Ever had one of those days when homeschool feels like torture? You’re down, your kids aren’t feeling it, or life is just overtaking you like a bobsledder?
Yeah, I’ve had those days. To pull us out of our funk, I scrap the day’s lesson plan and try something fun. Because fun. And because some days homeschool feels like one of the impossible things. I still believe in it, but only in theory. You get me.
Usually, one day of lesson-scrapping pulls us together and refreshes us to get back on track the next day. Sometimes it’s board games. Sometimes it’s Netflix. Sometimes?
Oh. Yeah. They’re the best times. Mad Tea Party, anyone?
Throwing a Mad Tea Party
Some days I just want to go down the rabbit hole. Books have always been my place of ultimate safety. I have always been a girl who believes in impossible things. That the Mad Hatter is my Super-Duper Book Boyfriend, and the world is never what it seems, always more than I expect, and often full of magic that surprises even me. Alice is one of those books that reminds me to always believe in that magic.
Your littles will have so much fun with this! Get a Copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and read it with them. Or, if you don’t have time for that, just read Chapter VII, A Mad Tea-Party. Then have your own crazy little luncheon. That lasts all day.
Find a suitable tree and set up a table under it
I don’t care if it’s that unused card table in the basement. Set up a table and chairs under a tree. If you don’t have trees in your yard, go to a park and pick a picnic table that’s under a tree.
You have to have a shade tree, y’all.
Set more places than you need, but place all the settings you’ll be using should be at one end of the table
Because it must seem as if there is No More Room At The Table. So even though there are only 3 of us, we set places for 6 or 8, then we all 3 sit crowded around one corner.
Because it’s fun, that’s why. It makes them laugh, and when we’re already having a miserable day, that laughter is golden.
If you’re table is too small (or your family too big) for extra settings, that’s okay. You’re still going to play musical chairs.
Set a tea tray
Load up a tray with tea and jam sandwiches (don’t forget the Very Best Butter). Use a fancy tray. Use a large plate. Use a piece of wood if that’s all you have, but make it seem special.
If you’re feeling particularly brave, try this recipe for Harry Potter’s Favorite Treacle Tart, since the Dormouse’s story includes treacle. And you get to pull another great piece of children’s literature to your party. And all manner of things will be well.
It’s always teatime at this tea party
That means that every few minutes you have to jump up and switch seats. If you’ve set more places than you need, just move to the next place.
If you didn’t have room for that, just play musical chairs with each other’s seats.
Every time it’s tea time, you have to pick your seat, just like the characters in the book. So set a timer. I swear, this will have them in stitches.
While you enjoy your treats, tell each other stories like the Dormouse did in the book or riddles like the Hatter did.
And you must absolutely discuss how a raven is like a writing desk. See what interesting similarities (if any) your littles can come up with.
Read passages from both Alice books, or Lewis Carroll poems. Read the tea party scene. Classic.
Because that’s the fun part.
Change seats again.
Go have a Mad Tea Party today and laugh with your littles. Forget the pressure of having the perfect homeschool and just have fun. Hug your littles a lot. Let yourself feel slightly mad. You have my permission.
Mostly, just remind your littles that even on bad days