A Magical Poetry Tea Time

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This post contains affiliate links.  by making purchases through these links, nurtured roots receives compensation at no cost to you.  thanks!

We sipped our “Twist-the-Time Tea.”  Eyes wide, we waited.  And then………….our laughter burst the silence.  Nothing had happened.  We didn’t travel back in time.  But it was fun to think about where we’d go if we could. 

This conversation began our Just Add Magic poetry teatime.  This amazon prime original show has captured my kids’ imaginations.  It’s rare that all six kids enjoy the same television show, but this one has won them all over. Mystery lingers from episode to episode and magic recipes are made to try to solve it. 

After binge-watching season two, the kids’ conversations were peppered with new recipe names and accompanying riddles.  They were composing poetry and didn’t even know it.  In their fun, I saw our next Poetry Tea Time.

Though I had a general plan, this poetry teatime was more on the spontaneous side.  A nasty cold had kept me from heading out for any special foods or decorations, but that didn’t stop our fun.  I rummaged through the pantry.  Popcorn, apples, peppermint tea and just enough ingredients to whip up some breakfast cookies.  (Poetry tea time in our house happens Thursday mornings as Poetry-in-Pajamas.) 

Armed with index cards and markers, I brainstormed some magical names for these foods and served them up with poetry books I had snagged at the library the week before.  Finding poems about magic proved difficult so I kept my definition of magic loose.  If it had magic in the title, it was added to the pile.

Featured Poem: from Poetry Teatime Companion
Spellbound by Emily Jane Bronte

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant sell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.


Magical Book List:

Make Magic!  Do Good!
Poems of Magic and Spells
Sky Magic
Flower Fairies
Poetry Tea Time Companion: A Brave Writer Sampler of British and American Poems

Magical Teatime Foods:

Twist-the-Time Tea - Guaranteed to send you back in time.
Kernel of Truth Popped Corn - Sure to make you see or tell the truth!
All-Is-Well Apple Slices - Something wrong? Not feeling well?  These apple slices will make everything all right.
Bring-Out-Your-Sweetness Breakfast Treats - These cookies will help your sweet self shine through. 

Poetry Teatime Activity:

Creating new recipe names and riddles or make a riddle for one the foods on the table. 

Kernel of Truth Popped Corn

If the truth is what you seek,
Be sure not to peek
As you pop this corn in your mouth.
Keep your eyes shut tight
And prepare for the sight
Of what you will see in your mind.

Here are some of the new recipes the kids are working on.  I’m not sure some of them are safe!
Life-Giving Lollipops
Get the Giggles Grapes
Break Your Neck Bananas
Stretch Your Arms String Cheese
Re-do Raspberry Pie

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of our Magical Poetry Teatime.  I'd love to hear from you!  Do you enjoy poetry teatime in your home?  If you do, what's your favorite poetry book or treat?  If not, what questions do you have about Poetry Teatime?  I look forward to chatting with you!

Homeschool Encouragement: 21 Posts from Inspiring Moms

2017 has arrived!  Over the past few weeks, I've enjoyed looking back over the blogs of fellow homeschoolers, re-reading the posts that encouraged me throughout 2016.  Here, I've gathered together some of my favorites about Connecting with Our Kids, Encouragement for the Homeschool Mom, Self Care & Awesome Adulting, Creative Homeschooling and Sharing Poetry with Our Kids.  I hope you'll find a nugget of wisdom, a seed of inspiration as you prepare for the year ahead!  Happy New Year!

Connecting with Our Kids

Why Focus on Building Relationships in our Homeschool by Jessica @ Intentional in Life

Curious Over Furious by Heather @ wellermomma blog

Educating the Tortoise and the Hare by Amanda @ Raising daVinci


Encouragement for the Homeschool Mom

Homeschooling Translated featured here at Nurtured Roots

Quitting is the Greatest Victory featured here at Nurtured Roots

Comparison - Thief of Joy and Happiness by Nadine @ Up Above the Rowan Tree

Tackling Mommy Guilt by Mary @ Not Before 7

Homeschooling Mama, Do You Need Some Encouragement? by Dachelle @ Hide the Chocolate

Creative Homeschooling

Better Learning through Board Gaming by Lynna @ Homeschooling Without Training Wheels

The Unique Power of the Homeschool Parent: Innovation by Mary @ Not Before 7

Day in the Life of a Working Homeschool Mom by Amanda @ Raising daVinci

Creating a Home-Centered Homeschool Room by Melissa @ Soaring Arrows

Why I've Flipped Our Homeschool Routine by Nadine @ Up Above the Rowan Tree

Brown Paper Packages by Jenny @ Where Life is Real

Sharing Poetry
with our Kids

100 Poetry Books for Kids by Lynna @ Homeschooling without Training Wheels

Tips for Reading Poetry by Jenny @ Where Life is Real

The Endearing Art of Poetry Tea Time by Melissa @ Soaring Arrows








Poetry Tea Time: Thanksgiving Recipe

“Giving thanks    giving thanks
for rain and rainbows
sun and sunsets
cats and catbirds
larks and larkspur…”

by Eve Merriam

Thanksgiving is a natural time to pause and reflect on the blessings in our lives, and poetry tea time lends itself beautifully to celebrating our thankfulness.  Just a quick search on amazon for “Thanksgiving poems” yields 2,822 results!  Why is that?  Because thankfulness is something we can all get behind.  I’ve never met anyone who wouldn’t agree that we should be grateful for what we have, and that fostering a sense of gratitude in our children is an important part of raising them.  The poetic nature of gratitude, the sometimes elusive emotion that can not always be translated into words finds a home in poetry where phrases and metaphor abound.  So here’s a recipe for Thanksgiving poetry tea time! 


Set the Table:
Any table setting will work for poetry tea time but if you want something different, create a vase of balloons taped to sticks.  One for each child.  Inside each balloon, add a piece of paper that tells why you are thankful for that child.



The Books:
Thanksgiving Poems Selected by Myra Cohn Livingston
The Circle of Thanks: Native American Poems and Songs of Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac
Merrily Comes in Our Harvest: Poems for Thanksgiving by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Thanksgiving Day at our House: Poems for the Very Young by Nancy White Carlstrom
It’s Thanksgiving by Jack Prelutsky
Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving by Katherine Paterson
This is the Feast by Diane ZuHone Shore
Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Francis Child

The Art Activity:

I'll be offering my kids two art options.  The first is the corn cob mixed media project.  It will be a perfect fit for my younger set.  The second is the "thankful tree,"  a beautiful combination of writing and art.  Click on either image to get to the directions.


The Poem Writing: 

Keep it simple.  Have each child write an acrostic for THANKSGIVING, listing for each letter things for which they are grateful.  These could be added to the artwork above.  Get creative. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

A Bouquet of Leaves & Poetry: One Solution for Slowing Time & Savoring Autumn

Do you feel like you’re in a race to fit everything into your day?  Do you sometimes sacrifice connection with those you love as you sprint toward the elusive finish line?  And do you find your ability to savor all that Autumn has to offer gets lost too?  If you answered YES! YES! YES! Rest assured you’re in good company with so many other hard-working mamas.  But even better, I have a solution for you.  It’s my favorite remedy for fast-flying days. . . .
poetry tea time. 

Poetry Tea Time has become our family’s respite in the midst of the busy seasons.  Sometimes it just looks like a stack of poetry books and a plate of cookies, and it’s beautiful.  At other times, when I’m feeling a little more inspired, there’s a sort of magic that settles upon our teatime and it’s beyond beautiful!!  Either way, I try to remember that connection is the focus.  And let’s be honest, whenever we focus on connection, there is beauty.

Last week’s teatime was a magical one.  Fall had finally settled into the trees outside our door and the crisp air beckoned us to walk long trails.  As little hands will do, they gathered bouquets of leaves, and of course, these leaves made their way to our kitchen table.  That’s when inspiration found me, and boy, was she was a gracious visitor!  (I have learned to open the door as soon as she knocks because you never know how long she’ll be staying.) 

So the next morning, the scent of apple crisp greeted six sleepy-heads as they woke.  One by one, they joined me in the kitchen.  They knew what was up.  One plucked the poetry books from their shelf, being sure to put the seasonal ones on top.  Another set the plates and cups.  A third rummaged around to find the battery-operated candles we keep on hand for special occasions.  (Someday, everyone will be old enough for authentic flames but for now, these work quite well.)  The rest simply lingered watching birds at the feeder, checking on the monarch chrysalis at the center of the table, the little ones making a line of their treasured leaves across the table.  All of us soaking in the warmth of the moment. It was one of those moments that you want to live in forever, when time actually feels soothingly slow.  I was afraid my words would break the magic and so I welcomed Robert Frost to begin.

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

One by one, poems were found like lost treasures and favorite friends.  We read and ate and conversed and spilled some milk.  It was magical.

The leaves that had been brought home like treasures were passed around.  Each person describing each leaf laid before him.  (I may have casually mentioned terms like adjective and verb.)  Together, we wrote these words and phrases onto the leaves, creating a poem that in its simplicity, captured Autumn.  It was magical. 

Color collage
Speckled auburn dots
Tie dyed velvet red
  Twisting in air
Like a perfect sunset
Full of red and orange
To light the sky with beauty

Later on, I dipped those leaves into melted beeswax so that even as the trees outside turn to brown and the skies become covered with clouds, our leaves, our words joined together in poetry, will still look as though the sun is shining in them. 

Now, hanging in the kitchen, above the well-worn table that is filling with so many memories, is Autumn.  Our savored morning made visible, gently calling us back to sit a while longer.  Reminding us that time can slow if only we give it space to breathe.