Friday, March 30, 2012

Tea Time

A young homeschooling friend recently had an assignment for his online Literature class that wasn't the easiest thing for an 11 year old boy. He had to throw a tea party. Not the political kind, but after reading and discussing "Little Women" he had to host an authentic Victorian tea party.

That's not exactly every boy's dream assignment, but fortunately for the young fellow, he knew some willing kids who would participate, which meant arriving in costume and character, and trying their best to use suitable manners. Girl Child had been studying the Civil war, so this all went along with things in our little homeschool quite splendidly.

I had not read the book "Little Women" in years, and my kids hadn't read it at all. We didn't have time to reread it before the party, so we resorted to borrowing the movie from the library. Unfortunately, it was the 1994 version, which was I'm sorry to say, just painful, and didn't make the best impression of it for my Boy Child.

Nevertheless, my kids are good sports and we attempted to rummage up costumes. My Boy Child was the hardest as he doesn't really do "dress clothes" but we at least found an old button up shirt from some past performance and paired it with black jeans and a vest. The skater shoes weren't exactly authentic Victorian vintage, but were the best we could do.

The day of the party came and the guests all looked lovely. The food was elegant, and their manners were impressive. They even showed some restraint with the sugar cubes in their tea without being asked (or at least they seemed to.)

Tea was followed by croquet. At this point I wondered when the manners would slack to modern times, but they maintained fairly well for the most part (although one mallet handle get broken, no people or animals were injured in the making of the tea party.)

I was quite proud of the young fellow who put it all together, and even made figgy pudding to serve.

Most of all, I'm proud to know such an assorted group of kids who haven't been crammed into a one size fits all mold and are still open to having fun while learning and trying new things.