It's time to announce the winner of the 2018 Poetry Teatime Photo Contest! We were thrilled to receive so many wonderful images and stories of how Poetry Teatime has brought joy into your home. Read on to find out the winner and runners-up for the contest!
And the winner is... Whitney Canales! Here is her story:
When we first began poetry tea time to add a spark to our homeschool a year ago, I wasn't a fan. We hadn't delved into poetry before and my kids seemed uninterested. It took so much energy to whip up a treat and pull grandma's tea cups down from the china cabinet, and our tablecloth got stained every time.
But one day I realized I wasn't doing it for the right reasons. This wasn't for me, this wasn't even really about school... We could sit down any old day and read poetry. This was for my kids, and it was about connecting in a sweet, meaningful way. My attitude wasn't helping at all! I decided to let go of my expectations and consciously make our afternoon tea moments magical and light (and keep stain remover on hand).
Then, something magical did happen: the kids started to love it, and they started to love poetry. Now, my 9-year-old is writing his own poetry, my 6-year-old spends her free time memorizing poems all on her own, and my 3-year-old, who has always struggled with her speech, has begun speaking gibberish with a cadence (very Jabberwocky), recognizes and gets excited about rhyming words, and brings poetry books for me to read aloud to her, even if she doesn't understand what they are about.
I can say quite honestly, poetry tea time has completely transformed our homeschool and our lives. I've learned an important lesson in connection over perfection, and I love that I am building rich memories with my kids that they will look back on and hopefully continue with their own children some day.
Now take a look at this lovely image of her family celebrating Poetry Teatime!
Announcing the Runners-Up
We received so many amazing submissions that we simply had to include a few more! So, in no particular order, announcing our top 5 runners-up!
Runner-up Julie C.
My three kids were having an "I need screens screens and more screens" day. So I wasn't sure how suggesting some reading was going to go over, but as soon as I mentioned the magic words "picnic" they instantly were clamoring to help me pack everything up. We only walked down to the front of our property, but that small change of scenery was good for us all.
The kids' favorite poet at this time is Shel Silverstein. We usually do a reading, and then copy down our favorite lines of the poem. The tea and treats make it a lovely affair!
Runner-up Cynthia P.
We recently started a weekly Poetry Tea Time and have been enjoying it and learning so much. We have been exploring Japanese culture this week and decided to have a Japanese themed Poetry Tea Time. My 5yr old requested kimonos after seeing them in the books we were reading. I happily made both my daughters kimonos which they were so excited to wear.
We also made sushi candy which was basically rice Krispy treats filled/topped with gummy worms/fish and wrapped with fruit roll ups. This gave us an opportunity to practice eating with chopsticks. We started our tea time on floor cushions but eventually moved into chairs to avoid dipping sleeves into our tea.
Some of the books we read during our Poetry tea time included “A Pair of Red Clogs” by Masako Matsuno, which inspired our Japanese theme, “Japanese Nursery Rhymes” by Danielle Wright and “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. We also sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in Japanese. It was certainly one of our most memorable family Poetry Tea Times yet!
Runner-up Leslee O.
To kick off our school year we went to paint a special Poetry Tea Time tea pot and mugs. We had so much fun and now we have a special teapot just for Poetry Tea Time!!
Runner-up Holly S.
After one of my daughters worked on perfecting her macaron baking one afternoon, we decided they were too pretty to gobble without photographing first. This was a call for a Poetry Teatime!
Runner-up Maggie W.
The kids enjoy their Poetry Teatime amongst the fall foliage. Poetry with a picnic is one of their favorite pasttimes.
Thank you once again to everyone for submitting and sharing the joy of Poetry Teatime!