Poetry Memorization as a Tool for Mastery Learning was made possible with a copy of Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) for review as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Additionally, they included a print copy of the Student Book which is available separately for purchase.
If you asked my boys what are a few things they do NOT look forward to doing, I believe that aside from writing you would have them grumble about poetry or having to memorize anything I give them. When you mention that they are going to be getting to not only hear some poetry but then memorize it…well, you can imagine they were not as excited as this homeschool mama when it comes to putting Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization from IEW into practice.
What is Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization from IEW?
First off, let me say that while the bulk of the material included in this resource are poems, you will also find speeches in upper units for the students to memorize.
Secondly, this program consists of a teacher manual and a set of CDs with Andrew Pudewa reciting each selection as the child should be expected to learn. This includes stating the title, the author and then going into the actual poem or speech. Purchasing the program also gives you access to a pdf copy of the student workbook, Audio MP3s only available as downloads of seven different workshop recordings. and a copy of Andrew Pudewa’s conference talk Nurturing Competent Communicators on DVD which I highly recommend to all homeschool parents.
The selections become more complex in their language and length of the selection as the student moves through the different units. Certificates marking the completion of a unit are included as are a checklist to help them keep track of where they are in the program.
In the introduction found in the teacher’s manual, you will be treated to a wealth of information on not just the process of memorization, but why children should be memorizing quality material. While reading this portion of the teacher manual, it completely drew me into devouring the words with my reaction to many of the key points being a loud ‘amen’ shouted from my bedroom.
This quote stood out to me:
“Memorization is not only natural for young children, it is culturally powerful and educationally essential.”
If memorization is natural, then why wouldn’t I want to give them GOOD options to commit to memory instead of snippets of popular culture?
And, if the act of memorizing becomes easier the more you do it, then why wouldn’t I want my children to acquire and develop that particular skill?
How Did Using Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization Work in Our House?
Okay, as I already shared my boys were less than thrilled about having this added to their days. Poetry seems to have received a bad rap in their minds. I was determined to help change that opinion as there are some excellent poems full of wonderful stuff for young minds to not only hear or read but to commit to memory.
Learning to memorize something may seem daunting at first, so using the initial selections presented in unit 1 made the most sense. The early selections are simple, short and often funny.
With daily repetition, several times each day, my 6-year-old son was reciting the beginning selections to his dad or anyone who’d listen.
While we listened to the CD for the first time through the selection, subsequent times included the student text when needed and having mom nod approval as they got it correctly.
I think my son really liked the ability to color the images on the poem’s page.
As the selections become more challenging, my youngest is not able to check his memory by reading the selection for himself. This is where the CD is becoming more useful as he commits things to memory through oral input. Although, I do find that he loves to decode the words on the page for fun, too.
And, I am thrilled that he is memorizing more wholesome selections. For a while, I was thinking I’d never stop hearing him repeat portions of inappropriate lyrics he’d heard on the radio. This mama is fine with NOT hearing him sing Gangnam Style to me while gyrating…as funny as it was to see him do when he was all of 3.
Have you used memorization in your homeschool?
What sources do you use for memorization?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the Institute for Excellence in Writing Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization Review post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.