Back in the “olden days”, memorization was a big part of school. They memorized poems, essays, books, and documents. I always think about Little Town on the Prairie and how Laura was called on to recite American History by memory from Christopher Columbus through the presidency of John Quincy Adams. Somewhere along the way it was decided that memorizing was unnecessary and some thought it was even harmful to children’s creativity. But children especially have a huge capacity for memorization and memorize things all of the time. Memorizing is a great was for children to increase their vocabulary and learn different language patterns, helping them to become better readers and writers.
One thing the children and I love to do is memorize poetry. I know what you are thinking, that you do not have time to add poetry memorization to your already busy school day. But this is something we only spend around 10 minutes a day on and it is our favorite part of the day. Poetry is fun to read, easy to memorize, and often uses wonderful vocabulary and imagery. Children and adults of all ages and work on memorizing poetry together. You can add poetry easily into your homeschool day.
Each morning after our Bible lesson, it is poetry time. We have a book of poetry that has a variety of poems by different authors and poems of varying lengths. The first day we are starting a new poem, I read the title, name of the author, and the entire poem. Then I read each line and the children read it after me. The next day we start memorizing sections of the poem a little at a time. If for instance a poem has three stanzas, I will read the entire poem first, then just read the first stanza a line at a time and have the children repeat each line after me. The next day I read the entire poem again, do the first stanza altogether and we work on the second stanza by me reading and them repeating the lines after me. After we are done with our new poem for the day, we recite a few poems we have already memorized altogether.
I have been amazed at how easily the children have memorized the poems. They can do them much faster then I can! It has also amazed me how much they enjoy reciting the poems. There have been some days that I have been running behind in the morning and have thought that I would skip it that day but they always ask to do poems. We have spent some time looking up information on some of the authors and they have even tried their hand at writing a few poems themselves. I have noticed too that the more we have memorized, the easier it has become and the children have been able to memorize longer Bible verses and entire passages in Scripture as well.
Take 10 minutes a day and add some poetry memorization to your homeschool. You will be glad you did!
Ready to add poetry to your homeschool day? Grab the newest, updated product in the Bright Ideas Press store …. Young Scholar’s Guide to Poetry.