When I was a little girl, I loved poetry. Somewhere along the path to adulthood, I became disconnected from poetry… and, if we’re being honest, a little intimidated. Thankfully, I had children and all of that changed. My kiddos have helped me to see the magic of poetry. Today, I am going to share some tips for adding poetry to your homeschool and I will also share some of our family’s favorite poetry books.
Poetry is a wonderful way to capture the imagination and tap into various emotions. And, because poetry is meant to be heard and not just read, I’ve included several books that have amazing accompanying audio CDs.
Adding Poetry to Your Homeschool Routine
If this is a new routine for you, here are some super-simple tips to get started:
- Stop everything. Make some space.
- Make (or buy- remember this is not stressful) some tasty treats.
- Brew a pot of your family’s favorite tea.
- Get out some tea cups. (You know that china you never use? Use THAT.)
- Hit the dress-up bin with your kiddos and get fancy!
- Grab a poetry book.
- Feel free to add soft music, a candle, or dim the lights.
- Grab a seat at the kitchen table, sip some tea, and read together.
Yes, that’s it!
Do you know what else you’ll be doing as you enjoy your poetry teatime?
- You’ll be practicing those social skills
- You’ll be building your relationships
- You’ll be making memories that will last a lifetime
Our Family’s Favorite Poetry Books:
A Child’s Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry by Michael Driscoll
This delightful poetry book comes with a CD and is an easy way to introduce poetry to children if you aren’t especially into poetry yourself. What I love about this book is the fact that it explains poetry, genre, biographies of famous poets, and poetry with an accompanying CD. The book covers all the bases! The beginning of the book describes the different genres of poetry, with examples provided. The next portion of the book includes biographies of famous poets, alongside examples of their work. The read-alouds are engaging and include music that matches each poem. This is a wonderful addition to the home library. It is a great introduction to poetry and would be great for quiet time or car rides.
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
My Uncle John gave me this book as a Christmas present in 1989 (this is why I adore book inscriptions, folks!), and I’ve loved it ever since. I love to read my worn copy with my children. Who doesn’t love Silverstein, folks? Silverstein’s wacky and whimsical poems, alongside his sketches, truly inspire children. I remember the very first time I read this book with Leo, years ago, he set off to create his very own poetry book with illustrations when we were finished reading. All of Silverstein’s books (and Prelutsky’s, too- see below) are excellent introductions to poetry, especially for the younger audience. These readings are both magical and memorable. Your children will remember these poems twenty years later, just as I do!
Hip Hop Speaks to Children by Nikki Giovanni
Soon after discovering Poetry Speaks to Children (below), I went on a hunt to find a similar book and stumbled upon this gem. Just as in Poetry Speaks to Children, the illustrations are amazing, the poetry is amazing, and the audio CD that accompanies the text is amazing. My children never cease to be enthralled when this CD is playing. This book is an excellent way to teach reading aloud, and how to read text with emotion. I almost wish we had discovered this book before all the other poetry books because I think it would have been a perfect introduction to poetry and the emotion contained therein.
It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles by Jack Prelutsky
If your kids adore goofy poems and wordplay, they will love this book, folks! Like Silverstein, Prelutsky is a great way to introduce young children to poetry. They will be laughing at the nonsense and silliness contained in this jam-packed book. The very first time we read this book together, we had a poetry tea time à la Brave Writer. To this day, my kids will request that we read this book and drink tea. It is the cutest, goofiest, most delightful tea party you’ve ever experienced!
Poetry Speaks to Children by Elise Paschen
I adore this book. This was our birthday party gift for one entire year and I have never received so much positive feedback on birthday gifts. This book is a winner. I could honestly gush and gush and gush about it. Poetry Speaks to Children contains close to one hundred poems and half of them are on the accompanying audio CD. Many of the poems are read by the poets themselves. My children adore the illustrations in this book-there are several illustrators so each page is different and interesting. This is an excellent quiet time book (although be forewarned: you’ll want to stick around to listen, too!) and perfect for long car rides.
Read Aloud Poems for Young People by Glorya Hale
Several years ago, we found this book at the dump, can you believe it? It’s one of our Instant Dump Classics. It was actually the book that made me remember how much I loved poetry as a child. So this book was the gateway book to all the others books you see here. This is a great book to keep on the bedside table to sneak in a poem or two at bedtime, or perhaps keep it in your kitchen to sneak in some poetry during breakfast or lunch.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Once again, who doesn’t love Silverstein? Read these poems aloud to your children and you will be instantly connected with your five-year-old self. When we first started reading these books aloud to our children, I was amazed that I still had some of these poems memorized! I guarantee your children will remember reading Silverstein with you for decades to come!
And here is a fantastic poetry series
We discovered the Poetry for Young People series last spring and it is fantastic. The books make for perfect poet studies and my children have loved every single one we’ve read so far. We plan to continue reading them this year in our homeschool.
If you love poetry, check out these related posts:
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: What are your family’s favorite poetry books? I am always looking for more books to add to our collection!
If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me,
I know that is poetry.
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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