Many children play tea time at one point or another. I know my six-year-old still has us sit down to enjoy a little tea time together. I also notice that when reading books that have a bit of rhythm and rhyme to them, they are both drawn in. Once we are settled in a new home, I would love to incorporate a poetry tea time once a week.
Since everything we do as unschoolers is self-directed, I would invite them to poetry tea time. Should they be interested one day, great, and if not, I will enjoy the new ritual for myself.
So, let’s start with the basics, what is poetry tea time?
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What is Poetry Tea Time
There are many benefits of reading poetry with your children. Poetry introduces rhythm, new vocabulary, links creativity and playing with words, hearing and identifying patterns, and works on inflection and expressing emotions just to name a few.
Poetry tea time is pretty much a special time set to read poetry with tea or any drink of choice and special treats or snacks. The time should be fun and special.
Poetry tea time is very popular amongst homeschool families that follow a Charlotte Mason philosophy. It is where I first discovered that tea time and literature together was a thing in homeschool.
However, poetry tea time is a ritual that many homeschoolers practice, no matter their philosophy of education.
Brave Writer Lifestyle
Julie Bogart, the author of the popular homeschool book, The Brave Learner, is also the owner of The Brave Learner Home community, discusses the value of poetry tea time. ” When you pair poetry with tea, your children create a connection between contemplation and rest, while also creating memories of serenity and joy” (source).
Tea Time Attire
For an enchanted poetry tea time, dressing up is an option. If your children love dressing up or are really into dramatic play, this might be something they look forward to. If that’s not your thing, or theirs, then come as you are.
This time is meant to be a “break” from the day-to-day of homeschool and/or life. No pressure. Just relaxation.
Many people have themed poetry tea time related to whatever they’re studying. This is more for the Pinterest-loving people like myself. If you are doing a tree unit study, you might set the table with some forest decor and wear fairy attire.
Again, attire should be an individual choice. If I show up in full fairy attire and my six-year-old wants to wear a Darth Vader costume, then hey, it’s a good time for a good time, ha. You get the point.
Tea Time Snacks
Ah, snacks. What we all really show up for right, just kidding. Depending on how often you have poetry tea time, or how you’re feeling that day, snacks can be simple or elaborate.
Think of a bowl of trail mix, juice boxes, and some cheese sticks for a laid-back snack. Light a few beeswax candles and call it tea time.
If you like Pinterest, you might have a cheese and deli tray, fruit tray, and crackers. Maybe you decide to do breakfast tea time with waffles, fruit, and non-caffeinated tea.
Here is a list of great snacks:
- Cucumber sandwiches
- Charcuterie board or snack board (deli meat, cheese, crackers, etc.)
- Fruit and vegetables
- Warm (or cool) beveridge of choice like hot cocoa
Poetry Tea Time Books
I know this time is supposed to be for poetry, but I would love to include read-aloud books. Here are a few of my booklist:
- AUTUMN BOOKLIST CHILDREN WILL WANT TO COZY UP WITH
- ULTIMATE LIST OF BOOKS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN KIDS
- NEW BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOKLIST FOR HOMESCHOOLING
Now, for a few poetry book recommendations:
How To Have Poetry Tea Time
Now that we have the basics down and know what we need for an inviting poetry tea time, let’s talk about how to have poetry tea time.
This part is simple. First, choose what time works for your kids. This should be when they are typically cool with sitting or being at the table for a while.
Next, set the table and bring out the snacks and tea. You can do this Pintrest style or keep it basic.
Then, grab your books and everyone (that reads) can take turns reading a poem or story of choice. For younger children, have paper and crayon or something they can do with their hands.
There you have it. Once poetry tea time is done, everyone can help clean up.
When Should You Have Poetry Tea Time
Julie Bogart, from The Brave Learner community, recommends a weekly poetry tea time on Tuesdays. Routines are great, but the beauty of home education is that you can adjust your schedule to work for your family.
Do you incorporate a poety tea time? Share a little about your families ritual.