Every Wednesday afternoon, the kids and I have a Charlotte Mason-style tea party. The kids love it because they get to sip tea and eat cookies. I love it because it has proved for our family to be a simple way to enjoy the enrichment studies of our Charlotte Mason-style homeschool. We listen to music from our current composer, enjoy reading poems aloud to each other and discussing them, and participate in a picture study of a work of fine art.
My kids are young (7, 5, and 2) so I have found a few helpful things that have kept our tea parties going weekly for over a year now.
There are some things that have helped this happen every week…
Enlist a Helper
We call ours the “Servant Heart” and the bearer proudly wears a felt heart paper clipped to their shirt. The older two kids take turns each week getting to be the special helper. They help pass out the snacks and help clear the table when the party is over.
Fresh baked cookies from the oven are the most essential element at our house to have happy kids eager to participate. The key for us has been to make 3 large batches of cookies every 6 months, ball them up, and then freeze them. Then I simply pull out 3 cookie balls each week and the dough lasts for 6 months because we only make a few each time. Peanut likes to help me make the big batches each time.
Drink Tea from Fancy Cups
I have two boys so this seems a little silly, but I think they actually enjoy drinking real tea from real grown-up tea cups. Sippy cups are still in my kids’ not too distant memories so drinking from fancy cups makes them feel mature and distinguished in a silly way. I picked this set up at a local charity thrift store for $5 and the teapot was a heirloom from my grandmother. I’m sure GiGi would have been happy knowing it was being used every week.
We used to live in Boulder, Colorado so we naturally love Celestial Seasonings tea. We had “Bengal Spice” today (which is pretty darn spicy) and I think the different teas maybe do a little to widen their palettes.
Keep Everything You Need in One Spot
I have a shelf in one of the kitchen cabinets where I keep all of our weekly Tea Time school materials so they are easy to grab and put on the table when Wednesday rolls around. These include poetry books, artwork printouts, and my iPad so I can play our composer’s music.
Discuss, Narrate, and Laugh
My kids are very young so we just read light-hearted poetry that makes us smile. We read one today called “If I Were a Cave-Man” and we were laughing because this particular “cave man” ate bones and that sounded “gross”.
I love hearing how my children describe the artwork. We pass it the printed copy of the artist’s work and each look at it for about 1 minute and then (youngest to oldest) talk about what we saw. Even my 3 year old loves giving his thoughts on the works of art. It’s so cute and many times better than I could have described it!
I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our weekly enrichment studies (a.k.a. Tea Party Time). How does your family schedule in time to enjoy these subjects? I’d love to hear your ideas!