Sunday, September 02, 2012

Homeschool things to do for Tuesday: Robert Frost's poetry

In the that-was-easy department:   We will be reading the 51 poems in Robert Frost's You Come Too: Favorite Poems for Young Readers.

(Warning: there are extremely rude comments below this video.)

We own the 80-page junior biography Robert Frost: America's Poet, by Doris Faber.  What do you do with a junior biography, a sixth grader, and a homeschool curriculum based mostly around just reading the poems?

Taking a leaf from the Ordo Amoris tree, I think the best way to include things like this is to put them in a "Morning Time."  A gathering where maybe you don't always have to stick to the regular books.  Even if you are homeschooling just one, you can make a habit of getting together for some reading, maybe singing or memory work, close to the start of school or at another time that works well--maybe even at tea-time, if you have a regular time for that.  We have gotten out of tea-time in recent years, but what I remember was that by that time of the day, the Squirrelings were often impatient if I tried to thrust yet another book on them.  Individual poems, yes, but not whole chapters--they were ready to go and play.  So I guess it depends.

So Faber's book can go into some kind of a "Morning Time" reading basket.

What else can you do with poems beside read them, memorize them, copy them out, sometimes sing them?  Ruth Beechick has lots of ideas:  experimenting with word choice, changing verse into prose, and so on.  We also have a copy of Rose, where did you get that red? Teaching Great Poetry to Children, by Kenneth Koch, which has some good writing suggestions based on poems by Wallace Stevens, John Donne, African tribal poems, and more.

You can illustrate them.  We recently acquired several volumes in Scholastic's Graphic Poetry series, in which each book takes one or two poems by one author, and sets them up in what's basically picture book format--but for older readers, not little ones.  I think this would be a fun project in combination with the simpler book-binding and booklet-making ideas in Erin Zamrzla's At Home with Handmade Books.  Is that art, literature, handicrafts, or what?  Does it matter?  We'll work it in to an afternoon time.

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