As a homeschooler who’s inspired by the classical methods, and especially The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, I like to frequently incorporate poetry memorization into our homeschool routine. Memorization seems to come so easily for children and I can really appreciate the multitude of skills that are sharpened through this simple practice. We all know that language skills are acquired through reading, but poetry memorization takes these benefits even further. Not only are my boys exposed to beautiful examples of rhythm & verse, sophisticated vocabulary (in context), and the power of words in creating imagery, but they’re committing all of these fantastic examples to memory. They’ll carry this beautiful language with them forever!
My oldest son used the first two levels of First Language Lessons in previous years, which included poetry memorization, but for this year I’ve had to pull together our poetry memory work myself. That was a little daunting at first as I'm not a fan of a lot of children's poetry that you find on the internet, but now that I've found some good poetry resources in the form of physical books, it usually comes together pretty easily. For our tree unit I thumbed through A Child’s Book of Poems & Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, & Lullabies and chose Trees by Henry Behn for my second grader and Who Has Seen the Wind? by Christina Rosetti for my younger boys to memorize.
After selecting our poems I created a printable version and cut my second-graders sheet as shown above. This gives him something easier to manipulate and allows him to focus on particular lines as well as quiz himself as he goes. (You can download the printables we used here.)
After successfully memorizing his poem, Dude accepted the challenge of reciting it in front of our homeschool co-op group. As you can probably tell from his posture in the picture above, he was incredibly nervous. He did great though! And I was a very proud mama seeing him face those fears and succeed :)
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