Friday, April 15, 2016

Variations on "Poetry Tea Time"

Have you heard about "Poetry Tea Times"-- check out the hash tag #poetryteatime on instagram or look at their website! Also check out their #poetryteatimecontest !

It's not a curriculum or for only homeschoolers.  It's an idea that can be molded to fit any family or interests. 

Here's the idea.
1. Parents (usually) value poetry (or other educational or enrichment type things they could plug into this idea.)
2. Kids value snacks!  Or a special meal of some kind!  (If they aren't into a tea party you could go to Starbucks for Frapps or a frozen yogurt place!)

So, basically you are using snacks or a special drink or "tea party" as the hook to introduce a subject to be enjoyed!  You can do this with math even!  As a kid I remember my mom giving me a little pile of chocolate chips to use for counting with my math page and when I was done I got to eat the chocolate chips.  I don't remember what part of math I was learning at the time, but I remember that feeling of enjoyment even in a subject I didn't really want to do.  That's the idea. ;)  It's a way to make some educational thing enjoyable.  :)

 Getting poetry books from the library is a great place to start because then you aren't out any money if no one likes the poems!  We have been enjoying "Animals Animals" by Eric Carl which has poems by many different authors along with his illustrations.

 Candles are a fun thing to add for a poetry tea time!  We will sometimes even roast mini marshmallows over the candles.  The one above is fun because the butterflies turn around from the heat of the candle.
 My 10 year old above is reading all the poems she'd already learned in her Animals spelling book.  It is a great way to learn spelling words in a holistic in-context sort of right brain dominant learning style way. 

The little one mostly drank tea.  Adding milk and drinking and adding more.  As lovely as a tea time sounds a little real bit in it is of course that you will have to stop and mop up spilled milk every so often.  I cut to the chase and have "tea towels" at the table for those spills.

 The video above is the three of us reading the poems we wrote.  Somehow it turned into a bunny thing. They dictated their poems to me and I wrote a little fast so my handwriting was a tad hard to read I am told.  ;)

 The picture above is of my 8 year old doing her little math book and her "brain games" from the Thinking Tree, but for the actual poetry reading part she read from her spelling book as well.  This book is bigger than the previous one and the poems are longer.  I would say it's a bit more advanced, but I have my older daughter doing the easier one because she likes it and I went with their interest more than level because I wanted them to enjoy poems and spelling at this age without too much pressure.

We all took turns writing our own poems as well!  It was a fun goofy thing and not serious at all.  After reading a poem that had a change in a word into a fake word to make it rhyme in a funny way.  Hence the end "Bunny on Mars? Bunnies every-wares!"

 Our poetry time turned into a read aloud time and the girls worked in their math books and brain games and colored and snacked.
 We are reading through the Princess Academy books by Shannon Hale after reading through all the Narnia books previously.  My oldest two are loving it, but the almost 5 year old is usually wanting her own books as these are a little old for her.
 Our little bonsai tree on the table.  It's true that a poetry tea time feels like a little too much work, but it turns into a delightful thing.  Just know what your kids like and know if they would want a picnic or a fancy tea or a certain special cookie treat or roasting mini marshmallows over candles.  Keep the poem reading relatively short and fun!
 You can do the fancy cups sometimes which can be really fun and we have a little mixer thing that makes frothy milk and chocolate flavored stevia.
OR you can totally do covered cups (for less fear of spilling!) and do really any drink.  Doesn't have to be tea, it can be anything that your kids and you enjoy.  I usually do coffee while they do tea and sometimes they have some coffee as well if it's early enough in the day.

 Special gluten free cookies I happened to find.  Out of a box!  See, it doesn't all have to be from scratch or a big deal to put together.
 This day after doing our poetry tea time reading we moved into our "Brain Games" and I joined in with my "Momschool" to be a good example to them.
 Another day we went to the zoo and on the way home stopped at the arboretum!  I added these pictures because you could totally plan on doing a poetry tea time at a garden or park or anyplace!
And it wouldn't have to be poetry even if that's not your thing.  Maybe the kids need a little special enchantment added to their math time.

Why not sip tea while working on math?  Or bring your art journals and frosties on a picnic!

Note, the "Poetry tea time" or whatever subject and drink you've chosen doesn't have to last a really long time and it shouldn't be a serious dull thing.  Enjoy it and experience these things together.  Think half hour on average and feel out the kids.  If they are getting bored, just skip the poem and talk instead!  Make up funny rhymes for no reason without an agenda except to be together and enjoy snacks and the subject you value.
 Julie Bogart of "Brave Writer" was who first came up with the "poetry teatime" idea and you can add this idea to your life with any resources you already own.  Think of it as a rhythm to add to your week or month.  It's not a pressure thing or a "have to" thing.  It's a place to inspire our kids and us.  A place to simply enjoy being together and enjoy poetry.

Poetry can be in favorite songs, it can be in children's books, it can rhyme or not, and you don't have to be all proper about how you approach the subject.  You can know nothing at all about poems and simply read one that you happen to like!

 The "Thinking Tree" has a new poetry writing book out now as well.  I don't have it yet, but it looks lovely.  I would probably enjoy it more than my kids yet!  I'm sure we will get this later, but I wanted to share it now since it goes along with the subject so well.

1 comment:

Angela Dill said...

Love this idea! ❤️