Saturday, March 2, 2013


When I first started homeschooling (you know, so super long ago...last school year), I forced myself to start with only the basic core classes.  I had lots of other ideas, but I'd read so many stories of burnout, I wanted to make sure I went slowly.

After our first semester (just Ben and I that first year), I added a few more things, revised what we were doing and ended up adding our weekly checklists (one of my best ideas ever). 

At the beginning of this school year (now with Makenna, Ben and James...I had some small panic attacks about that, but it's going pretty darn good) I added art, music and latin (Makenna does an actual latin course, Ben is doing English From the Roots Up). 

Throughout the year I've slowly added in some projects for things like holidays and book reports until we're almost doing one a week (this is probably the kids favorite addition).

Over the last few months I've been trying to figure out how to add poetry to our school days.  I'm not a fly by the seat of my pants or make up my own curriculum (not that those two go together, I just don't do either one well) kind of girl and I also don't know anything about poetry.  Really.  I'm not exagerating. 

I have several friends who teach elementary school and I was talking to one of them who was telling me the types of poems she teaches her 4th grade students and I while I did recognize some of the words she was using, I didn't know what they meant.  Sad, I know.  But that's part of the reason I like to have very detailed instructions along with my curriculum, so my children and I can have fun learning together.

Eventually, I decided to try and take advantage of an amazing resource over at Pioneer Woman.  If you have a homeschooling question, you can email it in to Heather and she'll schedule you for their once a week Community Question.  I asked and they answered.  So many answers.  So many ideas.  It was AMAZING!! 

After reading through all the posts, looking curriculum and books up online and checking a few others out from my local library, here's what I've decided to do.

Right now, nothing.  Well, not exactly nothing.  What I mean is, I'm not buying anything new right now.  We've added poetry reading to our opening in the mornings.  My kids think it's pretty fun.  Here are a few books I had recommended that we're either reading through (thank you my wonderful library) or I've added them to my wishlist so we can read through them.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but it includes all the books that most appealed to me and ended up being longer than I thought it was once I'd written them all down.

I was going to seperate those geared more towards younger kids from those for older kids, but I've changed my mind.  Mostly because I'm not exactly certain where I'd seperate them.  My oldest loves all of them and, in short bursts, my younger kids love listening to anything (at least so far). 
There are a TON of different books titled A Child's Garden of Verses.  They're all poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, but the illustrators are different, so  make sure to pick the one with the pictures that most appeals to you (or your kids) if you're planning to buy one.

I have to say that we didn't have to check out or purchase any of these.  This is the one series of poetry books that I already own.  I've loved them from when I was little.  In face, they were mine (at least a couple of them) before we even started having kids.  They're amazing and hilarious.

I have a few of these on my list, treasuries or compilations I mean, and I think they might be my favorite.  At least for a beginning poetry enthusiast.  I'm not sure exactly who I like and I figure these will introduce my family to a whole bunch of poets at once.  Letting us pick our favorites to delve more deeply into later.

I know, I know, this flies in the face of what I just said about compilations, but there's just something about Poe.  Even though I'm not a fanatic sort of fan (or even maybe a fan, his poems are just strange), his poems stay with you.  At least me.  His are probably the only poems (outside Mr. Silverstein) I remember from growing up. 

We've just finished this one and we LOVED it.  It's very short, but pretty awesome.  Every poem describes boys so well, they make me smile.

We're in the middle of this one right now.  My kids cluster around me to look at the page while I read and there aren't even any pictures.  I have to admit, I cried through reading yesterday.  I even cried this morning while I was telling my husband about reading yesterday's poems.  We're loving this one also.

This is actually a series of books.  As you can see, this specific one is about Robert Frost, but there are a TON about many different poets.  I thought we'd see who we liked and then get a few of these every year to study about specific poets a little more in depth.

Next year I plan to add some actual curriculum and do a weekly poetry journal.  I have a few ideas about those also (thank you Pioneer Woman) and I'll post about them next week (I finished up the post and you can peruse it here). 
Do you have a favorite book of poetry I should add to my list?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...