Poetry Teatime: Much anticipated
We are well into our second year of Brave Writer, and poetry teatimes have become a much anticipated part of our homeschool routine for my three children. My husband and I both enjoy poetry, and we appreciate the simplicity and regularity of the Brave Writer method of introducing it to our kids.
Poetry teatime usually means a lot of laughs at our table, as A.A. Milne and Jack Prelutsky are favorite poets with our young children. Chocolate mint tea (peppermint tea with some hot cocoa mixed in) is the most requested beverage, but sometimes “tea” for this age group is simply juice or lemonade, with a berry-flavored green tea thrown in every now and then. We have a variety of fancy tea cups given to us by each of my grandmothers, and part of the fun is watching the kids make their selections.
We are already seeing some expected and unexpected benefits of making poetry teatimes a priority. Our almost 9-year-old daughter’s weekly freewriting exercises have become increasingly lyrical over the last year, and she often writes original poetry just for fun. Our active 5-year-old, who began Kindergarten this year, not only sits and listens to poetry for extended periods of time, but also requests books of poetry to be read to him along with his usual set of picture books. Our 2-year-old enjoys poetry teatimes as well and has been known to randomly recite a phrase or two she heard earlier in the day when she is playing or looking at books.
Our kids are gaining a rich vocabulary and sense of the musical nature of language, growing in their ability to express themselves, and learning to appreciate the joy of sharing poetry together. Most of all, I love that in this fast-paced world where texting and social media has often replaced face-to-face communication, our family is preserving a moment of real connection and growing in our relationships with one another, which is one of our many reasons for homeschooling.