Poetry Simplified: Open and Enjoy

Can poetry be simplified? I think it can.

Does the thought of reading poetry to your children make you sweat?

Couplet, Sonnet, Iambic Pentameter, what!

I’m right there with you, but I don’t think you need to have the knowledge of an English Ph.D. to appreciate and learn from poetry. Also, so many poets are perfect for children such as Robert Louis Stevenson and Christina Rosetti.

They write of things that children experience, which adds to the enjoyment. Even now, when I read Bed in Summer by Stevenson, I can remember going to bed as a child and my frustration that the sun was still out!

Poetry can also relay history and science through a more enjoyable format than a textbook and can create a vivid description that leads to greater understanding.
So don’t think of poetry as something extra to add to your day, see it as another medium to use in your homeschool that will add interest and enjoyment.

Poetry Simplified

This post contains affiliate links; you can find my disclosure policy here.

Poetry Simplified

Perhaps we should question whether poetry should be so complicated for our 10-year-old, or even for ourselves. Is it possible that in our homeschool we first, and foremost, need to focus on the enjoyment of poetry?

Personally, I don’t believe the purpose of poetry is the over-analyzation of every word and line in a search for a deeper meaning. I guess for some it may be, but I feel that the primary reason for poetry is to elicit emotions with brevity seldom used in our everyday lives.

It is to condense our feelings into their most powerful form, whether that be a description of eternal love or a simple tree. Let’s all approach it with our children with this simple, beautiful attention.

Our Favorites

This first book was given to me as a child by my great-aunt who loved to gift books. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children has been in print since 1983. Considering it was compiled by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, I can see why it’s remained popular with families through the decades. With sections including Seasons, Nature, and Nonsense, there are so many enjoyable poems worth sharing.

Another favorite is A Child’s Garden of Verse by Robert Louis Stevenson. This is the perfect beginning poetry book for a young child, with poems such as Rain, My Shadow, and The Moon, kids will love these relevant rhymes. We have found these perfect for beginning memorization.

A Child’s Introduction to Poetry is a great book to give an introduction to the different forms of poetry and includes an audio cd. From limericks to haikus, this book provides a wonderful, brief overview of the various poetical forms as well as a concise introduction to different poets.Homeschool Strewing

If you only want one poetry book on your shelf, Favorite Poems Old and New is the best choice. This marvelous collection will last for years and never get old. From Shakespeare to Tolkien, this anthology never grows old.

Finally, Julie Andrews’ Treasury for all Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year is a beautiful book with lovely illustrations that follow the seasons. It is simple to find an appropriate poem for a holiday or tea time.

Bonus Book

Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies is out of print, but available as an audiobook on Audible (or used on Amazon). This is ideal for a quiet time listening and also for hearing a poem read to improve your poetic delivery.

Others to Enjoy

Poetry Teatime Companion: A Brave Writer Sampler of British and American Poems

Hailstones and Halibut Bones: Adventures in Poetry and Color

The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children’s Poems

A Pizza the Size of the Sun

Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

Poetry for Young People (numerous poets)

Poetry Speaks to Children-Book and CD

A Little Help

If you’re still uncomfortable, you can always use this free Poetry Teatime guide by Brave Writer.

In this guide, Julie gives you a simple, step-by-step outline of a successful poetry teatime with your children. However, don’t feel that all of these are necessary. Sometimes ours is as simple as grabbing a cup of tea and sitting in the living room.

I know that if I make something too complicated, it’s more likely not to happen. Every time you enjoy poetry, it doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair.

Keep it Simple

Last, if you would like to make it easy (and who doesn’t), you can always play the Poem of the Day podcast by the Poetry Foundation while in the car or eating lunch.

I hope this helps to lighten your homeschool mom mental load. We often worry we’re not doing all we could or should as homeschool moms, yet something as simple as a daily poem contributes to a lifestyle of learning.

You don’t need an intricate plan, just read a poem.

Homeschool strewing

The Curriculum of Confidence: Homeschooling Outside the Checkbox

This post contains affiliate links, you can see my disclosure policy here My eyes began…

Homeschool Math: It Isn’t an Emergency

Math, the word that strikes fear in many a homeschool mother’s heart. Why all this…

Art for the Non-Artistic Homeschool Mom

Astoundingly Simple Ways to Teach Art That Will Make You Look Like a Master

I’ve told this story once before, but since it’s been a constant plague on my…

| Filed under Homeschool, Resources
Spread the love
  • 135

About Bethany Ishee

Bethany is the mom of six, always-homeschooled children, who one day realized she'd lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of homeschooling draws upon Classical to Unschooling and everything in between.  While homeschooling her children and writing about learning outside of school, she tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills.

3 thoughts on “Poetry Simplified: Open and Enjoy

  1. “the primary reason for poetry is to elicit emotions with a brevity seldom used in our everyday lives. . . It is to condense our feelings into their most powerful form.” I agree. It’s about connection. I’ve met many kids/adults who hate poetry because they think it’s confusing or were told they their ideas were wrong. In the writing circles I lead, I ask writers to underline lines they love or share what they see or hear. Many realize for the first time they like and understand poetry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.