CM Open House – Poetry, Forms 1-3


Wow! What a wonderful time I am having with these Open Homes. Are you feeling the blessing as much as I am??

Today, Del invites us into her home so we can see how she weaves Charlotte Mason methods into her family’s poetry time. Beautiful. If you’d like to take a visit to her online home, go on over to Kroemer Kidz Home Academy.

Here’s Del in all her word-loving glory!


I’ve been a lover of words for as long as I can remember and poetry, specifically, since
I was 9 and tried my hand at it – which resulted in me winning 2nd place in a statewide contest.
As I grew older, I’d fill many composition notebooks with poetry and pour my emotions onto the page. Sharing my poetry brought about some wonderful opportunities, including trips, publications and awards and what I loved best, connecting with and entertaining others.

Naturally, I wanted to share this love of poetry with my own children. Ambleside Online has made it incredibly simple to do so. With a poet already picked for us each term, my limited knowledge of great poets is of no harm.

The videos (and pictures) I’m sharing in this post show some of the ways we incorporate poetry
into our homeschool, rather effortlessly. I hope to give a varied look at how it’s done.

Introducing a Poet/Poetry Time

This first video will show me introducing a new poet (Eugene Field). I do a bit of research on a poet and share anything interesting about them with the children before we begin reading their poetry. If there is a children’s biography about them I’d use it, but I have only found these kinds of books for our artists and composers so far. So, as I do in this video, I may just end up sharing the poet’s name and what they are famous for. This video is also a good showing of what a normal poetry time looks like for us. Obviously, if we are into a term then we simply skip the intro and get right to the poem.

Delivery of a Poem

As with literature reading, I emphasize reading poetry beautifully and in an entertaining way.
Poetry is perfect for performing. I’ve delighted in slam poetry by modern poets but also in
olden poems that I could picture being recited at an 18th century party for entertainment.
Learning to recite poems well takes practice and emotion and at times, your whole body is involved.
I’m no expert, but I do love reciting poems for my girls and we enjoy videos of others doing so.

AO recommended this video of Kent Risley reciting “When the Frost is On the Punkin” by one of our current poets, James Whitcomb Riley. Mr. Risley has been reciting this poem all his life and does it so well his father told him he had a duty to perform it for people. We watched the video and then the girls took a shot at reciting a poem with an audience in mind. We used Whitcomb Riley’s The Jaybird, just the first few lines, for practice.

Kent Risley showing ’em recitation done right!

Recitation/Memory Work

We love using poetry for memory work. My girls enjoy reciting poems and even incorporating movements. So, for your enjoyment, here’s The rainbow by Walter De La Mare.

A Check List of How We Get Poetry Checked Off the List

Poetry is so easy and takes so little time that we always get it done and in fact, reading just one poem a day can be quite challenging for us. I don’t really have to prepare for poetry, but here are some things I’d like to share.
  • I will check out multiple books from the library of the poet’s works or a collection of his complete works, but we’ll also read the recommended poems on AO. We figure they included those poems for a reason and we don’t want to miss out.
  • If an age appropriate bio is available, we’ll read it. If not, we’re good with just a few fun facts or as simple an introduction as their name and most famous writings.
  • If there’s a picture book for a particular poem, we’ll check it out. We love to look at lovely pictures and the youngest of my bunch are even more drawn to them. They are always in earshot when we are reading poetry, but they are more likely to climb onto a lap and listen intently when a big, colorful book is involved.
  • Poetry can simply be enjoyed and not discussed. Particularly with young children.
  • We rotate between reading a poem from the AO list (in order) and choosing one from a book of our poet’s writings.
  • We rotate between readers. I always read the first poem when introducing a new poet. After that, we take turns. The girls love having a turn to choose a poem. Typically, this is a coveted assignment in our homeschool and the future reader picks her poem the night before. At poetry time the next day, she’ll stand up and read it as clearly and beautifully as she can. Often, we’ll discuss why she chose it.
  • Sometimes we will simply flip through the pages of a book rapidly until the girls yell stop – then I have to read the poem we landed on.
  • Poetry and tea go perfectly together. I’ve learned that tea doesn’t have to mean a full blown tea time with all the frills. If that were so, it would happen even more rarely than it does now. Sometimes we just drink tea while snuggling on the couch and reading (we read our poem after bible, so we have some time to get through our tea). Sometimes we actually have a tea party and the girls may or may not wear dresses and invite their dolls.
Poetry tea time. One child wore a dress. So, you see, they are optional.
Apparently, so are pants, according to our 2 year old.
  • I keep a list of all of the poems we read. Just to remember them.I do this in Google docs but may print them someday.
  • At the end of the term, I asked if the girls had any favorite poems and allowed them to draw an illustration to accompany their favorite and share while telling about it.
Ally, my 9 year old’s illustration of De La Mare’s The Horseman.
  • Poems make great copy and memory work. When we have a favorite poem, we love to use it for both. Reading and writing it really helps with committing it to memory.
  • There’s a poem for every occasion, just as there’s a scripture verse for every occasion, and I think it’s great to have as many as you can of both living in your mind and heart. They’ll come in handy. The first poem I ever memorized was Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” I haven’t forgotten a line. Recently, while on a wintery nature walk, one of my girls mentioned that what we were doing reminded her of the poem – which I’ve shared with them many times – then asked if I would “read” it to them. Each child walked closer to me, to hear the words slowly roll off my tongue. Each one entranced. It made that chilly walk a bit warmer.
So, there you have it. That’s how we “do” poetry. It’s too easy and enjoyable not to do it.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into the poetry side of our homeschool!

One response »

  1. What a delightful peek into your lives! The Horseman was one of the poems my daughter memorised last term. She loved your daughter’s picture 🙂


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