Charlotte Mason, homeschooling

Teaching Your Kids Poetry

Poetry. 

This single word can invoke immediate feelings of fondness and admiration…. But it can also invoke feelings of dread and leave people looking like a deer in headlights. My goal today is to encourage you that poetry is awesome AND you can make it a part of your home with very little effort. 

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below and I may receive compensation for purchases made through the links in this post. These are all products that I highly recommend and have personally used.

Before we jump in, take a deep breath. You have permission not to love or understand every poem you ever read. In fact, you probably won’t love or understand many of the poems that you read, and that’s okay. Poetry is a lot like music. You will find poets that you really love and connect with. And there will be poets that you don’t care for at all. You don’t have to analyze or diagram every poem you read. Actually–unless you happen to be in school for literature–I really hope you won’t over-analyze any of the poems you read. I’ve found the best thing to do is just to read it and let it be. 

Here is how we incorporate poetry into our morning time each day:

  1. We gather together.
  2. We read a poem.
  3. We move on with our day.

I know that might seem overly simplified, but it really is simple! I’ve included links to all of my favorite poetry anthologies below, but first, here are some tips to make poetry a small part of your home too:

  1. Pick a book that you are going to read from

This can be one of the anthologies that I will recommend at the end of this post, it could be a book from the library, a poetry website online or even a poetry podcast. Just decide which resource you are going to use. 

  1. Pick a time and place

If your family is anything like mine, nothing happens unless it’s on the calendar. So pick a time and stick with it. Maybe you decide to read a poem during morning time, maybe right after dinner, maybe in the car on the way to practice or just before bedtime. It doesn’t really matter what time you choose, just choose.

  1. Read a poem

For real. Just read it outloud. I recommend shorter poems to begin with, but you can choose whatever you like. You don’t even need to discuss the poem after you read it, unless you really want to. 

The awesome thing about this simple process is that you can build on it too. Over time you can have your kids take turns reading the poem, you can work up to longer poems and you can even have each kid share one of their favorites. 

As promised, here are links to my favorites poetry books:

“Favorite Poems Old and New” by Helen Ferris (The BEST Poetry Collection for Kids and Families) https://amzn.to/3H6ISTk

“A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year” by Jane Hunter https://amzn.to/3zuwJG6

“A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year” by Jane Hunter https://amzn.to/3NEr5VY

William Wordsworth https://amzn.to/3NwqyFH

Christina Rossetti https://amzn.to/3MDq6El

Here are links to all of my favorite free poetry resources:

Dwell Podcast Episode on Poetry in the Home https://play.acast.com/s/6011da1ff7c9fb486e303a07/623dc482c38d0f00135ff6bf

Daily Poem Podcast https://embed.acast.com/$/5b7d78861a4ef0b952a94432/joy-harjos-perhaps-the-world-ends-here

Poetry Foundation (not specifically for kids, so screen before reading) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/poem-of-the-day

LibraVox (recordings of almost everything in the free domain—they also have a free app) https://librivox.org/

Annnd, just in case you haven’t had enough of me already today, here is my YouTube video about Poetry!

TTYS!

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