I know very little about poetry. I remember learning poems at school, most of which didn’t make much sense to me. I remember having to learn one as homework the week end my much anticipated baby sister was born. I remember nothing of the poem, but it was part and parcel of a week end which holds memories of pink blankets and a beautiful new baby girl (who now has three children of her own).
I felt fairly ill equipped, therefore, to teach poetry in any meaningful way to our children. I realised fairly early on in our home ed journey that food is a great accompaniment to many educational experiences. The promise of a sweet snack can encourage a child to persevere with a difficult subject, a themed meal can add to our learning about a particular county, time in history or story, and the simple act of sharing a warm drink or yummy cake is part of the memory making and relationship building which is foundational to it all. So, feeling that reading poetry might not be at the top of the boys’ list of favourite things to do, I employed the sweetening factor of food while we read or learnt poems. Having felt I really didn’t inspire them much with poetry, I’ve been pleasantly surprised when they’ve made comments which show at last some understanding and even a liking for poetry.
Then, more recently I discovered Poetry teatime a concept created Julie Bogart. Her winning combination of reading poetry aloud accompanied by tea and cake has certainly piqued my interest in poetry and, I hope, created an enjoyment of poetry in our girls. I like to make a bit of a treat out of our poetry teas, sometimes tying them in with a book we’ve read, an artist we’ve studied, or most often the season we’re in. However, they’re equally fun just with a mug of hot chocolate, a donut and a stack of books.
Last week I set up a poetry breakfast for the girls. The previous day hadn’t been a good one, but I made the decision that we’d likely continue in this vein unless I made an effort to change direction. So, I laid out a poetry breakfast, and despite the spilling of some tea, we had a lovey time eating and reading and did indeed change the trajectory of the day.
I love the excuse to set a beautiful table, so I hope you enjoy the following pictures, and have yourselves some merry poetry tea times.