Thursday, October 15, 2009

Poetry: Something Else Unschooled

From A Child's Introduction to Poetry

This is a post for the days in the future when I wonder why we didn't "do" any poetry.

Every effort to "school" poetry has fallen flat. Poetry in the academic sense is just not his cup of tea. But he will pick up any book on poetry that's prettily illustrated all on his own and spend many minutes (notice I don't say hours) poring over it. He will pick it up again readily a day, days or weeks later with the same enthusiasm, not getting bored despite having read a poem before. But ask him to recite it, memorize it, do something with it other than analyze its rhyming structure (this he loves for some reason) and I would get the blankest stare possible. He has written a poem or two before this. He just wants nothing to do with studying it for anything other than enjoyment...which I guess, is what poetry is for isn't it?

From Hip Hop Speaks To Children and
And Then There Were Eight: Poems About Space
Anthologies/ collections he has enjoyed very much:
The following websites are among a few that I have found helpful with ideas/ activities of a poetic nature, if you, like us, follow a delight-directed path:

Poetry 4 Kids
Jack Prelutsky helps boys to love poetry
Poetry Teachers
On Teaching Poetry in Schools
Poetry for Homeschoolers

Becky over at the FarmSchool blog wrote this excellent post listing poetry resources back in March for National Poetry Month 2009.

And among the first poems he read after our move to the US were by this poet.


  1. Billy's not really into poetry either although he will listen, especially if it's funny! (or full of boy humour!)

    But then, I'm not really into poetry either - probably from being made to study it!

  2. Poetry for us has always been unschooled. Jack Prelutsky is awesome, but also I have checked out children's anthologies from the library. We own one illustrated by Eric Carle called Animals Animals. It's not something we do every day or even every week, but when I put a poetry book in the mix, he always wants to read it. Have fun enjoying poetry!

  3. Kerrie, how could I forget boy humor? That's something else DS needs to be cajoled to read poetry for "school" reasons. Yes, you're right about not liking poetry when you're made to study it. I think I decided to unschool it for that very same reason.

  4. Thanks jennybell! Yes, Eric Carle, Seuss, etc were some of his favorites too...pre-homeschooling he used to read them at the book corner at his martial arts school. I'm so glad S is enjoying poetry. Good for him and for you too for recognizing how to include it in the mix.


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