Skip to main content

Poetry tea time with boys

In our home we can easily fill our days with busyness. With two little boys, life IS busyness. But the chaos that is the modern life can easily push that busyness into chaos. We have sports and activities on top of a educational plan that challenges each of the boys. It's easy to get lost in the challenge and tally up your successes. It's harder to slow down and find beauty and just savor a moment. In my heart I desperately want the boys to remember more than just their multiplication tables from our journey together. I want them to have wonderful memories of our time. So, I'm very diligent about making sure we have those opportunities. We take hikes, we ride bikes, we do science experiments, we build legos. Have you notieced a theme? We DO. In case you missed it earlier, boys are BUSY! (Disclaimer: I'm sure girls are too. I just have no frame of reference. Sorry)

So, I have my hands full with these two little boys and then I read these lovely, I mean, Lovely, did you get that, with the capital L? So, I read these Lovely ideas for homeschooling and I just laugh.  It's not that the actual idea is so funny really, but implementing it in our casa? Absurd.

One of those ideas that I scoffed about was Poetry Tea Time ala Brave Writer. So, basically, this crazy person (sorry Julie!) thought I should set my table, with an actual table cloth, put out a pretty centerpiece, brew tea, and serve it to my little crazies in BREAKABLE tea cups???? Then sit around and read poetry together. Would they even drink hot tea??
Oh no no no. I just knew this was for those homeschoolers that cuddled on the couch while reading and skipped through the fields for nature study. This was not my homeschool. I mean, we use flash cards. Gasp! Seriously people, have you seen my schoolroom? If not, go, now, look and you will understand. I'll wait.....

Did you see that? I have desks! We drill math facts and use actual torture devices desks. I am not a mushy, idealistic homeschooler. Even though we do read a LOT around here, and some of it may even be while cuddling, I just knew that this Poetry Tea Time was not for us. I mean, I don't even have girls! Surely my boys would balk at a Tea Party! (I know, I know, that's gender stereotyping.)

The problem was, I love so many ideas of Julie Bogart's, the Brave Writer herself.  She really seems to understand children and writing. We implement a lot of the Brave Writer lifestyle but I just couldn't get on board with this Poetry Tea Time. Then I found the Read Aloud Revival Podcast  and so many of the people in that community rave about Poetry Tea Time. It sounded fun, even though I still knew that my boys would NOT be on board. So I tried to reframe it. Maybe we could do Poetry Picnics? I could probably swing that with my guys.

So, as the school year approached O saw my plans for a Poetry Picnic and questioned why we weren't doing a Tea Time. Apparently as I was listening to the podcasts while doing dishes he was listening while building legos. I had no idea! So, I decided to try this Poetry Tea Time thing out.

Now, one thing you should know by now is that when I do something I tend to go all in and I like to follow instructions. So, for our first official Poetry Tea Time I ordered special tea in a fun Dinosaur tin and ordered a new teapot. Then we set out as a family to the local flea markets to buy some new-to-us cups and saucers. See, I have china, but I'm still a bit concerned about that BREAKABLE aspect we discussed earlier. The boys wanted something special so we purchased white gilded tea cups. I'm telling you, it was an ordeal.

Then as the cookies are baking and the tea is steeping, brewing, whatever, I go to set the table. Then I realize that I don't have a single tablecloth! I know that sounds atrocious. How can we not own a tablecloth?? But it's true. We just don't use one and have never seen the point in purchasing one. That one fact nearly derailed our entire Tea Time. I kid you not. It was ridiculous. The directions said I should set the table with a tablecloth!! Oh no! But somehow I pulled it together and grabbed some lacy fabric to throw on the table, set it, and served. Crisis diverted.


It was wonderful. We sat down with a large stack of poetry books from both home and library and dove right in. The boys loved it. Every minute of it. Especially the cookies. But they also surprised me and loved the tea, the special table, and the poetry. It felt special.
We laughed and laughed and stayed around the table for nearly an hour, choosing poems and reading them aloud to each other. Sometimes I read, sometimes O did. C, being 4 and not able to read yet, would just pick poems by picture and then have us read them for him. It was everything that Julie Bogart had said, even though I have boys and I was sure it wouldn't be a good fit for us. Lesson learned, and I'm sorry Julie!

At the end of the day Poetry Tea Time was their favorite part!  We had found a way to slow down, enjoy the beautiful, and savor the way that these masters of word play had fun with words. We found a way to make memories and not just cram more facts into their sweet little noggins.  Now, to be completely honest I did have each boy choose their favorite poem to memorize but they were happy to do so because the poems are such fun. But the memorization is not necessary. Just enjoy.
 
And just in case you are thinking that I have crossed over to the mushy side, I just want to share one final picture of what Poetry Tea Time looks like with my boys. Hehe. At first, it looks like such a Lovely picture, but look closer. Do you notice the title of that poem? That's right. It's Cockroach! Perfect.


Comments

  1. Your such a wonderful mother and educator. Im so happy as Nana to see my grandSons enjoying the fun things that alot of people would consider soft or girly. they will make wonderful smart husbands to very lucky girls someday.
    Nana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so sweet. I'm glad that I get the chance to enjoy these times with them. It's fun. And I don't want to think about them being husbands!!!!

      Delete
  2. Do you travel? We could use you at our house. We did Hawaiian days and others when my kids were small. Keep fighting the good fight, reading the good stuff and watching your boys turn into curious adults. Steve's mom carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, thank you! But I've heard enough from Kim to safely say you don't need any help from me!!! It seems like you have enough creativity to put me to shame! I do like the themed days though. Maybe a themed tea time will be in our near future!

      Delete
  3. I think poetry tea time is a great idea. So much potential for teaching and enjoyment. My daughter has five children and has done poetry tea time for a while now. The children love the whole ritual of it. This is a practice that will go deep within them and make them who they will be... Love it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh and by the way my you can read my blog at:
      gramswisewords.blogspot.com

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Encouraging chidren to read

Reading is something Ihave always hoped to be part of our family culture.  There is something magical that happens when children get lost in the world of books. They not only expand their minds but their hearts as well. This phenomenon doesn't simply disappear when you become an adult, we just have to be more intentional as the pace of a busy life can render reading nearly obsolete. My mama set a great example by always reading when I was growing up and I followed in her footsteps. I read, my husband reads (currently audiobooks), we read out loud to our children and now our oldest, O, reads.

My hope is that this family culturewill encourage my children to explore the new worlds waitingbetween the pages. So, I've been thinking about what things we have done or could do to help foster that in our home. 

Tips for developing a reading culture and encouraging children to readLet your children see you read. Children model behavior and if they don't ever see you

Hawaiian Chicken freezer meal

Some local friends and I started a freezer meal exchange earlier this year. Once a month we each have an epic cooking day at home, making multiple of the same recipe, and then come together later and swap meals with each other. It's quicker, more cost effective (buying in bulk, using the same spices for several meals, etc) and it's fun to try new foods. And we have meals in the freezer for busy nights! Score!

So, I'm going to be sharing a few of the recipes here, just as a reference point. This is not, nor will it ever become a food blog. I'm definitely not a foodie.

Hawaiian Chicken  Ingredients2 lbs of chicken thighs1/2 cup brown sugar3 cloves of garlic-minced2 Tbs soy sauce1 can of chunked pineapple- drainedPineapple juice from can of pineapple 1 green and 1 red pepper- cut into 1 inch piences1 Tbs. grated ginger (dried also works)2 Tbs vinegar Instructions Place chicken thighs in a baking dish. Mix vinegar, pineapple juice, ginger, soy sauce, garlic and brown sugar …

Spinach Tortellini soup

Tortellini Soup Ingredients2- 14.5 oz cans of chicken broth2- 14.5 oz cans of stewed or diced tomatoes ( I use fire roasted)1 clove of garlic1 pkg of knorr vegetable mix10 oz pkg of frozen chopped spinach9 oz pkg of fresh tortellini or 4 servings of dried tortellini1 cup italian sausage- brownedFresh grated parmesan cheese4 cups of water Instructions In a large soup pot, combine broth, tomatoes, water, garlic, and vegetable mix (or if freezing, add these ingredients to a gallon freezer bag and freeze). Bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions. When tortellini is almost done, add spinach and sausage. Do not add it before to avoid it becoming more "stew" like. Add salt and pepper to your desired taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve with salad and bread.

Also makes a great crockpot meal. Let soup mixture cook on low and then add tortellini, spinach and sausage according to instructions above.