Autumn Teatime Poetry Inspiration

Fall is officially here and with school well underway, my kids wasted no time in asking if we could conduct a teatime poetry, one of their favorite school pastimes.

We love teatime poetry, and in the past it has taken a lot of work on my end – setting a table, selecting the readings, creating the goodies and making the tea, etc. But this time, I wanted the children to really take ownership of it. It was, after all, their request!

This morning I told the kids that their assignment for the morning was to:

  • Make the food from start to finish (with adult supervision/aid)
  • Plate the goodies
  • Help make the spiced apple cider (which was our tea for the event)
  • Set the table, including a tablecloth and a centerpiece
  • Help choose the poems and books to read from
  • Help read the poems
  • Use their best manners
  • Help with cleanup

They honestly did a fabulous job, and I’m so glad I documented so I could share here what they came up with!

So what did Mom do? Here’s my rough list:

  • Choose baby’s teatime snack (mostly Cheerios)
  • Help select poetry and read
  • Provide the recipe for cookies and monitor baking/food prep
  • Help clean up!

The work this time was so much more minimal for me, and I’m thrilled the kids wanted to take such a big part in our teatime poetry! They immediately asked if we could have it once a week. I’ve been hesitant before, but now I’m ready for another one soon!

Okay, enough with the teatime duties. Here’s the details on what we used and loved for our Autumn Themed Teatime Poetry!

Books and Selected Poems:

Red Are the Apples by Wade Zahare
Wonderfall by Michael Hall
Tiny, Perfect Things by M. H. Clark
Fall Leaves Fall! by Zoe Hall
Grasshoppers by Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
Honeybees by Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices

Teatime Food Ideas:

All these choices are kid-friendly, caffeine free, and can be converted easily for allergen friendly necessities.

Other Inspiration:

  • Utilize an autumn-themed radio station or playlist on youtube or spotify to set the mood. We love this one!
  • Bring out a few kid-friendly, fall decorations (battery operated candles, candy dishes, colorful cloth napkins, etc.) and allow the kids to pick what goes on the table and where.
  • Use the real dishes! It helps littles with fine motor control and also teaches the value of being careful. Of course, use your own discretion and judgment. 🙂
  • Let the kids do as much of the preparation as possible. Take the whole morning! (I’m totally giving you permission to skip the subraction flashcards if you need it.) It really amplifies their enjoyment of the process, gives them a varied learning environment, and eases your workload, too!
  • Get outside if you want to! We opted for our kitchen nook – right near south facing, open windows since it was pretty dewy and wet outside still. Also, our tiny one year old likes to chew every stick in sight.

For a quick video of their adorable setup, visit my Instagram stories and request follow today! Or you can check out my Facebook here. 🙂

We hope you found some exciting fall inspiration to create your own special teatime poetry session this season. If you loved this post, please share or visit here and here for more ideas on homeschooling and fresh recipes!

Illumine

I was reading through some poetry last night and these words made me catch my breath. I think I’ve heard them before somewhere… The context, the author, and any extra thoughts about it escaped me though. I read it again. What a notion…to request from God himself to illuminate all that is dark within my soul!

Lord knows there’s a lot of it. Darkness so deep I can’t even begin to see where it starts and ends.

And that is why I need Christ.

Because he sees my heart, and knows all the dark corners that I have neglected, refused to see, and have even been hiding from — subconsciously or otherwise.

It’s radical. It’s a revolutionary – or no, maybe just plain scary – idea to ask in vulnerability for the Creator of Light to take a Holy lantern to every cobweb of our souls.

Photo by Highland Magazine on Unsplash

John Milton’s words are tough to swallow, and an even harder prayer to pray. Buried deep within me are the faults I don’t even want to admit to myself, much less my family or Bible study group or even best friends . The little lies and fears I end up believing deep in my soul. The anxiety and shame I allow myself to dwell on. The hurtful comments and judgmental attitudes of my heart. How could I possibly let go of all that to someone Who could expose it all?

What is dark in me, illumine.

-John Milton, Paradise Lost

But then, maybe if I surrendered…and allowed Jesus to step into the dark recesses of my heart, I’d feel a bit brighter. A bit less burdened. Maybe it would be easier to breathe and move and live.

If I choose this morning to come defenseless to the throne of God, I can trust in his mercy. I can rely on His grace. Those blankets of darkness – anger, anxiety, hurt, fear, regret – can dissipate into nothing if only I allow Jesus to pour out his grace-light upon them. And instead of that darkness, pure white radiance would flow into those corners instead.

It would flow into and across and over and pretty soon, the whole of my soul would be illuminated with Him.

And that is exactly what I desire.

More of Him. Less of me.

My prayer today – as terrifying as it is – echoes Milton. The vulnerability is worth it when you can trust your life with the Creator.

 What is dark in me, dear Jesus, illumine.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

Blessings,

Barefoot Still.

I wanted to write a short and sweet poem for my kids to learn for fall. There is so much excellent classic fall poetry out there, but it isn’t actually quite fall yet! So I wrote my own roughly based on a favorite by Nona Keen Duffy, but much more little-learner-friendly in wording. Feel free to pin and use at your homeschool, or just for fun. 🙂

Happy Almost-Autumn!

Cup of Christmas Cheer

Our tree is up,

the lights are glowing,

Christmas-cheer-cup

overflowing.

 

Presents wrapped and

fire aglow,

ready for the first

big snow.

 

Candles lit and

spirits bright,

Christ, come into

our home tonight.

IMG_8839

Merry Christmas, readers!

 

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Autumn Lyrics

 

The mornings I can sit down and write are few and far between,

but given the kids are fast asleep,

and the coffee is strong

and the house is deep

in quiet…

I’ll grab the clock and slow down time, to dwell on things usually unseen.

Continue reading “Autumn Lyrics”