I'm thankful I don't have to admit that the Roses are Red poem is the only poetry to which my daughters have been exposed. If that was the case, I think they'd have thrown The Grammar of Poetry books directly at me as hard as they could, when it arrived in the mail.
Kelsi and Brittany have actually read some poetry over the years: Shel Silverstein (although I doubt they remember that, it was so many years ago), folk rhymes like Little Miss Muffet...biblical poetry found in the Bible, and other little poems we've come across now and then.
Of course, there's also the poetry they've found in greeting cards, and in some of the literature books they've read (Lord of the Rings, etc.).
But as far as studying poetry together in an academic sense, we've done nothing - nada.
When I came across The Grammar of Poetry, I was intrigued.
DVD lessons? Yes!
Professionally produced materials? Yes!
Poetry taught in a classical form of education? Yes!
At the junior high and high school level? Yes!
From a Christian perspective? Yes!
The girls and I are thrilled to let you know about The Grammar of Poetry. I feel SO blessed by being able to use this fantastic classical poetry curriculum!
We could have used the teacher's guide and workbook on their own, without the DVD, but we would have missed out. This Grade 6 to High School curriculum revolves around 30 DVD lessons with Matt Whitling. And when I use the word "revolves", I mean that with the DVDs, this one-semester program is captivating and interesting!
Email subscribers will want to click back to the original post (click the title of this blog post) to view the YouTube videos of the teacher in The Grammar of Poetry and to enter the giveaway!
We've used several DVD curriculum programs in our homeschooling over the last 10 years. The Grammar of Poetry - by far - is the most professionally produced set of DVDs that we've seen developed for homeschoolers. It really is that good.
All of the little issues we've had over the years with different DVD and online programs we've used have been completely eliminated from The Grammar of Poetry DVDs. These folks really know what it takes to make a professional looking program!
Here's my 14-year-old's first attempt ever at writing a poem, after viewing Lesson 5:
Here's a better description of some of the goals of The Grammar of Poetry:
This is the ideal introductory poetry course for students and teachers discovering the art of poetry. As a "grammar," it teaches the fundamentals of poetry from scansion and rhyme to more advanced concepts like spatial poetry and synecdoche.
Using the classical methodology of imitation (advocated by educators like Quintilian and Benjamin Franklin), this text helps students become active participants as they learn the craft of writing poems. It also offers practical tips and helps, including:
The thirty lessons in The Grammar of Poetry contain instruction on ten powerful tropes, student activities for every chapter, riddles to solve, a glossary of terms, a list of over 150 quality poems to integrate, and real-life examples from Shakespeare to traditional tongue twisters. It is designed for a semester at the 6th-9th grade level, but is perfectly appropriate for anyone with basic writing skills and the desire to learn poetry.
After one of the lessons on rhyming, we learned that it can be very helpful to have a rhyming dictionary. Since we don't have one (yet!), we found this site online that will help would-be poets:
The presentation of The Grammar of Poetry, lesson by lesson, does contain poems and concepts from Christianity. As a Christian, desiring to hand down the Christian faith to my children, I welcome curricula that includes a Christian focus.
Mr. Whitling also encourages creativity among the student audience. When the girls were learning about rhyming schemes, Kelsi decided to use the Tengwar (Elvish) language found in the Lord of the Rings books! Here's a close up of some of her assignment. Instead of writing: A, B, A, B to describe the rhyming schemes of the first stanza, etc., she chose to use Tengwar. Silly girl! :)
Ha! She thought she was so funny when she showed this to me. I think she expected me to make her erase and start over, but while I don't know Tengwar, I could tell why she was ordering her rhyming lines in the way that she chose to do this. :)
Here's another preview of The Grammar of Poetry:
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