Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Poetry for Kids

When I first started researching homeschooling, poetry was not really on my radar.  Then I found the Charlotte Mason method and realized that reading poetry is not only an extension of literature, it helps bring beauty into our home and one thing I want my children to have is an appreciation for all forms of art and creativity.  I used to write a lot of poetry myself, so although I haven't studied it much, I do enjoy it.

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I mentioned a long time ago that we start with Mother Goose because they are timeless.  I find these are great for developing language skills, and since they are short, they are easy for children to memorize, and that is always a fun accomplishment for this age.  (I do not require memorization at this age, but they enjoy learning their favorites!)  I read from The Real Mother Goose and it's one of their all-time favorites.

After that we just read a variety of books that have whimsical and fun collections of poems for kids like The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders and Fold Me a Poem--and we did some Origami for kids with this one!  Nothing formal, just here and there we'll pick up a small book of poems and read through it over several days.

We also reviewed Primary Arts of Language that year, and the reading portion had poetry woven into the lessons.  Elliott really liked the poems, and he memorized a few as we went along!

First Grade
This year we got sidetracked from poetry, but we're trying to get back to reading it daily.  We're currently reading A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson.  The illustrations are delightful!  After that, we'll move on to Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne, because everyone needs a little more Pooh in their lives!  I imagine both boys will enjoy these, since they are associated with their beloved Winnie the Pooh books.

Next Year and more . . .
I am always checking out discount stores, library book sales and used book stores to add to our homeschool library, and occasionally I'll find a gem to tuck away for later.  These are some of the possibilities for the next couple of years, as they're already in our home!

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children
This anthology is an eclectic collection of children's poems, by many authors.  I've skimmed through it myself and have enjoyed it.  Some are silly, and some are poems that were not specifically written for children, but are suitable for them.

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
My sister had the Shel Silverstein books, and I remember devouring them as a child.  He would certainly make for an interesting poet study!

Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost
This book is neat in that it has several of Frost's poems divided by season, so it would work not only as a poet study, but also to accompany nature studies.

Something Big Has Been Here by Jack Prelutsky
This one is mostly quirky and funny poems.  Some Charlotte Mason homeschoolers would scoff at using "silly" poems, but I think there's a time and place.  I think this is the type of book that might even open some reluctant readers up to the idea that poetry can be fun and engaging.

Oxford Book of Poetry for Children edited by Edward Bilshen
This is an older anthology, a library discard, with quite a variety of poets represented.

More Poetry for Kids
Children's Poetry from The Poetry Foundation
200 Classic Children's Poems - Ambleside Online (free)
Classical Poems for Children
The Complete 10 Week Poetry for Kids Course

Do you study poetry?  Who are your favorite poets for early elementary? 

This post is linked up to the Blogging through the Alphabet series.


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