March 6, 2012


I'm new to the whole blog carnival things, so while I have the button over there ----->
I don't actually know what I'm doing. :)  The latest Charlotte Mason carnival was on poetry, and so while I'm late for that party, I'm going to go ahead and share how we do poetry here with just one student.

As you know, we use Ambleside Online, and I am following their suggestions for poets.  In Year 1, we started with Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses.  I had never read this as a child, and liked it very much.  My son had never really heard poetry before, other than nursery rhymes put to song, so this was brand-new territory.  The extent of my poetry exposure was Mother Goose and whatever public school forced on me, which wasn't much except in junior high, if I remember correctly.

We used a hard copy with beautiful illustrations instead of reading online, although that's an option if your budget is really tight.  Each morning, usually right after Bible and scripture memory, I would read between 1-3 poems to him.  I sometimes asked what he thought, but for the most part just paused and let him enjoy the moment.  After a couple weeks, I asked him to start listening for a favorite poem so we could memorize it, and he immediately chose Rain.  I think he liked the shortness of it, but agreed it would be a good place to start.  I copied it onto an index card and we used it for a bookmark a few weeks, reading it daily after reading the ones I had scheduled.  Once he knew it, I added it to the scripture memory box to keep it fresh in his mind.

For the second term, he chose The Moon for memory work.  This was a much longer piece, and I was glad he enjoyed that one.  He is proud of knowing this one, and for a while would try to recite it for anyone who would listen.  I believe I can agree with Brandy at Afterthoughts that memorizing the poetry is what got him truly excited about listening to it, and that *doing* poetry at this age is SO much more important that explaining, analyzing and dissecting the poem.  (She has a great, in-depth post with several Charlotte Mason quotes, and you can see there how I think poetry should be done.  We're getting there!)

Once we finished the whole Child's Garden of Verses, we moved on to Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne (author of Winnie the Pooh).  These poems are longer, in general, and much more like stories.  The language was a bit more complicated than the short Verses, but I enjoyed these very much, and think he did, too.  We had trouble finding one to memorize, and with all the foster kids coming and going, and the illnesses we've had this winter, I didn't push it.

Just this week we competed Now We Are Six, and we have started The Real Mother Goose.  This book is actually for Year 0 (preschool and kindergarten), but since we weren't using AO then, and I didn't have this great book, we are doing it now.  This is the book I remember from my childhood, and don't want him to miss out on!  I think we'll be able to find several little poems to memorize from this volume, and have a fun time finishing out Year 1 this way.

PS - I'm aiming to start linking to blog carnivals, so here's my first one.  I'm linked up with The Weekly-Wrap Up over at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, as well as the Charlotte Mason carnival.


  1. Laura!
    thanks so much for sharing this with me! great post :) and thanks for reminding me of Brandy's post that i read then, but had forgotten. i'm so glad to revisit it! i love the idea of having it written on the bookmark for ease of use and then of course adding it to the scripture box is a natural too!

    amy in peru
    ps. the carnival button looks great!

  2. We are doing Year 0 for a Pre-K type year, and I happened to find a copy of The Real Mother Goose at a flea market right after we started. My son is thrilled when I pull it out. I was surprised that he didn't think they were "babyish" and I am so glad I didn't skip it! I am very much looking forward to doing Year 1's poetry (especially after reading this post), but I don't think he's ready for all of Year 1 yet, so I will be looking for something else as we move into a Year 0.5.

  3. Congratulations on your first blog carnival post! :-) Wonderful!


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