When I made my list of favorite read aloud books, I couldn’t believe I forgot our poetry books. My goodness, we started each day with poetry – right before we dove into reading a classic book.
Each of my kids chose a poem they wanted to read to our family. They took turns reading it to us. This accomplished a few goals.
- Poetry is not boring, like I thought in school
- Poetry is not difficult to understand. Another of my impressions from school
- Poetry is FUN. We laughed a lot during our poetry readings.
- Poetry allows your child time to practice reading out loud to others.
Shel Silverstein’s books
After several years, I began using The Harp and The Laurel Wreath. (Notice I said years of poetry, not months – we had fun with poetry for many years)
Moving to Harp & Laurel Wreath moved us to more serious readings, as well as opportunities to discuss the meaning of poetry. Since The Harp and The Laurel Wreath is divided by age groups, we could choose poems in the dialectic or junior high stage. I used this to discuss symbolism and meaning in poetry.
We would all memorize poetry from the start of homeschooling. We started memorizing poems when my kids were in junior & senior high school. I wish we had started when they were five or six years old.
My favorite resource for poetry memorization (and linguistic development) is IEW Poetry Memorization. This single resource includes enough poems for 10-15 years of memorization.
One cool aspect of IEW Poetry Memorization book is it comes with a CD of all the poems. Just pop the CD in the car and your children can memorize the poems driving around town or on vacation. They’ll be learning and won’t even know it. To read more about Poetry Memorization, click here.