Monday, May 20, 2013

Poetry Month in our Homeschool

Sure, you can force a kid to read a book. Any book, actually. But you can't force a child to love to read. You can't push and push literature on them and shove it down their throats and simultaneously wonder why they revolt and push back with a forceful "I HATE READING!" after months or years of doing your "parental duty" of making them read.

As a homeschooling mom, I kind of HAVE to "make" them read. It's a part of the job. BUT, I try, with every fiber of my being, to not turn reading time into a forced or timed activity. This means that if one of my kids is actively involved in a chapter book for 5 hours straight, I don't interrupt. Not even for math. It means that I am constantly peppering every surface of our home with countless varieties of books in all genres and levels.

It also means that if my daughter says "let's read poetry outside today," that I happily follow her to our patio and read along with her for as long as she wants; No matter how many dirty dishes await me in the sink.

 Here is Corinne on a lovely spring day last week after we worked in our garden pulling weeds and planting seedlings. We sat in the shade and drank lemonade and read poem after poem after poem from the adorable children's collection entitled "A Pizza the Size of the Sun" by Jack Prelutsky. She insisted on searching for the funniest ones; the ones she had MEMORIZED during quiet reading times. She insisted on sharing these poems with me so that I could also experience the joy of the words she had discovered. How do you refuse THAT?

It's a fantastic collection of fantastic children's poetry by the award winning author. We received this book along with several others including a second collection of poetry by Mr. Prelutsky titled, "The new Kid on the Block."  Both attracted my 7 year old's attention this month and have really engaged the two of us in discussions about the words, the phrasing and the rhythm that poetry entails. She has become so interested, in fact, that she signed up for a poetry class at our homeschool co-op next fall!


 This picture is from today, as a matter of fact. With hair still wet from the sprinkler and dirt across the tops of her fingers, Corinne sat beside me and insisted on reading the entire book, "Dirt on My Shirt" by Jeff Foxworthy. He's NOT just a comedian! Who knew? Dirt on My Shirt is yet another amazing book of poems for elementary-school children. Absolutely adorable and hysterical at times, it engages the imagination of both child and adult. This one will be, without a doubt, a new favorite in our read-aloud time.

*disclaimer: I received these books and others by Harper Collins Publishers for review. No compensation was received and all opinions remain my own. 

1 comment:

  1. It's funny. My parents never pushed reading either but we had a lot of books around the house. We also saw my mom read all the time. I'm embracing the same philosophy and it seems to be working (except I really wished someone would've warned me about the whole "Hunger Games" concept before I handed it off to my 2nd grader at his request...oops). Love Corinne any all the outdoor poetry readers of the world!