April is Poetry Month!

William Blake's "The Tyger," publish...

Image via Wikipedia

Celebrate with Poetry in Our Pockets on 14th April

I thought I would share how we do our poetry …

I wish I could say that we …

  • read our scheduled poems every week
  • learn classic poems word for word
  • recite poems
  • write poems
  • love poetry lessons

… But we don’t.

There.  I’ve admitted it.

I only tend to focus on poetry once or twice a month.  We sometimes make tea, or go outside and sit under the tree and read the 3 or 4 poems from our schedule.  It is usually a special, but relaxed time.

I usually announce the title and read through the poem once to give an overview.  I may tell them a bit about the poet or the theme.   Sometimes they can tell me what the poem is about and can describe the general story or imagery. Sometimes my kids “don’t get it.”

Then I read the poem again slowly and stop here and there to explain words, lines and verses as I go.

We chat about the poem and talk about word play, rhyming scheme, images, metaphors, themes, and so on.

Then we read it through once more.

If the poem “clicks” and it inspires us, we may try memorize it, but usually they may each read it aloud.

Often we write our own similar poems.  We usually copy the patterns, structure and rhyming of the original poem.  We use our own thoughts and words and the poems often come out surprisingly well.

Miss.L (8) wrote her own words for verses 3,4,5

A fun poem written to the challenge to find rhyming words for "Orange"

My children may not love poetry … yet … but we really appreciate poetry.

Some random notes to myself:

  • Use a good anthology with lots of different types of poetry and themes
  • Keep poetry reading fun, light, enjoyable
  • Do not over-emphasize technicalities
  • Savour great poems and linger on it till we’ve enjoyed it fully
  • Keep it simple. One good poem is enough.  Full Stop.
  • Let them make the poem theirs – identify their feelings and responses to it.
  • Give them time to mature and enjoy poetry
  • Select poems suitable for their age and maturity
  • Have some fun and nonsense poems in the mix
  • Read poems that are stories and take them on a journey
  • Dramatize, illustrate, dance, make music to poems
  • Play with words in everyday speaking
  • Develop creative thinking and word associations
  • Add riddles and song lyrics to listening times
  • Children differ and not all love abstract words
  • Out there among the millions of poems is “The One” that will spark interest and love for words
  • Writing good poetry is an art.
  • There is no need to write good poetry to appreciate good poetry

My goals for homeschooling my children is to ~

expose them to great ideas,

great minds,

great literature,

and develop their love for fine arts,

love nature,

teach them to hear God’s voice

and respond.

Poetry does all this!

Hope you take time this month to enjoy poetry.

For extra inspiration:

What was the first poem to spark your love for poetry?

Blessings,

8 thoughts on “April is Poetry Month!

  1. Thanks Nadene, I really appretiate your blog. I’ve been inspired to schedule in time for Art and now hopefully some poetry too. We began using the book “Drawing with children” which has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool week. Blessings, Michelle

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  2. Nadene, thank you for being real with us on the topic of poetry. We don’t do much poetry in our home, because I am not sure how to go about doing it in a home setting. Your post has given me food for thought. Once again, a winner!

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  3. Very timely post for me. For some reason, I do better with poetry in the spring – maybe others do, too, and that’s why April is Poetry Month. We’ve been reading William Blake the past couple of weeks. My kids tell me that whenever I get in the “we need to do poetry more often” kick, I pull out William Blake.

    Thanks for the helpful post about poetry.

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  4. There’s an ideal, and then there’s reality. We all have areas where our plans don’t pan out.

    We generally read one poem each day. I find that a daily activity is easier to keep track of than a weekly or monthly activity. That’s why we do artist study each day too. But we’ve done terribly with composer study in the past half year. Oh well. Seasons.

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  5. I so love your honesty and you sharing your plans. I am finally starting a more routine schedule for artists and we do poetry loosely. It is great to be reminded that is doesn’t have to be elaborate studies. Exposure and taking the time to enjoy it are key. When i don’t get overwhelmed, (keep it simple) we enjoy it and actually do it. I love studying the arts with my kids. Something i never got to do as a kid in public school.🙂

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