Reprinted from a post I made on the aussiehomeschool.com discussion boards in honour of poetry month.
I love poetry and always have. I read and write it myself and I want to pass that on to my kids.
The only 'formal' things we do is our 'refined afternoon tea' on Wednesday afternoon. It is the only time we have afternoon tea and we have something special to eat and cups of peppermint tea with honey at the table with a table cloth and POETRY. I have several books of it and we will each take it in turns selecting a poem - even Christopher. At first they selected the illustrations that interested them (being non-readers) but now, after doing this for over a year, the older two are starting to ask for some of the poems by name.
Nonsense verse and nursery rhymes are a large part of our poetry reading and sometimes the 'refined' nature of our afternoon teas go out the window with toilet training accidents, upturned tea cups and detours into "manners training" and sometimes we just take a quilt outside and make it a picnic. What I want to pass on in this session is a love for the art of putting words together. Nursery rhymes are the river stones of our language, smoothed and refined in the mouths of generation after generation. Nonsense verse makes us laugh and evokes vivid imagery. My own favourites make appearances even though they are "above" the children's understanding, but the sensation of the words still speaks to all of us. Each afternoon tea starts with a special grace where we thank God for beautiful things and beautiful words and pray that all beauty will point us toward Him.
If my children love poetry, they will want to do the work later on to understand it, both the words and the historical context.
If you can read and write poetry effectively, you can read and write anything. And reading and writing is all about communication. And communication is all about reaching the hearts of another. That is why I love poetry!
Check out more stuff on poetry and homeschooling at Aussie Homeschool