Teaching Poetry to Kids The How and Why & a FREEBIE

The growing trend toward incorporating hands-on, family-oriented homeschool activities like Read-Aloud Revival and Poetry Tea Time has some families taking a step back from rigorous curriculum and reveling in the joy and relaxed atmosphere that they initially envisioned when they embarked upon the task of homeschooling.

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The idea of reading and reciting poetry as a family invokes warm, fuzzy thoughts of sitting by the fire with a warm cup of tea. Children listening intently as they’re introduced to the flow and cadence of poetry by a parent or older sibling. 

Poetry helps children develop rhythm.  The rhythmic structure of stanzas can help kids bridge the gap between words they know and words they don’t.  Deciphering new words through context is one of the most organic ways of learning.

photo credit: Ivonne, homeschooling mom of two – Find her at Learning in Pajamas on YouTube

Ivonne is a homeschooling mom who enjoys spending time reading with her two children during Poetry Tea Time. Find her on her YouTube Channel, Learning in Pajamas!

While memorization is not a favored learning style in my own homeschool, it has its advantages in terms of learning new language and building success with mathematic concepts.  Reading poetry  helps children develop memorization skills that they will apply throughout their life.

Poems use the creative flow of words and emotion to convey a message to the reader.  Working through problems and emotions is a valuable life skill for young children. Poetry can help kids develop their ability to express emotions.

According to Vanessa Pacheco, MFA Poetry, “Poetry is often seen as an elite style of writing or as rhyming love notes, ala Sonnet 18.

“Usually, this stems from basic teachings of poetry where poems are all mirror images of themselves that don’t allow for experimentation or exploration by students, especially children.”

“If we let children read and write poetry, it will show them that writing doesn’t always have to fit into pre-designed structures. It can also push them to think of the world from multiple perspectives, through metaphors, symbolism etc. which is super important for all kinds of writing and life in general.”

Poetry Tea Time, founded by Brave Writer’s Julie Bogart offers tips on how to incorporate poetry reading into your homeschool day.  Julie is the author of the Poetry Tea Time Companion.

Homeschoolers like Emily Terry of Michigan enjoy incorporating Poetry Tea Time into their homeschool life. 

photo credit: Emily, a homeschooling mom of six, she chronicles her life on her YouTube channel “Em’s Essentials”

Emily, a homeschooling mother of six who chronicles her life on her YouTube Channel, Em’s Essentials, says, “The kids and I enjoy putting our own unique twist on Poetry Tea Time.”

“We like reading a chapter here and there from our favorite books, writing poems of our own, or drawing in our journals as we listen to stories.

“Adding tea or cocoa and snacks to these experiences make them feel fancy and give our homeschool days a special touch.”

The Best Poetry Books For Kids 

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children features 572 unforgettable poems, and over 400 one-of-a-kind illustrations from the Caldecott-winning illustrator of Frog and Toad series, Arnold Lobel.

Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends is another favorite filled with hilarious illustrations and masterful poems, perfect for older kids.

The Waldorf Book of Animal Poetry brings the animals of the forests, mountains, jungles, deserts, rivers, seas, and even your own backyard to life on every page.









The Waldorf Book of Poetry includes more than 425 poems by classic and modern poets in a comprehensive collection that reveals the power of imagination in a wide variety of subjects.

Designed to be used along with Poetry Tea Time, Poetry Tea Time Companion  is an anthology of classic poems that will help your family bring the practice to life.

Poetry Homeschool Curriculum Resources

The Let’s Write Imagery Poems unit study from WriteShop is FREE RIGHT NOW TO WriteShop SUBSCRIBERS and gives your children (ages 8-14) step-by-step directions and printable worksheets for using imagery to compose their own poems.

The Freebie includes 20 printable activities and worksheets, including:

practice exercises
brainstorming worksheets
poem planning worksheets
word banks
colorful lined writing pages

Subscribe to WriteShop and download your complimentary Let’s Write Imagery Poems, and make poetry easy!

Parents that prefer a step-by-step process to lead students of all levels through writing couplets, cinquains, haikus, and limericks, Writing Poetry with Children may be an option.

Teaching poetry to kids or including it in your homeschool should be approached in a fun and relaxed manner rather than incorporating trite, regimented coursework as just another box to check off on your daily to-do list.

One way to approach the poetry genre is to participate in National Poetry Month each April. This shorter block of time, if you’re not ready to commit to weekly Poetry Tea Time or a curriculum, is a fun, easy and stress-free way to introduce poetry.

Have you introduced poetry in Your homeschool? What are some of your favorite resources, which ones do your kids enjoy?  Comment below and let me know!


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