Using Poetry: Mary had a little lamb. where art thou, Romeo?
© Beverley Paine, 2004
Reading includes poetry - rhymes are one of the most powerful ways to help children become engaged and learn to read. It's sad that by the time most children become teenagers rhymes are restricted to song lyrics...
Don't forget to hunt for some poetry - and songs - that tie in with the books and movies you are reading. Reciting or reading poetry is a much neglected part of everyday life. We begin on the right path when the children are tiny, chanting and singing rhymes at, and with, them, but forget that poetry is an art form that, like paintings, sketches, sculpture and dance, can soothe and refresh the soul, challenge us to think deeply, excite our imaginations and stir the emotions.
We can't avoid poetry, however, even if we try! How many of us find ourselves repeating rhyming advertising couplets, or singing jingles throughout each day?
Point out to your children that these are poetry too, that the world is full of practical and useful poetry as well as artistic poetry.
Songs are simply poetry to music: encourage your children to sing from an early age; not that most need encouragement! I love the Beatles music; it's so easy to sing along to and conjures up great imagery.
I love reading aloud Shakespeare as it's tremendously powerful. You don't need to understand the words to feel the emotion embedded in them.
There's a poem for every occasion. I know families who read poetry to each other each day and make up outrageous limericks at the breakfast table.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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