Show Your Work

People in classical homeschooling circles often talk about the relationship between education and imitation.  If you want your children to invite words into their lives, to revel in the language and imagery of poetry, you have to do those things first.  This isn’t something you can manufacture.  If you want children who write, then you need to be a mama who writes.Poetry Every Day

One of the best books I read last year was Healing Walks for Hard Times by Carolyn Scott Kortge.  Walking has become a regular part of my days.  When I move my body, everything that’s in my head and heart gets still.  I count my steps and align my breath: 1-2-IN, 3-4-OUT.  Then I let a word from Amanda’s evocative list of prompts start singing to me.  When I arrive home I often have a few lines.

Silent black crow

predicting rain no matter

what the blue sky says.


In winter’s grey

camellia blossoms thrill,

echoing the sun’s last light


Cat in a warm window

Wind high off the water

Dogwoods floating pink:

Sunset still two hours off.


As night comes mist rolls

up the bluff making the world

in its own image.


Bare trees in full bud:

ginkgo, tulip, dogwood.

Seamless shift toward Spring.


Bluebells, clematis,

iris, sage, lilac:

delicious shades of purple.



Poetry Every Week…and a GIVEAWAY!

Now that you have a couple solid days of everyday poetry practice under your belt, are you ready to take your practice to the next level?  Here are a few weekly poetry resources.Poetry Every Day

Poetry Teatime

When her kids were young, Julie from Brave Writer used to host Poetry Teatimes every Tuesday.  There were treats and books of poems on the table.  She brewed a pot of tea, and everyone choose a poem to read aloud.  She advises that, “Poetry should be read with an empty mouth!”  That might be easier said than done at our place!  Along with great ideas for what to read (including read alouds beyond poetry), Julie shares recipes for apple pie or scones.  Just the inspiration we need around here to make our usual tea + toast a bit more fancy!

Poetry Friday…and the Giveaway!

Forest Has a SongBeing an occasional participant in Poetry Friday has brought such joy to our house.  I just love keeping my eyes out for something to share…and then seeing the riches that others bring.  I have discovered many a gem from clicking a Poetry Friday link!  And now I get to share some of that goodness with you all!  In celebration of Earth Day and Poetry Month, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater is going to send one of you a copy of her beautiful book called Forest Has a Song!  The words and pictures in this book just sing!  You’ll love it I know.  Just leave a comment on this post, and we’ll draw a winner next Wednesday…just in time for Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Caroline Starr Rose

And this week has an extra special poetry treat!  On Sunday at 1 pm Pacific I’m excited to hear Caroline Starr Rose talk about her most recent novel in verse Blue Birds.  She’ll be answering questions, so it’s a great time to ask questions about her writing process and for your kids to get to ask questions too!  It costs $5, but that gets you access to the live webinar, the replay link, and a month of goodness from the Read Aloud Revival Membership site.  They’ve got great booklists, recordings of other webinars, and complete transcripts and cheat sheets for every episode of the podcast.  It would be wonderful to *see* you there.  I’ll be hanging out in the chatbox, so say hello!  And stop in at No Water River for this week’s round up.

Poetry Friday

Now We Are Six

Nicolas WestAbout this time six years ago we were heading out for a walk after dinner.  I put on my black boots, a long purple dress, and a cashmere cardigan my sister in law had passed down to me.  We were walking to help labor along, labor of this sweet boy.  Nicki called and said she would be over after dinner with friends.  I was so happy that she was coming to be with Mamie for the birth.

He’s got all kinds of Star Wars presents from the California relatives waiting to open in the morning.  Tomorrow we’re making lemon cupcakes and going out for pizza!  But for now I’m going to watch his birth video again.  You come too.



Poetry: EVERY Day

As much as I like the idea of loop schedules, they just haven’t clicked for me.  It’s much easier to do things–like reading poems with our kids–every day rather than worrying about whether or not today is a day for poems.  Gretchen Rubin calls this one of her Secrets of Adulthood: “It’s often easier to do things every day than to do it some days.”  Here are a few choices for making poetry a part of your everyday homeschool practice.



There is a delightful anthology collected by the good women of Ambleside Online.  It’s organized by the month, with each month getting 5 poems for 4 weeks.  Read one every day over tea or just before bed.  That’s all.  Just let the language carry you.

The Writer’s Almanac

Every day Garrison will read to you.  You could do worse.  And the collections made from his daily selections are worthy as well.  You can get Good Poems as an audiobook to hear the poems without the almanac.

Oats + Poems

This is the story of our daily reading: gathering around food, quiet for a few moments, receptive, waiting to hear what comes next.

New York Public Library

To celebrate Poetry Month, the librarians at the New York Public Library recorded 30 of their favorite poems and spoke about why they love it.  Imagine–a month of poems spoken, breathed into life.

Pinterest + Beyond

Follow Kortney ‘s board Poetry Every Day on Pinterest.
I’ve continued to add the the Poetry Every Day Board all month.  And on Friday I’ll open a giveaway of Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s beautiful book called Forest Has a Song!  Over at Pinterest you can find links to Amy reading some of the poems from Forest or you can find her cultivating the good earth at The Poem Farm.  She also curates an inspiring collection of sketches, poems, and memories at Sharing Our Notebooks.  Every day this month, Amy has been posting an original poem that you can sing.  Often, song is an easy, natural pathway deeper into poetry.  So make sure you come back later in the week!  Amy’s work is not to be missed!