Poetry is something that I always wanted to expose my kids to, but I never felt that they were ready. I wanted them to spend a good time exploring poetry in our homeschool, but I felt that pokemon, and graphic novels would never waver in lieu of classical literature. However, I have recently found that there is a secret to get your kids interested in poetry. It is so simple, free and easy that anyone can do it. Does it sound too good to be true? It did for me, but then I tried it and now I am hooked.
What is the secret you may ask? Well, it is nothing more than a good cup of tea, some yummy treats and the new website Poetry Teatime.
Poetry Teatime is the practice of setting your table with a beautiful centrepiece, some pretty teacups, and your favourite pot of tea. Each child gets to read their favourite poem aloud, and then the whole table can talk about which parts they liked the best. The kids can also read some of their own poetry if they want to share their own work. You can also get involved and choose one of your favourite poems and read to your kids. Poetry is a perfect pairing because the kids only have to stay to listen as long as the tea and treats last.
Honestly, I was a bit skeptical at first. I mean, I have 3 incredibly rambunctious boys who barely sit long enough to eat a meal, let alone sit for poetry and tea. However, I was surprised at how much they enjoy our poetry teatime, and how much they look forward to it each week. It is now something that is part of our weekly homeschool routine.
My kids didn’t have any exposure to poetry before starting our teatimes. I did not feel that they were cultured enough to enjoy poetry. It was actually Sarah MacKenzie that first made me realize through a few episodes of the Read Aloud Revival that reading to your children is one of the most important things that a homeschooler can do. Then, after watching Julie Bogart on Periscope explaining exactly what poetry teatime is, and how it could look different in each persons home, I was hooked (and so were my kids).
My bigger boys now spend some time during their weekly library visits to choose a couple new poetry books for our teatime, and my oldest is taking it upon himself to read the rest of the books when teatime is over. It really is so encouraging to watch a child who thought that poetry was not something that he would be interested in, to ask me to renew Where the Sidewalk Ends for the third time.
I really encourage you to check out the new website by Poetry Teatime, and follow along on Instagram. Even if your kids are little and pre readers they can still benefit from the routine, the snacks, and listening to you read your favourite poetry to them. It’s really a lovely practice to include in your homeschool.