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The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Poetry Tea Time (teatime)
Incorporate poetry tea time into your homeschool routine and help your children learn to enjoy poetry without the stress of studying it. With our simple guide to poetry tea time, you and your kids will look forward to it every week!
Why Read Poetry
When you think of poetry, what comes to mind? Many of us associate poetry with trying to figure out rhyme schemes and whether a poem was written in iambic pentameter (Thanks, Shakespeare). Poetry felt stuffy and mysterious and sometimes even boring.
Perhaps when you consider teaching poetry as a homeschool mom, you even dread the thought of it. You may wonder, “What’s the point?”
I doubt any poet wrote a poem hoping people would spend their time figuring out the rhythm and rhyme of it, or even assigning an interpretation of its meaning.
Poetry was meant to be read, to be contemplated, to move people or make them laugh or simply pause. Sure, there’s a time and place for studying the craft of writing poetry, but not before kids learn to enjoy it, or at least appreciate it!
Poetry tea time will help you focus on the purpose of poetry instead of the process of studying it.
What is Poetry Tea Time
Poetry teatime was created by Julie Bogart of Brave Writer, and it’s not surprising that the concept has taken off in the homeschool community. During this regularly scheduled time—we recommend weekly—you and your children gather around a table and enjoy one another and of course, poetry.
Pour a cup of tea for each person, serve some treats, and simply read poems. Yes, it’s really that simple. To appreciate and even learn to love poetry, we have to read it. And by creating an atmosphere of calm connectedness, our kids will think of poetry in that context.
4 Benefits of Doing Poetry Teatime with Your Kids
Why is poetry teatime so valuable?
- Helps you to create a language rich environment. A home filled with books and reading of all kinds helps your kids to naturally absorb language arts skills. Listening, reading with expression, and recitation are just some of the skills involved.
- Gives your kids an appreciation of the beauty and power of language. Poets are masters of language. They know how to move the reader along with rhyme and rhythm or simply the structure of their writing. They know how to make words sound like music. And they have the ability to pick just the right words to convey the most feeling and thoughts.
- Helps kids to understand literary language. Literary language, like the use of metaphors and similes, is the language of poetry. And as kids hear it and understand how powerful it is, they will eventually be able to use it in their own writing from creative stories to essays.
- Provides a time to stop rushing and simply sit and enjoy. Think of it as a nice, quiet break in your busy homeschooling weeks. It’s a time to connect with family and enjoy one another.
- Takes away the intimidation factor. When children grow up hearing and reading poetry, it becomes more accessible. Their appreciation and understanding of more sophisticated poetry will grow as they do.
How To Plan a Poetry Tea Time
We recommend doing poetry teatime on a weekly basis as a part of your homeschooling routine. You can make poetry teatime work for your family. Because every family is different, here are a couple of ways to do it—though we find a mix of the two to be just perfect.
Keep it Simple
Many weeks you’ll want to keep it simple. Poetry teatime should never feel like a burden, but something you and your children look forward to. One of the key elements of a successful poetry teatime is kids’ associating poetry with pleasant memories, and a stressed-out mom simply won’t do that!
Get some store-bought cookies (or some slice-and-bake ones) and serve the kids favorite drink whether it’s tea, hot chocolate, or milk. Then gather around the table and read poetry together.
You can even step up these simple times with a tea set, table cloth, and candles without much extra effort.
The important thing is not to skip doing poetry teatime because it feels like just one more thing on your list. Gathering around the table, relaxing, enjoying poetry and one another is the goal.
Make it Special
However, there are times you will want to make it special and extra fun. (And yes, for some of you who love to, you’ll plan these special ones often!)
Think of themed poetry teatime as special events your kids will really remember. Bake some homemade treats, decorate, include some fun activities, and, of course, read some poetry.
Some themes you may want to try:
- A Very Silly Teatime. Enjoy the poetry of Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. Make Funfetti cookies, let the kids dress in silly clothes. Create your own silly poems. This is a great way to kick off your first poetry teatime.
- Christmas Teatime. Christmas cookies and a reading of The Night Before Christmas are, of course, the “must haves”. Be sure to have some Christmas music going on in the background. Serve peppermint tea with candy canes, hot chocolate with marshmallows, or apple cider.
- Nature Teatime. Time to take your poetry teatime outdoors! Get a picnic blanket and pack a basket with treats. After enjoying poetry all about nature, take a nature walk.
- Animal Teatime. There are so many great poems about animals. Go ahead and get some animal crackers for this one to enjoy as you read the poems. Let your kids draw pictures of the animals in the poems. And if you live near a zoo, follow up your teatime with a trip to see the animals (bonus if you read a poem about the animal you are looking at!).
Resources for Poetry Tea Time
We love Stash Peppermint Herbal Tea, especially for the child who isn’t used to hot teas. It’s caffeine-free and has a light peppermint flavor. Perfect for serving with shortbread cookies! (Or if you want a store bought option, try Pepperidge Farms Chessmen cookies.)
Other favorite teas:
Another favorite resource: An electric tea kettle! These kettles will heat your water in just a few minutes.
Enjoy Poetry Teatime in Your Homeschool
We want to make planning as easy as possible for you as a homeschool mom so that you can make poetry teatime happen in your home.
That’s why we’ve created My Eclectic Poetry Teatime Planner. In the guide you’ll find printable worksheets you can use again and again. Be sure to include your kids in on the planning. We know they will have some great ideas.
And don’t forget to enjoy! You may just learn to love poetry on a whole new level yourself.