Late last summer, we traded school uniforms for homeschool in our pajamas and moved even deeper into “unprecedented times.” I immersed myself into research: searching for a homeschool curriculum, the best way to structure our days, and which school supplies I needed to purchase.

During my searches, one homeschool activity kept catching my attention: Poetry Teatime.

This was started by Julie Bogart, author of The Brave Learner and creator of the Brave Writer writing and language arts program. Poetry Teatime is a weekly break from the rigors of regular schoolwork. A combination of rest, snacks, and poetry appreciation, it offers a chance to dive into poetry in a relaxed setting.

Basically, it’s kids drinking tea and reading poetry. It sounded lovely.

Miniature tea set: pink and white with green accents.Along with math manipulatives and handwriting paper, I ordered a miniature tea set and stocked up on poetry books. We tackled core subjects Monday through Thursday and designated Friday afternoons for Poetry Teatime. On the Thursday before our first tea time, we baked giant chocolate chip cookies, and on Friday afternoon, we made lemonade to serve in lieu of tea. My kids decided to get fancy and donned a bow tie, suspenders, and fancy dress for the occasion.

That first Friday, we spent an hour skimming through Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Bill Martin Jr Big Book of Poetry. We refilled miniature teacups with lemonade until our teapot was empty. We filled our bellies with cookies. The kids even wrote their own poems that afternoon without any prompting. They were more excited about Poetry Teatime than any other homeschool activity.

Each week, we baked new treats and explored the pages of new poetry books. Poetry Teatime added novelty to our week. We could get fancy or stay casual. The kids got to pick the treats and drinks and enjoyed having some agency in that way.

I would highly recommend Poetry Teatime for homeschool families in addition to families that simply want to try something new. 

The Poetry Teatime website has a free quickstart guide in addition to poetry prompts, educational posts about poets, and a list of suggested themes for those who are interested in a thematic approach. There is also a Poetry Teatime Companion poetry anthology for those who are not sure which poems they would like to read.

Book covers of "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" and "Words with Wings"Poetry Teatime offers opportunities to add diversity to our bookshelf and read beyond familiar nursery rhymes. We have found some new favorites including Hip Hop Speaks to Children and Words with Wings. We also love A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Fred Rogers.

 

Our Friday afternoon tea times wouldn’t be complete without delicious treats.

We usually bake together on Thursday, taste test a bit, and save the rest for Friday. One of our favorite new recipes is this sugar cookie recipe. The cookies were super soft and the perfect complement to our beverages. The kids also loved these donuts, made with pumpkin and sweet potato for a healthier sweet treat. 

If you decide to try Poetry Teatime with your family, we hope you love it as much as we do!

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