A few weeks ago, Julie met with a group of Brave Writer families for a Poetry Teatime. They gathered at a Trader Joe's for some laughter, jokes, and of course, lots of poems to read aloud!
By Angela Awald
Poetry tea time, also known as poetry-in-pajamas at our house, has become my secret weapon in celebrating each of my children’s unique interests. In a family of our size, it’s easy to see how individual children could get swallowed up into the whole of six. No longer individuals but just part of the group, the crew, the kids. But one intention I’ve always set forth and challenged myself to uphold, is to honor and celebrate each and every one of my children. Often.
We had a My Side of the Mountain poetry tea (just finished the book and we're almost done with the Arrow). We had chocolate frogs, pumpkins seeds, "sams" salmon sandwiches, apple scones, berries, raspberry cookies, carrot cake, and in the white cups was sassafras tea!
This will always be remembered as day we invited our cat to Poetry Tea Time. We made cat cookies, and we laughed, and we made good memories.
This is our first year homeschooling a third grader and a pre-k/kindergartener. Today was our first try at Poetry Teatime, and I wanted to share our experience!
True enjoyment of poetry was ruined for me as a teen when my high school classmates and I were required to pick poems apart and find all the deep and supposedly hidden meanings that existed. I was always afraid my interpretations would be incorrect, and the poems we read were often depressing. When I learned about Poetry Teatime, I was so inspired to make poetry a positive and memorable experience for my own children.
When we started Poetry Teatime my goal was to give my children enough to do (making their drinks and eating/drinking) so that we could read 2 poems. Each week they got more and more into it and sometimes will sit for 30-45 minutes just listening. There are some books they ask for repeatedly (with favorite poems) or I just pick a book that seems timely (like "summer" etc.).
I was reading a poem about the color gray, we were eating brownies fresh out of the oven, and outside it was raining loudly, as it often is in our wild little corner of the jungle. It was our weekly poetry teatime and we were gathered around the kitchen table, the scent of cinnamon tea and chocolate mingling with the earthy, mushroom-like tang that comes up from the forest floor during the heavier rains.