Are you intimidated by poetry? Enjoying poetry is a learned skill and it may not be a difficult as you think! Poetry is worth studying in your homeschool because it challenges your child to think on a higher level. We like to learn poetry all together during our Morning Time. Here are some simple ideas for poetry in Morning Time.
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Poetry in Morning Time
Morning Time has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool. Morning Time is the time that we all gather to cover the subjects that we highly value, but that often get lost in the shuffle of the more formal subjects. I have written several posts about how we do Morning Time in our homeschool.
Poetry is a subject that everyone can enjoy together, no matter what their age, so it fits nicely into Morning Time. We don’t do poetry daily, instead we loop it into our schedule.
Reasons Why You Should Read Poetry With Your Kids
- Poetry improves vocabulary. Almost every time we read a new poem, we learn a new word.
- The descriptive, metaphoric language helps them grasp the concept of a difficult passage in ways that book reading cannot.
- It inspires them to feel and act a certain way.
- Poems introduce them to beauty in the written and spoken word.
Simple Ideas for Poetry
When you read a poem one time, you may just slightly understand the gist. Or you may catch snippets here and there, but have no idea what it is about at all! Poems are best understood after they are read over and over again. Often it is the 5th, 6th or more time that you have read a poem before you truly grasp the meaning or the author’s intent.
This is true for kids as well. I encourage my kids when we read a new poem that they should not get frustrated if they don’t understand it right away. I remind them that they will understand a little more each time we read it.
One of the most obvious practices for poetry is to memorize it. Pull it out every morning for a few weeks and simply read it one time together. If the kids are up for it, you can choose a volunteer to read it a second time while the rest of the family listens. If there are unfamiliar words or phrases in the poem, you might stop to ask and try to understand them. This helps build their vocabulary and understanding of poetic form. Work on the same poem for a few weeks until one day you ask everyone to try reciting it without the passage in front of them.
We like to memorize poetry by poet. I love Christina Rosetti and Robert Louis Stevenson for young children because their poems are often titled with concrete topics that are familiar to children. Here is a list of some of the favorite poems we have memorized over the years.
- “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson
- “Daffadowndilly” by Christina Rosetti (This one great for spring when the daffodils come up!)
- “The Tyger” William Blake
- “Wynken Blynken and Nod” by Eugene Field
- “My Shadow” Robert Louis Stevenson
- “Months” by Christina Rosetti
- “The Children’s Hour” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- “The Sluggard” by Isaac Watts
- “I Can” by Edgar A Guest
- “The Window” by Walter de la Mare
- “Crossing the Bar” by Alfred Lord Tennyson
- “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
- “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
- “Opportunity” by Edward Rowland Sill
- “Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Another way to enjoy poetry is to read a few different poems a day. We have a few collections of poems that I have read through. You can start at the beginning and read 2-3 a day, making your way through. Or you can peruse through and read just the ones you like. This is usually what I do.
Here are some poetry collections we have enjoyed through the years.
Read by Favorite Poet
We have a couple of favorite poets that we read over and over. Sometimes you get familiar with a person’s style and you want to hear more of their work because you understand it or relate to it in some way.
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Listen to Poetry
Sometimes the kids get tired of hearing my voice all the time. Additionally, they can become familiar with my personality and style and it no longer inspires them. Hearing someone else read a poem and talk about it can be just the ticket to seeing it in a new way. From time to time, our kids have enjoyed listening to the Daily Poem podcast. These are short podcasts, 5-10 minutes each. The host reads a poem at the beginning of the podcasts. Next, he gives a little history or background. He might mention a few notable parts or give further meaning to details. Finally, he finishes by reading the poem a second time.
I would say these are geared a little more for middle and high school, but even my elementary aged kids have enjoyed them.
Often when we are memorizing a poem, we mix it up by writing a short section every day. Our kids like to use colored pencils or gel pens to do this. It usually takes us 5 or 6 mornings until we have written the whole poem, depending on how long it is. We only write a little bit every day. After they have finished writing the poem, I encourage them to draw illustrations in the margins and we put it into their portfolios.
Poetry for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
Don’t forget to include nursery rhymes in Morning Time for your youngest children. Nursery rhymes are poems for little children. They introduce them to new words, rhythms, rhyming sounds, and so much more. When you sing and repeat nursery rhymes to little ones, you will hear them repeating them throughout the day in their play.
Poetry as Art
Kids can really appreciate poems when they become a work of art. Let them write out their favorite poem. Then give them time to illustrate it. Mount the poem and place it in prominent places around your home as part of the decor. They will take pride in their work and truly “see” the beauty in poetic verse.
Don’t forget the importance of short lessons. When it comes to poetic language, brevity is key! Give them just enough to whet their appetite so that they look forward to it the next time you do it. Anywhere from 5-15 minutes is plenty of time!
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If you are intimidated by studying poems with your kids, I hope that these simple ideas for poetry in Morning Time can give you enough of inspiration and boost to give it a try!
Have you found some unique ways to learn poetry with your kids? Please share with others! I love hearing from other homeschoolers!
Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!