Teaching scripture and poetry to children is one of the simplest ways to instill truth, expand their minds and vocabulary, and increase their appreciation for the beauty of language.
Children memorize at an almost alarming rate. I want to take advantage of this ability while they’re little.
My goal is to teach them one Scripture passage and one poem a month, followed by a “poetry night” where we make special food and they get to recite for Joshua. [The word “goal” is important here. I think we spent all winter while we fought one sickness after another learning the Apostles’ Creed.]
The problem with memorization is, if you don’t keep reviewing, you’re almost guaranteed to forget.
After teaching the children a poem until they could recite it flawlessly, only to have them stumbling over the first line a month later, I knew something had to change.
That’s where the poetry jar comes in. After we learn a new passage or poem, the title goes into the poetry mug. Each school day, the children get to pick a slip of paper and recite the passage they picked.
There’s something about the element of suspense that makes them just love our review time. Now we’re not spending time learning new poetry only to have them forget what we already learned.
If you want to start teaching your little ones poetry but don’t know where to start, here are the poems we’ve started with for Rose (5) and Will (3):
The Caterpillar, by Chistina Rossetti
Nothing Gold Can Stay, by Robert Frost
Poem 56 (The Pedigree of Honey), by Emily Dickinson (I was reading poetry aloud to them and they thought this one was so hilarious–though they certainly didn’t get it— that we simply had to memorize it.)
A Child of Royal Birth, by Anna Johnson (only the first stanza)
A Purple Cow, by Gelett Burgess
My friend Jenn, from The Purposeful Mom, compiled a lovely resource for Scripture Memory, God’s Word in My Heart.
What are your favorite kids’ poems?
[Full disclosure: Links to products in this post are my referral links.]