Friday, May 02, 2008
I've always had a gentle approach to poetry when it comes to homeschooling. I don't really do formal "poetry units" because I've seen kids turn their poetry switches off forever after such things and I didn't want that to happen with my own children.
My way has been the subtle way. Read some poetry at breakfast. Share something I love. Take them to a reading.
At first, Poetry Friday was just for me. I enjoyed making the rounds to see what others were sharing, and I enjoyed sharing some of my favorite poetry, too.
Then, I gently invited the children in. Every Friday in our homeschool became Poetry Friday. I read something to them and we laughed about it, or pondered it or made a connection to something else. I didn't require anything of them -- they didn't have to recite, memorize or dissect. Just listen. They could write poetry if they wanted to, if they felt called to, but no one had to. Not everyone, after all, is a poet.
The kids have shown me before that Poetry Friday and other gentle approaches are working if by "working" I mean that they have developed an interest in and a love for poetry. They like to write their own poems, when inspiration strikes (and they've felt a poet's anguish when the words won't flow.)
The latest sign that Poetry Friday is a full-fledged part of our gentle approach to poetry came from Ramona. She came to me last week, latest issue of Your Big Backyard in hand, and said, "Mommy! They have poems about fish in here this month! We can read these poems for Poetry Friday! And we can read them right now!"
And we did. And we will.
Kelly at Big A little a is hosting this week and kicks it off with a charming, sniffly, but realistic ode to her graduating seniors.