We love Institute for Excellence in Writing so I knew it would be a good choice for my kids to add Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization to our daily schedule. We have incorporated memorization into our homeschool in the past by memorizing passages of scripture. Poetry on the other hand has never been a favorite so I anticipated there might be some resistance. I also wondered, if there was resistance, how important it was to memorize poetry. Turns out I had a lot to learn about the benefits of memorizing poetry.
Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization
This product includes the Teacher’s manual and CD’s. The 200 page Teacher’s manual includes an extensive introduction explaining the need for poetry memorization, discussing:
- Prerequisites for Effective Communication
- Why Memorization?
- Why Poetry?
- Mastery Learning – What is it?
- How This Program is Set Up
- How to Teach the Program
There are 5 levels of Poems with Biographies for some of the authors. The book also includes optional lesson enhancements. There are free Audio MP3 downloads that come with the purchase of the Teacher’s manual. They include:
- Nurturing Competent Communicators
- Mastery Learning, Ability Development, and Individualized Education
- Ten Thousand times and Then Begins Understanding
- On Listening
- On Speaking
- On Reading
- On Writing
The Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization Student e-book is also accessible through the purchase of the Teacher’s manual. The 170 page Student e-book has pages with charts to help you keep track of poems memorized as well as each poem printed for the students to read with pictures that can be colored. Also included in the Student e-book is a completion certificate and biographies of authors.
*A Spiral bound printed copy of the student book can be purchased separately.
There are 5 CD’s that the students can listen to, one for each level, of Andrew Pudewa reciting the poems. A DVD of Andrew Pudewa speaking on Nurturing Competent Communicators is also included in the CD pack.
How it Works
It is recommended that all students begin at level one, regardless of age. The students use the audio CDs to recite the poem together, reciting the title and author followed by the poem. After learning the first poem the second poem is introduced. The second poem is practiced several times a day. To insure the first poem is not forgotten it should be recited once a day. When the first two can be recited by memory the third poem is introduced and practiced several times a day while the first two continue to be recited. This method is continued through the first level until all the poems can be recited. (20 poems) When moving on to level 2 the poems from level one are not to be forgotten so they continue to be recited on the Every Other Poem Every Other Day schedule which is included in the book with a chart to keep track of where they are.
I was greatly encouraged about the reasons for memorizing poetry after listening to Andrew Pudewa’s lecture on DVD, Nurturing Competent Communicators. I learned so much from this DVD and the other audio MP3s that it is hard to narrow it down to important highlights. My main take-away was that no matter how intelligent we are, if we haven’t been exposed to great works of literature and language, we can’t pull out what isn’t there. Our children need to have a large database in their brains of reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns.
My kids were not excited about starting out at in level one with Ooey Gooey, a short poem about a worm that in his mightiness is able to actually take steps and ends up an Ooey Gooey mess. They thought it a little babyish since they are 13, 16 and 18. 🙂 I persevered in following the directions for this program and we started with the worm poem and quickly made it through most of level one. They are doing very well and anxious to get to a more challanging level. With each level the poems become more difficult and longer ending with speeches in level 5. The CD’s are useful for listening to in the car and while working on other projects to help with memorization. They are also helpful in insuring that the words are said correctly.
I felt comfortable enough after reading through the introduction and listening to the talks by Andrew Pudewa to explain to my kids the importance of memorizing poetry. My kids now realize how this can help them and are ready to continue through the levels. I have added this curriculum to my morning basket/meeting time and I am confidant this investment in their linguistic development is worthwhile.