The "Poetry Teatime" Tea with Julie starts.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
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Cincinnati, June 24, 2023

Hi Friend,

If you haven't heard of "poetry teatime" before, you are in for a treat!

This is THE practice that transforms so many homeschools.

It's the magic you seek for a subject you value!

Here's how to have a Poetry Teatime.

The Preparation

Buy tea or other beverages.

  • PG Tips if you like British tea
  • Black tea from the supermarket works too
  • Herbal teas are also lovely
  • Any special beverage will do

Purchase/make a treat.

  • Cookies
  • Scones
  • Muffins
  • Toast and jam
  • Sliced fruit
  • Tea sandwiches

Lay a fresh tablecloth before teatime

  • Hint: you can throw a clean bed sheet over the table.
  • Placemats work just as well.

Use nice ceramics if you have them.

  • Cream pot for milk
  • Sugar bowl
  • Little bowl with a spoon for jam
  • A mug or cup for each person
  • Small plates
  • Napkins (cloth are extra special)
  • And a teaspoon and knife at each place setting

A centerpiece is a plus.

  • Flowers
  • Decorate a colorful plate with moss and leaves
  • Grouping of candles
  • Trinkets like marbles and old pearl necklaces
  • Add little dolls to a scene
  • Spare teapot filled with flowers

Keep a stock of poetry books in the house. More on books in a future email, but anything by Jack Prelutsky is highly recommended. You might also bring the current read aloud to the table.

The Process

At the start of teatime, everyone selects a poetry book and brings it to the table. While you boil the hot water to steep the tea, encourage the kids to hunt through the books for the poem they will share.

Begin by pouring tea for everyone. Take time to add sugar/honey and milk. Pass the cookies/muffins around. Cut them open and add butter and jam.

Once everyone has their tea and food, reading can begin. Ask for a volunteer to start. Each child will read one poem (or a parent can read the poem for the pre-reader that she selected based on pictures!). Each person may read one or two poems (depending on length). There is no need to analyze the poem. This is a delight-driven practice. Enjoy the poem. Laugh at its humor, enjoy its rhythm, listen to the rhyme. It’s okay to comment, but it’s not required.

Feel free to offer more tea and food. You may even enjoy reading aloud from your chapter book. (I usually did the reading while the kids did the eating and sipping.)

When you finish teatime, each person brings their plate and cup to the sink, rinses and puts them in the dishwasher (if you have one). Candles are extinguished, the tablecloth is shaken out and folded, and the centerpiece is removed (or left out).

Be sure to follow along on our Instagram account where we feature your poetry teatimes!

For additional ideas about poetry teatime, you can also visit our website: Poetry Teatime.





P.S. Catch up on all the “Tea with Julie” emails here!

Julie Bogart
© 2023 Brave Writer LLC™

Brave Writer




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