Friday, October 11, 2013

An Aspiring Week 6 - Poetry in the Classical Homeschool

I  cannot even remember the name of the movie. But I remember that the main character's (who may or may not have been Julia Robert's) father related many things in their lives to poetry, poetry that he learned in grade school. How eloquently he brought his life into focus with the words of Blake, Wordsworth etc. It made such an impression on me that even I pursue the memory of poetry with my children, although my memory is not as strong as theirs, but I am getting better.

Poetry in the Classical Homeschool

 We are really enjoying our formal study of poetry in IEW's Linguistic Development during our family recitation time. This program purposefully works on memory & language acquisition.

"Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization provides a system to reintroduce you and your children to a vital but often neglected source of powerful and sophisticated linguistic patterning available to children: memorized language, especially memorized poetry." from Institute for Excellence in Writing

I am also, teaching them the grammar of poetry. So, they have already learned about rhyme scheme, stanzas etc... All of this takes 15 minutes of our morning and that is all the formal programmed time available for it

A Little More Depth but no time

At 2 pm my time for homeschool is up and I must put on My Mama & wife hats and get our home in order. We do not have the time and I do not have the ability to add anything formal to our current coursework. But I can set up a poetry discovery centers which make poetry available to the children and adds depth to our study of poetry.

A Discovery Corner

"maintain an informal learning atmosphere"
pa 86 Educating the Wholehearted Child by Sally Clarskon

For us our poetry center will simply be one of the cubbies in our homeschool bookcase.. I will add books with poetry set up for children to our cubbie for them to read. My kiddos will work on memorizing any poems they love naturally which is how Bullet memorized "Elephony", and how I consequently memorized portions. Which lead to my reciting it at the Houston Zoo which lead to a family recital of the fun and silly little poem. Yes, we are those people.


"A discovery corner is a designated space that is dedicated to a general learning focus... Discovery corners are generally scattered throughout the house wherever you can create the spaces...Each corner should be a distinct place well supplied for the learning activity to which it is dedicated, comfortable and well lighted." Educating the Wholehearted Child pa 75

 I simply announce we have some library books and show them to the kids and put them in our book cubbie and then I notice they are left all over the house. Additionally, I will read some of the to the twins during their reading time.  Invariably the other children usually do a bit of ease dropping. Soon the kids start telling me about the various books/poems they read and the things they have found funny, interesting and not so interesting.

We also have IEW Linguistic Development on CD and we listen to that while we are in the car. I believe I have mentioned this before once a month and sometimes twice (when there are 5 Fridays) we have presentation night. The older children normally play a song, show us something they have made and all of the children, even the 3 year old twins, usually recite a memorized poem and/or a Bible verse.
We have seen them develop appetites for poetry.


"Poetry is the most complex form of literary expression, not just for the poet. but also for the reader.The ability to understand the poets message requires a higher level of concentration, the synthesizing of abstract thoughts and concepts and the discipline of maintaining both the lyrical meter of the structure and the emotional expressiveness of the content. Good poetry opens the heart to profound thoughts and concepts expressed in new ways. also prepares them for reading the primary form and language of worship in the Bible"  Educating the Wholehearted Child

I hope something in this helps or encourages you to find a way to enrich your homeschool with poetry.

Homeschool Goings Ons..

PhotoI ordered Spell to Write and Read their 29 spelling rules cards to add to our grammar school. I am currently personalizing the MOH schedule from Preschoolers and peace .She uses Tapestry of Grace along with MOH and I use Homeschool in the Woods along with Mystery of History this year so some adjustments were necessary. The wonderful thing about her schedule and her idea is that we only plan out the curriculum that we will repeat so we only have to plan for it once.You have a copy of all the resources you used in the binder instead of just a website or a CD both of which can disappear. I will go through MOH 4x with all of our kids the next three times will be considerably easier as we just add a few items here and there that are no longer available at the library, that are no longer on our shelves or new finds.

So I've organized my History and Science Year 2 into a binder complete with the necessary handouts and I am slowly going through the books and video lists.I'm very excited about the prospect of planning it well once having a detailed plan to follow and being very prepared for the following years of school. Additionally, this method blends well with my color coded planning charts that we use for each individual subject.


This is one of those days that disqualifies you from the Mom of the year awards. It started with the children spending a very long time in time, so we started school about 2 hours late.

We had Bright Lights that evening.this week we are covering diligence. During Bright Lights I lead a miniature Bible Study on the same topic that the girls will be studying. But in the end the Bible Study is an indepth examination of our own hearts on the matter. It is such a sweet time in the Lord with several very sweet Mama's!


We finally got back on track with the twins school and we completed the activities for week 2 in Hubbards cupboard. We figured out how to down load audio books from our library. So we can listen to the bronze bow this week the girls started Soccer practice.


We had our first piano lesson with our new teacher. It went well but we miss our dear Ms. Bethany who got married and stopped teaching. Our new teacher is extremely organized and has several incentives for playing & practicing a lot! We do however have to leave our house for piano which we haven't done for years. But I think continuing their lessons at this point is the direction we want to take.

We also enjoyed our Church plant Fellowship as we are helping to plant, a Grace Family Baptist Church plant, in a Community Center in small town. All I can say is Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


Is the final day of our normal school week since we only school 4 days a week. This week we celebrated this by eating lots of popcorn. We also have soccer practice on Thursdays.

On Fridays we have our "extras" which rotate each week. This week we had homeschool Choir & Orchestra co-op practice.We have borrowed a clarinet and Parker is starting to learn to play it in the homeschool band. We have spent loads of time on YouTube learning about the instrument at Clarinet Mentors.

This and That...

I finally started listening to Wuthering Heights and so far it's very good. I had a hard time following it at first but after listening to it 3 or 4 times I think I'm up to speed now. Haha!

We are linked to: Weekly Wrap Up, Trivium Tuesday and Homeschool Mother's Journal.


  1. I love the idea of a poetry corner. I can relate and agree about 2:00 I am done and ready to move to my next role.

    1. Yeah, if I don't end at 2pm sometimes the kids will drag on doddling until 5 or 6 pm. But since they know 2pm is the end time they work really hard to get done on time. :D

  2. I have often considered IEW's linguistic development program, but to be honest, I don't want to spend more than 5 minutes a day on poetry (doing 1st grade right now). Must it take 15? :)

    1. First I fully understand the need to manage your time! Second, I have 5 children, including 3 year old twins, who all do this program. So it works out to less then 5 minutes per kiddo! So yes, I think you can cover poetry using this program in 5 minutes or less.

  3. Lovely, lovely! We don't do any formal poetry study right now, but we memorize a poem every month or so. Sometimes I will also read poetry while the kids eat lunch. Thanks for sharing what you do!


Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

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