Our family enjoys a good poetry teatime as much as any homeschool family. Gathering for tea and treats while digging into our favorite poetry books has been a regular part of our homeschool lifestyle for years. We love to find creative, fun poetry teatime ideas so we can enjoy this time together each week.
But sometimes we need a change. Because doing things the same way for years can start to feel mundane, even when they used to be fun.
And you know that I love to tweak homeschool curriculum and ideas to make them work for our family, so of course I considered how to make some changes teatime so it felt fresh for us again.
It was clear to me that my kids never really grow tired of the treats – go figure! But they did need an occasional break from poetry to make teatime feel special and fresh again.
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Creative Poetry Teatime Ideas
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a straightforward poetry teatime. We have enjoyed a simple, homeschool poetry teatime for years. In fact, if you are looking for some poetry books to add some pizazz to your teatime, you can browse some of our favorites:
- Haiku Books for Kids
- 10 Children’s Poets Your Kids Will Love
- Ultimate Guide to Poetry Collection for Kids
But at some point, we needed a change. Yes, we love the routine of learning around drinks and treats but sometimes we needed a break from poetry. That’s when I began to think outside the box to brainstorm other creative poetry teatime ideas.
So in the spirit of taking a break from the norm, I’d like to offer alternative poetry teatime ideas for families who love their homeschool teatime but occasionally need a break from reading poetry.
Poetry Teatime Ideas When You Need a Poetry Break
You’ve made the cookies and poured the tea. Now what books or other ideas can you reach for instead of the shelf of poetry books?
Short stories are just the right length for a homeschool teatime. You can find them many free online or in short story compilations. This website lists some of the top short stories for middle school students and you can also find short stories for high school students.
Some of our favorites have included:
- The Lady or the Tiger by Frank Stockton – the unanswered question at the end left us debating for days.
- The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant – a classic tale of the pitfalls of pride and vanity
- The Lottery by Shirley Jackson – a powerful tale of peer pressure and questioning the norm
- The Sniper by Liam O’Flaherty – painful consequences and two sides to a story
- The Veldt by Ray Bradbury – classic Bradbury…need I say more?
Reading short stories during teatime is a great way to enjoy an entire plot arc in a short amount of time.
NOTE: Always preread short stories before reading them for your children. You know your kids best and what material is age-appropriate.
Speaking of short stories, if you still have a houseful of preschool and elementary school children, then reading fables and fairy tales is a delightful way to spend teatime. Collections can be found at your library or purchased at a book store.
Get started with:
Another fun poetry teatime idea is to read classic folk tales from around the world. Teatime is a great opportunity to introduce your kids to American Folk Legends such as Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan as well as Folk legends from around the globe such as Anansi the Spider. Most libraries will have plenty of picture book options to read during your teatime.
We added a few to our home library when the kids were younger and they were delightful to read during teatime:
Yes. Shakespeare definitely falls into the category of poetry. In fact, we enjoyed a Shakespeare Themed Poetry Teatime complete with a few Midsummer Night’s Dream fairy decorations.
But you don’t have to read poetry to enjoy The Bard at your teatime. Instead, select one of the many story versions of various Shakespeare plays to enjoy at your teatime. Some of our favorite story versions come from the Shakespeare collections on our home library shelves:
Does reading an essay sounds like a poetry teatime idea? Let me assure you that it is a fantastic way to spend poetry teatime.
Let’s face it, at some point, you are going to expect your kids to write an essay. Before they begin writing essays, wouldn’t it make sense to let them read and enjoy a few essays?
Teatime offers the perfect opportunity to read and enjoy essays with your kids. You can find funny, persuasive, and serious essays as well as memoir style essays. We have typically read essays from my two favorite collections:
Breakfast on Mars is full of relatable essays that are easily enjoyed by kids. We often include these in our Morning Time for Teens. The Little Norton Reader includes well-known essays that are particularly great reading for your teens!
Once a month, our absolutely favorite poetry teatime ideas is enjoying our Universal Yums box during teatime. The best part of this teatime is that all we have to make is the tea (or lemonade). The snacks are included and so is the material for reading.
Not only do we enjoy snacks from around the world all year long, but we also learn facts about the history, people, and landmarks of different countries. I am pretty sure this is my kids’ favorite teatime option.
Non-Fiction Short Biographies
I love to find biography collections that contain brief biographies of a wide collection of movers and shakers in history. The library is full of these and I continue to read them at teatime, even with teenagers. These books aren’t a deep dive into the life of one person, but they allow you to skim across the surface of many amazing people through history. Teatime is the perfect time to pull out one of these collections.
This is also the perfect opportunity to include books about missionaries and religious figures in your particular religion. We enjoyed, “Ten Girls Who Changed the World,” and “Ten Boys Who Changed the World.“
Other Non-Fiction Selections
In addition to brief biographies, we enjoy reading non-fiction information books as an additional poetry teatime idea. Short chapters about specific ideas, inventions, concepts, or time periods have been perfect to pair with our cookies and tea.
The sky is the limit when it comes to including non-fiction titles with your teatime.
Teatime is a perfect time to discuss the important and deep questions about life:
- Who are your friends?
- Can computers think?
- Can something logical not make sense?
- Can you think about nothing?
While you can certainly discuss current events and questions you create on your own, I liked using Philosophy for Kids over the years to facilitate our teatime discussions. You can check out this resource and many others to help facilitate your teatime discussions.
No matter what reading you include, your homeschool teatime can be a memorable, fun, and important learning routine in your week.
Looking for some themed teatime fun?
- Simple Ideas for a Winter Poetry Teatime
- Explore Poetry with a Shakespeare Themed Teatime
- Host a Valentines Day Poetry Teatime
- Poetry Teatime with Marilyn Singer
Ready to Plan a Poetry Teatime?
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- Plan a Morning Time with Older Kids: 15+ Ideas for the Homeschooling Mom
- How to Include Variety in Your Morning Time
- How to Include a Poetry Teatime in Your Homeschool
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