“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
-Leonardo Da Vinci
Developing A Love For Reading: Part 2
Reading & Embracing Poetry
April is National Poetry Month and it seemed fitting that I am writing this post right now! Of course, any month of the year you can embrace poetry and I hope you find ways to do just that!
How many of you remember being a student in elementary school and having to recite a poem in front of the entire class? I know I certainly do. I remember how accomplished I felt in 4th grade when I perfectly recited Shel Silverstein’s “Sick”.
Poetry is beautiful and can rhythmically enrich one’s life. Even the youngest of children are drawn into rhymes and poems. Poetry can be for inexperienced readers and experienced readers. When I read a poem aloud to my children, they can hear the rhythm and be engaged with the poem through rhyme, imagery, and imagination.
Poems are a great way to encourage a struggling reader. They can be short, concise, and plentiful! A struggling reader can read several poems in a few minutes, and then spend some time looking at the poem a second time to discover the fine details of the imagery and thoughts. There are so many great poems out there, that it is likely that one will connect with a certain poet, thus encouraging a love for reading!
There are several ways to implement poetry into your home or homeschool time. The library is full of books of poetry. I like to check out several books at a time, see which poems my children are drawn to, and then explore more along that theme or author.
We have been reading a lot of nature poems in conjunction with our nature study. This has been a fun way to incorporate poetry into our already successful nature study unit.
The most important part in developing a love for reading and embracing poetry, is to start reading poetry to your children. This can be as simple as a few poems a day, but be consistent and the love for poetry will grow over time as they are exposed to the adventure, wonder, and beauty of poetry. There seems to be a disconnect between poetry once a child is a little older, and then a student enters college and either “doesn’t like poetry” or “doesn’t understand it.”
We can help bridge the disconnect from poetry by consistently reading poetry throughout their childhood. We can encourage them to find poets they enjoy reading, and encourage them to enjoy poetry.
How do you provide a way to embrace the love of poetry?
- Ask questions,
- challenge them with what they hear,
- and have them explain what they think the author is saying.
Dive into a poem together with your children, explore the meanings of the words together and provide an enriching literary time full of memories, challenges, and accomplishments!
Create A Poetry Basket:
Find a basket that you use to fill with books of poetry. Keep it handy! I have a basket just for poetry books and for books about nature. This allows me to have easy access to the books, as well as allowing the kids to explore the books on their own and without structure.
There are so many great books of poetry out there. Here are a few that we enjoy:
The Springs of Joy (Tasha Tudor is a favorite of ours! Her pictures and books are timeless and beautiful! We have found many of her books at the used book store. They are like little treasures!)
The Bible is full of beautiful poetry. Check out the book of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
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