Tea time.

Friday, June 21, 2019


In the past few weeks, we've begun incorporating afternoon tea time into our daily routine. We'd practiced it on occasion through the past year of homeschool, but never made it a habit. This upcoming school year, we'll be using a Charlotte Mason-inspired curriculum that sets aside time for tea and reading together each afternoon. But whether or not you use Charlotte Mason or even homeschool, this would be a sweet practice to incorporate into your day - especially during the summer when kids are home.



Our post-lunch schedule currently looks something like this:

12:30pm - Clean up from lunch, change diapers, read books with Brooks before his nap time
1pm - Put Brooks (and Beckham if he's ready) down for nap, Liam and Lanie play outside until 2pm
2pm - 3pm - Bonafide "rest time" for all, including me. Liam and Lanie gather books and quiet toys and go to separate parts of the house. They don't sleep during this time, but they must stay quiet so anyone who needs to can truly rest.
3pm - 3:30pm - Tea time and reading with Liam and Lanie
3:30pm - Wake Brooks up from his nap, go play outside or downstairs

As soon as the clock strikes 3pm, Liam and Lanie bound into the kitchen and are ready for tea time. I'll make peppermint tea with plenty of honey and prep a very easy snack (usually graham crackers, but sometimes leftover dessert). I then set out a few poetry books, picture books, or maybe even the current read-aloud book we're working on (currently, The Penderwicks). We try to read poetry at least once a week.

At first glance, this practice can seem stuffy, old-fashioned, and forced. But tea time for us has become much more than just trying to cram in extra homeschooling into our day. It's become the sweetest together-time, especially as the little boys nap, where I can be truly present with them. I've found that if I put my phone far out of reach and am fully attentive to them, they'll do about anything I ask them to do. They just want to be together and have my undivided attention.

Because of this, when we read poetry aloud, we don't try to dissect or diagram it. I let the kids flip through the poetry books and choose a poem to read. We keep it light, enjoy the beauty of the written word, and delight in our uninterrupted time together. It has shocked me how natural this has become and how much they look forward to it.

As for poetry books, we have a few from our Sonlight curriculum. But my best suggestion is to find poetry books at a thrift store or used book store. We've found several for 50 cents or a dollar.

Our favorites:

A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Llama Who Had No Pajama
When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne



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