Since we started homeschooling almost 7 years ago, I envisioned us spending our days together, completing enriching activities. I hoped we would incorporate art, music, poetry, good books and everything 'extra' that I didn't see happening in the schools I taught at.
I wanted slow, beautiful mornings with my babies- mornings where we dove into beautiful subjects, learning side by side and creating together.
Fast forward 6 years and although we have those beautiful lessons, they aren't as often as I would like. It turns out that as activities and extracurriculars build up, core subjects get more challenging and we add more members to our family, it becomes harder to have "unplanned" beautiful enriching mornings.
We have been trying to make poetry and tea time a part of our homeschool curriculum since the beginning, but I never really made up a plan for it. Now, don't get me wrong, you don't need a huge and well thought out plan to have a beautiful and slow morning filled with poetry. But, I found that we just weren't making it happen- ever. Week to week we kept skipping it. Which was really disappointing because poetry was replaced with the rush of math, spelling and the rest of our school day. I had to find a way to hold myself accountable and Poetry Tea Time Tuesday was just what we needed.
I am going to share my plan and a free printable for you to use in your homeschool as well!
To begin, I decided to make Poetry Tea Time a weekly thing and in order to hold myself accountable we gave it a day of the week. Poetry Tea Time Tuesdays was born. Obviously, It can be any day of the week for you, but I love the alliteration (especially for a poetry lesson!).
Second, I told my kids to hold us accountable to this Tuesday routine. Kids are great at this! They are always looking for an excuse to not start their mornings with the regular grind and they love Poetry Tea Time for the fun poems and the snacks. I told them that if they want to do Poetry Tea Time Tuesdays they will need to "set it up" on the dining table after breakfast. Make sure you get my free printable for setting up Poetry tea time here. They really enjoy the set up. What kid doesn't love a good tea party?
Setting up for Poetry Tea Time is easy. I love collecting table cloths, so we have a cabinet full of them right next to the dining table. The first thing that the kids do is lay a table cloth down (making for easy clean up at the end) . They love picking one each week and I find that the table cloth makes it special as well as easy to clean.
Here are a couple affordable tablecloths we have from Amazon:
You can also find so many beautiful vintage tablecloths from the thrift store or Etsy !
Next, the kids get out the tea set. We have a tea set that was gifted from my grandma and I store it all in a box, so all they really need to do is pull the box out of the pantry.
Their favorite set up job is getting out snack. Homeschoolers are snacking masters, so this part is easy. I would love to say that I am organized enough to have beautiful tea time snacks like scones and tea cakes, but we don't. Maybe someday. For now, they will just get out some crackers and granola bars or maybe some toast.
Finally, they put our Poetry book collection on the table. I keep it all on a shelf next to our dining table now, but for years it was in a basket by the couch. Find anywhere to store it all as a collection and it will be so much easier to get it out and pick it up.
My job is to brew the tea. I always choose something soothing like vanilla and of course it is caffeine free. They love drinking tea because it makes them feel grown up.
Once we sit down we have a routine that we go through and the kids have grown to love it. It is almost like tradition now and hopefully something they will always remember. Want an easy guide for running Tea Time? I made a handy free printable for you here.
Basically, we start with everyone sharing a few of their favorite poems from any of the poetry books. Then we have been working our way through A Child's Introduction to Poetry. This is actually our second time working our way through this book and they do not tire of it! It is a wonderful book that shows types of poetry, examples of that type and even has fun accompanied audio to hear the poems from someone who isn't mom. It is by far my favorite poetry book for young children to learn the nitty gritty of poetry.
After we read about a type of poem and hear examples we all take some independent time to write our own poem based on what we studied that day. This is where the magic happens! The kids enjoy writing poems so much after listening to such great examples. It is as if they don't even realize this is a lesson because of the magic of tea time and great books! Once we are all done writing we each get some spotlight time to read our poem out loud.
We close poetry with me choosing some poems to read to them and discussing the poem with them. I am by no means well versed in Poetry , but we talk about how it makes us feel, what we imagine when we hear the poem and if we enjoyed it or not. I give them the option to draw or sculpt playdough while listening.
So there you have it! An easy, accountable way to incorporate Tea Time into your weekly routine. You can even do it once a month and give it a day number to fall on, or more than once a week. You don't have to be an expert at poetry by any means to enjoy it with your kids and you will be amazed at how much they love reading and writing beautiful poetry.
If you love this post and try poetry tea time with your kids, please leave a comment below or email me to share!
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