Browsing Tag


Homeschooling, Poetry

Host a Winter Poetry Teatime

The snow fell this weekend and I did what all good southerners do: I went to the grocery store.

Of course, I skipped the bread, milk, and eggs aisles and went straight for the “snow party” food. This weekend was going to provide the perfect time for a special poetry teatime and I wanted to be ready.

Check out these ideas to host a winter poetry teatime with your children. Continue Reading

Brave Writer, Poetry, Poetry

Our Brave Writer Lifestyle, Teatime and Freewriting

This is the final post in a series from my former blog, originally published in 2013.  The first two posts recorded my discovery of Brave Writer and our plan for implementation. This third and final post records the beginning of Freewriting and Teatime in our home.  We still implement a Brave Writer lifestyle in our homeschool and it is a delight to look back at our enthusiastic beginnings and realize that my enthusiasm has only grown since then!

We did not have our traditional scavenger hunt for school supplies this year.

We did not need any more pens, pencils, notebooks, and such.  Though I do admit that I might have purchased a pack of sharpie markers for myself because I might just be a bit obsessed with them. Continue Reading

Books We Read, Homeschooling, Literature, Poetry

Most Beautiful, Imaginative Art and Poetry Books Ever

Our family has a favorite modern day artist. His mind-bending, beautiful images take us on an exciting trip into the surreal every time we view them.  His artwork stimulates our imagination and leaves us wondering how it is created so perfectly.

Meet: Rob Gonsalves

Rob is a Canadian artist who creates illusions in his art that will intrigue every viewer.  You can find him on facebook and you can find his images in several places online.  Our favorite place to view his artwork is in the four picture books he has illustrated.

Art and Poetry come together in these beautiful books by Rob Gonsalves.

Continue Reading

Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Poetry

Found Poetry

Inspired by the Poetry Tea Time website, we decided to write a few poems with our friends to end the school year.  The first activity I selected for my crew and their friends was Found Poetry.

The basic idea of a Found Poem is that you “find” a poem in a piece of text that has already been created.  Some great sources are magazines and books. Your final poem can be simple or complex; decorated or plain.  The options are endless.  You can find several examples on my Poetry Pinterest Board. Continue Reading

Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Poetry

Themed Poetry Tea Time: Tea with Marilyn Singer

Each week, our family routinely sets aside time to enjoy a Poetry Tea Time together.  The table is set, the drinks and snacks are served, and poetry is shared aloud.

Tea Time with Marilyn SingerOn a typical week we bring favorite books from our own collection or from a recent library trip to the table.

But this week was a bit different.  Inspired by this interview with Marilyn Singer at Poetry Tea Time, we had a themed teatime with Marilyn as our featured author.

To prepare for our special tea, I requested all of the books available by Marilyn Singer at our local libraries.  Thankfully, this creative poet has written a large number of poetry books with diverse themes.

I began our tea time by reading an interview with Marilyn to the kids.  A podcast was also available, which I listened to on my own, but the kids weren’t up for forty minute podcast.  After learning a little bit about our featured poet, we were ready to dig into her books and our snacks!

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IMG_4643Right away, my youngest child gravitated toward the book, A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play.  This book was filled with fun poems for all readers, but it was particularly perfect for my youngest reader.  He was able to comfortably read a few poems out loud for us.

Marilyn’s well-known reverso, or mirror poetry, can be found in several books.  Her fairy tale reverso poems were found in both Follow Follow and Mirror Mirror.   Our family was fortunate enough to also find her most recent release, Echo Echo, at our library.  Echo Echo is a book of reverso poems based on stories from Greek Mythology.  This wasn’t our first time reading these reverso poems, yet it was fun to revisit them again with more background knowledge of the poet!

Inspired by what we just read, we ended our tea time by attemping some reverso poetry of our own.


Daniel, age 6
May’s coming                        I’m waiting
I’m waiting                         May’s coming


David, age 9
Have fun                            Ripstiking
Ripstiking                         Have fun


Patricia, age 11
No!  I will                                I’m safe.
Never!                                      It’s over.
Will I go back?                     Will I go back?
It’s over.                                   Never?
I’m safe.                                    No, I will.

My attempt:
Jekyll and Hyde Come to Tea

Poetry.                                      We stop!
While reading                        Never will
we sip tea.                                we sip tea
Never will                                while reading
we stop.                                     poetry.

We had a great time, but boy was it challenge to write these poems!  The process gave us a whole new appreciation for Marilyn and her creativity.

I did take the time to email Marilyn about our experience with her books and I shared our poems with her.  Her email can be found on her website and she responded within 24 hours!

Some of our favorite titles by Marilyn include the following titles.

Nature/Outdoor Focus

A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play (illustrated by LeUyen Pham)- games and outdoor fun easy for kids to relate to

IMG_4641-001How to Cross a Pond: Poems About Water (illustrated by Meilo So)- beautiful monochromatic watercolor illustrations

Turtles in July (illustrated by Jerry Pinkney)- Marilyn’s first published poetry book with poems about animals and beautiful illustrations by Jerry Pinkney

Fireflies at Midnight (illustrated by Ken Robbins) – my personal favorite

Poems for Fun and Learning

Creature Carnival (illustrated by Gris Grimly) – silly, fun poems about mythological creatures such as Nessie, Cerberus, and the Kraken.  My nine year old son took this one to bed with him and loved it!

Rutherford B Who was He?: Poems about our Presidents (illustrated by John Hendrix) – rhyming poems about each of the presidents in order of their service

Reverso Poems

Mirror Mirror and Follow Follow (both illustrated by Josee Masse) are based on fairy tales

Echo Echo (illustrated by Josee Masse) is based on Greek Mythology

Author themed tea times are a great way to get to know various poets.  I am sure this won’t be our last one.

Have you read any of Marilyn’s poetry books?  Do you have a favorite?

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Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Poetry

Poetry Teatime for Families

Poetry Teatime is a special part of our family life.

Once a week we slow down, enjoy good company and good food, and settle in for some poetry.

Relationships are built with one another and with poetry, all while enjoying tea (or lemonade) and snacks.

Begin a poetry teatime with your family. It doesn't have to be complicated. Learn more here about getting started.

Poetry Teatime is part of our Brave Writer Lifestyle, a language arts program created with homeschool families in mind, but the idea is certainly not limited to any educational choice or style.  For our family, it is a part of our education lifestyle and an integral part of our language arts week.

Poetry Teatime Basics

Poetry Teatime can be incorporated into any family, any lifestyle, and any educational choice.

Once a week, create a special pause in your day with snacks, tea (or a special drink your kids enjoy), and poetry.  Beyond those basics, the world of Poetry Teatime is flexible to suit your family’s dynamics and imagination.

Poetry Teatime Your Way

Some weeks we set a very simple table and other weeks we go all out.

Host a simple or elegant poetry teatime with your family.

Some weeks my children bring poems to share and other weeks mommy does all of the reading.

Some weeks we skip poetry books in favor of  Shakespeare or short stories.  Other weeks we select from a stack of poetry books.

Some weeks we read poetry books as a family and other weeks we have Poetry Teatime with friends.

Host a teatime with friends or just your own family.

Some weeks we enjoy a treat at our favorite cafe and other weeks we bake (or buy) treats to eat at home.

Some weeks poetry teatime occurs on Tuesday as planned and other weeks it is scheduled on the only free day in our week.  In fact, occasionally poetry teatime happens after dinner and we have our dessert and poetry with Daddy.

Clearly, there is a lot of flexibility to fit any family, any lifestyle, and any given week.

Get Your Family Started with Poetry Teatime

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If you are ready to get started, there is a FREE guide to Poetry Teatime available now.

You can download your FREE guide to Poetry Teatime and other great resources in the Brave Writer shop.

The Poetry Teatime Companion is a beautifully illustrated sampler of American and British poetry edited by Julie Bogart and Nancy Graham.  This book will certainly get you started with a well-chosen variety of poems.

Poetry Teatime has become a special time in our family.  We have our special mugs and teapots and everyone looks forward to selecting fun treats and books for our time together.

I hope you find the same joy and connection with one another and poetry.

Check out titles to add to your family poetry collection:

Amazon Poetry Books for Families

Related Posts:

Read about the beginning of our Brave Writer Lifestyle.Ideas and inspiration for connecting with your kids in January.