“Without poetry, we lose our way.” —Joy Harjo, current U.S. Poet Laureate & Academy of American Poets Chancellor
A favorite children’s book with beautiful illustrations by Jean Pierre Siméon; paintings by Oliver Tallec.
Want to add in some easy poetry to your homeschool world?
Start by checking out poets.org.
Housing the works of over 3,000 poets and nearly 12,000 poems, this site is a jewel.
On poets.org you can:
• Find Poetry that you sort of remember from long ago
• Look up specific Poets
• Browse about
• Sign up to receive a “Poem-a-Day” in your email box
• Download materials for teachers (that’s you!)
• Locate poetry events happening near you
They also offer an auxiliary LA teaching guide called, “Teach This Poem.” Sign up, and receive a culturally relevant poetry lesson once a week. The lesson includes a curated poem, usually a video, a short essay or activity, and questions or discussion points. Produced for K-12 educators, it is the whole shebang; the complete pie; your one-stop-shopping of poetry adventures.
Even better, Teach this Poem is free and can be adapted to any class size, using homeschool, in-person, hybrid or distance learning.
Our poetry shelf under the stairs, with a basket of candles. Ample choices, ready to be ‘found!’
Other ways to let poetry in
• Support poets by buying poetry books or check them out at your local library. Read to your kids often and make lists of your favorite authors.
• Place books of poems in stacks in the center of the dining room table. Make tea, hot chocolate, stack piles of fruit or cookies and dig into the bounty of bold snacks, hot drinks and delicious poetry.
• Have fun with a stack of silly Shel Silverstein books after dinner.
• Create a nest of poetry books someplace in your house for curious minds to find.
What if my kids don’t like poetry?
Some kids (& adults too) don’t like to read poetry; it can be confusing, seeming nonsense. Fair enough, poetry is not always clear. Most great poems inspire or require our asking questions, talking about possible meanings, finding clues to hidden agendas. This is where the fun happens. When we ask questions of anything we read, we become better readers. The learning, understanding and appreciation of poetry lives in the space of contemplation and/or discussion with others.
Whether during school or at the dinner table, expand your circle and make poetry a group thing! Spend time enjoying poetry together – even poems that you love for no particular reason other than they make you happy:
"0 Timballo! How happy we are,
When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar,
And all night long in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail,
In the shade of the mountains brown!"