Evaluating our School Year: Poetry

Hello friends,

This post begins a series of me basically processing my thoughts (and sometimes my kids' thoughts and opinions) here on the blog regarding our homeschooling year.  I plan to cover each subject, describing what we did, what worked for us and what did NOT work.

I find this process so helpful as I finish out each year and before I begin to plan for our next year.  Each year I end up tweaking things and refining them in a way that will result in a smoother run NEXT year.  At least that's the plan.  :)

So... I'm going to begin with POETRY, since a reader (Hi Candice!) recently had a question about this.

Each month we reviewed one poem from the previous year and learned a new poem.  We read our poems-for-the-month every school day during morning time.  Each child had a copy of the poem in front of them that I would pass out before each reading, then file afterward in my Morning Time binder.

At the beginning of a month, I read that month's new and review poems aloud, to get the right cadence of the poem in their minds.  Then after a week or more of only me reading them, I might have one of older kids read them, or I would read a line and see if the rest of the kids could fill in the following line.  Toward the end of the month when they were all very comfortable with it, they would take turns reciting the poems throughout the week.

Here is list of our poetry selections for this past school year.  (You should be able to google any of these titles and/or poets and find the poem in its entirety.) 
IF, Rudyard Kipling (new)
Nine o’Clock Bell, Eleanor Farjeon (review)

The Mist and All, Dixie Willson (new)
Who Has Seen the Wind? Christina Rossetti (review)

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost (new)
The Eagle, Alfred, Lord Tennyson (review)

February Twilight, Sara Teasdale (new)
The Children’s Hour, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (review)

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, William Butler Yeats (new)
Written in March, William Wordsworth (review)

Nature, Poem 9: The Grass, by Emily Dickinson (new)
The Sun Is First To Rise, Elizabeth Coatsworth (review)

Bilbo’s Walking Song, J.R.R Tolkien (new)
The Cow, Robert Louis Stevenson (review)

My favorite books of poems for young children is either A Child's Book of Poems (illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa), or A Child's Garden of Verses (Robert Louis Stevenson, and illustrated by Tasha Tudor.

One of Fujikawa's illustrations

For middle-aged children I really like Favorite Poems Old and New, with selections by Helen Farris.  Our copy is an old, red, hardbound book I picked up at a thrift store years ago.  I also have a copy of The Classic Hundred Poems (Harmon).  Everything else I find online.  Ambleside online is a great resource.  Click here to find a list of AO's recommended poets.

The purpose of introducing poetry to the kids is to expose them to the language of the poets and the cadence of verse, and I think we really succeeded in this.  We all really enjoyed it, and the kids all said they want to keep doing exactly what we did this past year.

I can't really think of any thing that didn't work.  I will say that my older kids could have taken on more challenging poems.  They are able to memorize more easily than the little girls, and could have tackled longer poems, for sure.  (Ella, for instance, gets a poem down after just a few times of hearing it and can recall and recite it months later.)  But I intentionally chose fairly simple poems that the younger girls would like to hear, and they all liked our poetry time, so I think it's a win.  :)


Please feel free to post any questions you might have, or list your own favorite poems!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your insight on poetry. I'm so glad that our curriculum schedule and embraces the beauty of poetry.


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