea parties could have anything to do with our homeschool though, not until Brave Writer entered our life.
On one of my midnight Facebook group scrollings, I stumbled upon recommendations for Brave Writer. I was instantly drawn to the curriculum creator, Julie’s, personality and feelings towards homeschool. I soaked in as much information as I can about the Brave Writer Lifestyle, things you can add into your routine at home that can make a big impact on your children’s education. Julie talks about creating a language-rich environment to help kids develop their writing skills and to just be well-rounded individuals. Poetry teatime is a whole family activity that will do just that. All of my research and binge reading brought me down an Instagram rabbit hole of beautifully set tables with intricate china, hand picked bouquets and homemade brownies.
Now if you’re starting to learn a little about me and my kids, intricate china isn’t really our thing. I’m more an IKEA plastic plate mom, with some chipped tea mugs that we’ve had for years. I was honestly a little overwhelmed looking at all these photos on Instagram, thinking I had to have this perfectly set up table to make this poetry teatime thing work. I was so wrong, it doesn’t have to be picture perfect but there are some touches you can add to help make poetry teatime magical.
Some elements that make a nice table for poetry teatime are…
A pretty fabric tablecloth– especially if your kitchen table is as beat up as mine.
A centerpiece– I love elements from nature like flowers in the spring or a scattering of fall leaves or some evergreen in winter.
Candles– Candles bring in a special something to make the atmosphere more calming and inviting. We use tea lights or LED candles.
Fancy Teapot and China– Give yourself an excuse to break out that china that never gets used, or even to find some at a tag sale or antique shop. I found that using special dishes got everyone, myself included, more excited.
Books, books, books
What’s poetry teatime without the poetry books? We take turns picking and reading poetry while we sip our tea and munch our snacks. The sillier the poems, the better in our house. Here are some that we have loved using this year.
The New Kid on the Block Jack Prelutsky has been our absolute favorite poet! His work is so silly that we all end up almost spitting out tea from giggling too hard.
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem Another Jack Prelutsky favorite. This one is great because it also teaches you how to write poetry and some of the back stories to our favorite poems.
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups I got this one for myself for Mother’s Day because I fell in love with it at the bookstore. The poems are silly enough for your little kids with touches of adult humor and irony thrown in there. If your kiddos understand sarcasm they’ll totally love this book!
The Random House Book of Poetry for Children We love this collection! It is split into categories like The Four Seasons and Me I Am! which makes it so easy to quickly find a poem that relates to a certain topic.
Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry Another awesome collection with some very real and deep poems. I love how it has a section for special types of poems like haikus, limericks, and songs.
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings You can’t talk about children’s poetry without mentioning Shel Silverstein. Where the Sidewalk Ends is a must have for every family.
When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons If you’re all about seasonal poetry this is a fun one! The beautiful imagery made me feel like I was enjoying a crisp fall day even though I was in the sunny desert.
Pug: And Other Animal Poems Are your kids animal obsessed? Mine are! This book has poems about different animals and that totally kept my 6-year-olds engaged and wanting more.
It’s super easy to start adding poetry teatime into your homeschool. Just know as great as it is to have everything fancy with homemade treats it’s totally not necessary. A few glasses of lemonade and some store-bought granola bars work just fine as long as you’re together with your kids, enjoying poetry, and each others company that’s all that matters.
Do you incorporate poetry teatime into your homeschool? What has been your favorite poetry book to use?
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