Tea Time with Shakespeare

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April 23 is Talk Like Shakespeare Day!

What a fantastic opportunity to enjoy Tea Time with William Shakespeare.


William Shakespeare, the greatest of English poets, was born at Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. He is supposed to have been educated at the free school of Stratford. At 18 years old he married Anne Hathaway. Four years later William and Anne moved to London, where they initially struggled with poverty. William got his foot in the door at local theaters, first by holding horses at the doors, then becoming an actor, and then a successful playwright and theater manager. During the years 1593-1594, the theaters were closed due to the plague, so William spent his time writing and publishing poems.

The next twenty years he spent in London as an actor, and in writing poems and plays, later becoming a shareholder as well as an actor. His works consisted of approximately 38 plays, ranging from the lightest comedy, through romance and historical narrative, to the darkest tragedy, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Having gained not only fame but a modest fortune, he retired in 1611 to live at ease in Stratford until his death on April 23, 1616 at the age of fifty-two.




Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children by E. Nesbitt


Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield


Tales From Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb
William Shakespeare and the Globe by Aliki


 Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare by Diane Stanley

Shakespeare – His Work and His World by Michael Rosen and Robert Ingpen


Any one of Shakespeare’s numerous plays put on film. Many full length films can be found for free on youtube.com. (Caution: some include mature themes)


Shakespeare Plays Notebook Pages

Notebook Pages for many of Shakespeare’s major works are provided for student to complete independently. These can be used along with the original plays, the plays in story form, or the plays in movie form. Read and/or watch the plays with your child, and then let him complete report on his own.

Record what you learn about William Shakespeare on:

Shakespeare Notebook Page

Extend your Tea Time with:


Resources from Homeschool Share’s

Renaissance and Reformation Connections page

talk like shakespeareActivities and resources from Talk Like Shakespeare web site.

For a Tea Time Treat:

Have an English tea with hot tea, cream and sugar, and scones.


Election Time Teaching Helps

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With all the media attention on the presidential debates and upcoming election, I want my kids to understand what it is all about. Where do I start?


As “the principal part of everything is the beginning,” that is where I would start.

This article, Presidents of the United States by Gregory Allan, tells who the first nine Presidents of The United States of America were, and they aren’t who most think! This article is a great discussion starter and can lead to many rabbit trails.

Then I’d check out the Elections Connections Page at Homeschool Share.



Here you’ll find a list of recommended books, and FREE Lapbooks, Unit Studies, and other Printables.


This FREE Elections Lapbook explains the history of the election process, as well as political party structure.


Your elementary age children may enjoy reading and completing the FREE Unit Study for The Ballot Box Battle by Emily Arnold McCulley, a picture book about women’s right to vote.

They may also enjoy So You Want to be President, which Jen reviews HERE.


If your children want to learn more about the individual presidents, check out Homeschool Share’s Presidents Connections Page.

There you will find a recommended book list, and FREE Unit Studies and Lapbooks, including this Presidents Lapbook with oodles of printables that can be used individually or assembled into a lap-n-note.

Teens may want to dig a bit deeper into understanding the differences between political parties. Richard Maybury’s book, Liberal? Conservative? Or Confused? is a great primer. There are FREE Notebooking Pages HERE.


As you are watching the debates with your children, it will benefit them to understand the basics of argumentation and how to recognize bad reasoning. The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn is a great introduction to propaganda techniques.

You can encourage older children to answer some critical thought questions, such as:

Does my vote really count?

What are the pros and cons of electronic voting versus the paper ballot?

Stalin said, “Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” What are the stop gaps in place to prevent vote fraud and are they sufficient?

Is it ok to choose the lesser of evils?

Do you agree with this statement made by Lysander Spooner: “A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.” Why or why not?

Not enough resources for ya? Ok then…

How about a FREE copy of Presidential Elections, A Complete Resource with Historical Information Activities and Ideas by Julia Hargrove!

It has everything you need to make learning about the elections an easy, exciting and meaningful experience. I’ll send a free book to the 30th commenter. Rules are simple:

-Post a comment to this post, being sure to include an active e-mail address for me to contact you if you win.

-You may post up to two comments

-Winner will need to reply to my e-mail requesting snail mail address so I can ship the book to you!

Good luck and have fun!