Aug 21, 2013

Homeschool, Tea, and Poetry

So we're off and running.  I am juggling three kids and their education now at home.  With a detailed, self-made plan book in hand, it's working out not too shabby.  

Hunter needs a haircut but he loves it a bit shaggy, so we're rolling with it right now.
 Ainsley has told me she thought she would be bored, but her verdict tonight after three days worth is that is it more fun than she thought and her kindergarten teacher would be proud of her.  She is in a "do not come within 10 feet of my hair with a brush" phase, so lucky her she's at home and can get away with the bed-head fashion.
 Tessa arrived at the table in jammies and decided that she was not taking them off all day.  When she finally did, she decided that clothes were optional and ran around in undies.  She's learning the letter A this week.  That is all.  We've been up to our eyeballs in Alligators and Apples.  We've colored them, crafted them, picked them out at the grocery store and eaten them (the apples that is), made a block zoo for them (the alligators that is), played games with them, and we've still got 2 more days of the week left.  She's not tired of alligators and apples though yet.
 Something I am happy to begin this year is Wednesday tea and poetry.  Why Wednesday?  Because it's right in the middle of the week and it's the only day we don't have somewhere to be at some point.  Therefore, we can relax, slow down and enjoy some reading.  Why tea?  Because I have always done tea in funny mugs with my kids as a treat with some sort of little cookie.  We don't do it often, but when we do drink it, we make a big show of setting the table nice and clearing it off, picking out the flavors and sitting around savoring it and conversation.  You can't be grumpy during tea-time.  Even Mama.
 I took them to the thrift store a couple weeks ago as a prize for finishing their swim lessons and they picked out whatever mug they wanted for 50 cents.  They knew it was their new mugs for tea time. I'm here to tell you prizes don't have to be expensive, just special.  They spent a loooooong time picking the mugs over and choosing.  I have these four tan, cheap fabric napkins from some thrifting experience forever ago.  Quite frankly, they're ugly close up.  But not for tea time with kids. We carefully remove the daily plastic placemats and the kids lay these "special" ones out.  I don't care if they get stained because these are kids who are learning manners.  They also dip the tea bag in the water, mix in honey, carefully put the cups and cookies on their saucers.  It's a joint effort to set up for tea because everyone doing it together helps make it special (rather than me just calling them after I have it done).  Using thrift store mugs and napkins takes the pressure off having to be perfect and lets the kids be completely hands-on.
 And then, when it's all ready...We have tea.  I made these oatmeal no-bake peanut butter cocoa cookies.  I love them but it looks like my owl mug is, well, ehem.  One of those things I didn't notice until I loaded the picture onto my blog.  Whatever. I don't pretend to be completely cultured and if you'll notice, one child is topless, soooo, yeah.  Life at the Plumb household. Moving on...
 We started with Shel Silverstein.  Why poetry with tea you ask?  Well, who reads poems anymore?  Exactly.  But we should.  Up until 50 years ago when TV became the thing for entertainment, poetry was very popular and I think it works a different part of our brain...like music does.  And children should get tastes of it along with other literature. I believe it adds a deeper, more nuanced version of the written word and allows us to "play" and sometimes interact with it more. As I read, all three sat, gaped mouthed, enthralled.  Even Tessa.  Silverstein is an easy ice breaker into the realm of poetry for children.
After I read a few poems, I read a chapter book.  The older two sat for the short story I chose out of it, but Tessa left.  It's funny how those poems sucked even Tess in.  All three of them were absolutely thrilled with tea and poetry and can't wait for next week.

Neither can I.

8 comments:

  1. I love the tea and poetry idea! Good luck with your school year! We homeschool too but are waiting until September to start. We just bought a house and need to unpack and get settled! We have a 5th and 3rd grader and a 3 yr old.

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    1. Oh... and I have been reading your blog for awhile but have never commented until today! Now I can stop feeling like a stalker. :)

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    2. I was going to start in September but the kids were so bored, we just went ahead. You have quite a spread between all three as well. Feel free to pass on tips with what you are doing with your three year old while you homeschool the other two.

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  2. My girls started loving tea this past spring (with honey in it, of course!) and it always feels like we are cultivating some sort of rich heritage with it. They each have a special mug too. But we have never tried poetry with it, and will have to start!!

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  3. This sounds so fun! What tea to the kids usually drink? Do you do one big pot, or does everyone have their own tea bag?

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    1. Their own tea bag. Three kids usually like three different flavors. It's never the easy route around here.

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  4. Sigh, I miss homeschooling....... My Mim loves Falling Up and Where the Sidewalk Ends. We even got the RLS poetry book from the library and she liked that too. Enjoy your journey my friend. ~ Christina

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  5. Jenny, check out this blog for great ideas http://preschoolersandpeace.com/ My favorite was putting a kiddie pool in the kitchen with a bunch of rice and letting them sit in there are play while you are with the big ones. It's great for containing messy snacks too.

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