Many homeschoolers incorporate regular poetry tea parties into their routine. I have read about them for quite some time but I’ve never been able to cross it off my to-do list…until now. It was such a hit with the girls!
Recently a friend turned me onto Brave Writer which a language arts program and so much more. I’m still learning about their different products and I haven’t started using any yet but I absolutely love the “more” part. The creator of the program, Julie Bogart, does Periscopes several times a week. They are like podcasts except with video. I’ve only watched a few of them but they are a wonderful source of inspiration for homeschoolers. The biggest point I’ve taken away from the videos I’ve watched so far is the importance of creating magic and wonder within our homeschools.
One way to do this is with poetry tea parties. She has a blog post that lays out exactly how to do it. Even though I’ve read many other articles about these poetry tea times, hers is what finally inspired me to actually do it. Before now I didn’t understand what the point was of reading poetry during a tea party. We read poetry and the girls love to drink herbal teas but I didn’t understand why putting the two together was such a great idea. Now, I understand the magic it creates.
A few days before the party, Storyteller asked for a piece of an egg carton for a project. She didn’t know what she needed it for at the time but she ended up making it into a raffle ticket holder. She cut up tiny pieces of colored paper to put in it. The morning of the party, we drew the raffle tickets. The color you drew was what dress you had to wear to the party. The girls picked out their costume dresses, shoes and tiara but when it came time for the actual party they decided on tutus.
We didn’t go completely all out. I wanted to create a special occasion but not stress about it. We had fall decorations around the house that I gathered for a center piece. We bought a fall themed tablecloth, candles, place mats and shortbread cookies for around $20. We used small coffee cups and saucers from our everyday dishes. I dug out two teapots that we haven’t used in years and discovered that both are broken. They’re still useable but we’ll probably buy a new one. Usually when making tea, I use a strainer in the cup instead a teapot but using a pot helps set the scene. Plus, once we get a new teapot the girls will be able to pour their own tea. It’s important to use real dishes and table décor instead of typical children’s tea party sets. It gives the party a much fancier feel. It doesn’t have to be fancy dishes but just grown up ones. Flowers from the garden would be a great addition especially if the kids gather them.
The poetry book that I picked out at the library was Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies selected by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton. We read a handful of poems, sipped elder flower tea and ate cookies. The girls even used their best manners including, “May I please have some more tea?” It was just so adorable! At the end, Storyteller insisted that we each make up our own poem. I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote them down exactly as they dictated them to me.
Storyteller’s First Poem, 6 years old
Springs of blossom
Wherever the lead goes
As bees buzz in the spring
To sip nectar from the flowers
As the little children laugh and play
In the green grass
I wanted to point out her third line, “Wherever the lead goes”. I thought I had misunderstood her but she explained that the “lead” is the leader bee that all the other bees follow around the yard. What a great picture this must have painted in her head!
Comedian’s First Poem, 3 years old
Wherever the leaves go
The butterflies go
Wherever the butterflies go
Wherever the leaves go
The fairies fly
Wherever the fairies fly
The children play in the grass
Where the princesses in the castles
Setting up a tea party
The princesses and fairies eat cupcakes
And read a poem.
The girls absolutely loved the tea party! My favorite part was watching them create their own poems. That was a great surprise!. It was such a lovely way to create some magic during our day. Now that it is finally off my to-do list, it will be a regular weekly activity for us.