When this review for a Poetry Memorization curriculum came up, I was pretty skeptical that my kids would actually like it. I almost didn't want to take on the review, but as I looked closer at this program, I realized how much fun my boys could have with this. It was true! My boys and I have been having a blast memorizing funny, silly poems. We received the Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization Teacher's Manual, Student ebook, CD's, a bonus DVD and MP3's from Institute for Excellence in Writing.
|The CD's really came in that nice brown case!|
When my 7 year-old saw this come in the mail, he asked excitedly "is this for me?" I immediately replied "yes!" He is perhaps my only poetry enthusiast around here, but it didn't take long for the fun to spread to the other 2 boys. My 5 year-old is enjoying memorizing them as well, but only by choice. I didn't plan for him to join in with us, he just wants to. The poems are so fun that he just enjoys doing it right along with his brothers. My 9 year-old however doesn't see the point in memorizing such silliness. He says he doesn't like it, but since he is around when we listen and repeat the poems, he is catching some of it. He has memorized one of the 4 stanza poems really well. That's pretty good for him not putting much effort forth on his part! I would have had my 14 year-old join in on the fun too, but she was already busy memorizing her lines for an upcoming Shakespeare play during this review period.
How did we use this program?
To get started I read the introduction in the Teacher's Manual. It explains a lot, like the importance of why memorization helps our brain, how this program is set up, what to do, and encouragement for the doubtful parent. It's all great, easy reading, and helped me to realize that this will really be great for the children.
Of course I had one eager boy who wanted to get started. He kept asking when we would start. I was hoping to get some of the mp3's listened to before we started, but then I realized that I don't have to do that first because there is a page in the front of the student manual that has some simple steps to get started memorizing, so I started with that. I decided I could listen to the mp3's later.
Each morning we make it a part of our morning meeting (if we get to it, otherwise we just do it sometime during the day), and we recite the poems (or parts of poems) we already know all the way through to the current one we are learning. Each person that wants to, takes a turn going through all the poems. That's how we currently do it, but I think this might take too long eventually as we get through more poems. I think we will move into a pattern of reciting them together eventually. Then we listen to them on the CD, and the kids will usually repeat it with the CD. We do this everyday or as many days as we have time for. The repetition is key here!
What's really fun is when we are going about our day, and the kids see something that reminds them of one of the poems we have memorized, and they start reciting it! We were at the zoo, and we saw a vulture. Guess what happened? Aric started reciting The Vulture poem that we had just learned.
I also just want to mention that the TOS crew had received a special bonus of a printed Student book with our review (this doesn't come with the above package you have to purchase it separately). It was a happy surprise that meant I didn't have to print anything. Except that I had 2 other boys that wanted to look at the poems as we memorized as well. Instead of printing out more pages though, I came up with the idea of writing out the poems on a big poster pad. I hung it in the dining room, and will flip it as we get to each poem. The boys have been reading now while we sit and eat. It has helped a good deal. This has worked well for them to look at the poems throughout the day. I do think that it is important for each child to have a copy of this book (just the pages) in front of them as they are memorizing though. Now that my printer is working better I will probably print at least another one of these books from my ebook file.
Overall I think this is a wonderful poetry curriculum. Everything that is included will help you teach your children to memorize and love poetry. As the book progresses it moves into some longer and more difficult poems like Shakespeare. I am excited at the prospect that my boys could memorize Shakespeare! So far, I am impressed and hopeful that it just might happen as we continue. A lot of the crew had great things to say about this, so go check them out! (click on the banner below)