Fourth Grade Homeschool History Memory Work

I shared last month about how we are doing poetry in our homeschool this year. One important piece of our poetry study is our poem memory work ~ basically I just ask the kids to memorize a handful of poems over the course of our school year. This is something they have pretty universally loved doing. Rose especially enjoys memorizing things, so this year I took a cue from The Well-Trained Mind and asked her to do some history memory work each day as well. She is using BookShark’s American History 1, so her memory work is also American history focused.

First of all, she is currently working on memorizing Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, using thiswonderful picture book copy! She just reads the book to herself each day and she’s nearly got it. She loves the challenge.

Once that’s complete, it’s on to the states and their capitals, through song! We used the Geography Songs kit last year and she loved it, so I think she’ll enjoy this resource as well. The kit doesn’t seem to be available through Amazon, but Rainbow Resource carries it.
States and Capitals Songs Kit w/ CD | Main photo (Cover)
Next up will be memorizing the presidents in order with a fun set of flashcards (tip ~ the company Christian Book carries the most up-to-date set).
I keep the process of memorization pretty simple. I let her choose what to work on next and then I just make a note in her planner to “read the Gettysburg Address” (or whatever it is) each day. She usually works on her history memory work four days a week, for about 10 minutes each day. When she’s done, we’ll move onto the next thing.

And that’s how we’re doing history memory work in our homeschool this year!

Poetry in Our Homeschool This Year

I have a whole bunch of  things I want to share about how we are doing things this homeschool year. Last week I shared our math picture book list. Today, I’d like to share what we are doing for poetry this year. We do two things for poetry: read it and memorize it. Our poetry reading this year is as follows…

My fourth grader is reading through A Child’s Introduction to Poetry with me, like all of her siblings before her. I love this book! A Child’s Introduction to Poetry is a selection from BookShark’s American History 1.  Each day we read a few pages about a certain form of poetry and the poets who wrote it…so far we have learned about nursery rhymes, nonsense verse, and limericks, among others . After we read, we pop in the accompanying CD and listen to a narrator read several poems in that style aloud. If you are looking for an easy-to-use, engaging introduction to poetry, I highly recommend this resource!

My seventh grader is reading through Favorite Poems Old and New with me. This is a selection from BookShark’s World History 1. But we owned the book long before that…in fact we are on our second copy because our first one literally fell apart from use. We are usually assigned to read a few poems each day, which I read aloud right before we do our literature read-aloud. If you could only  have one poem book in your homeschool, this would definitely be the one I recommend!

My ninth grader is reading A Treasury of Poetry for Young People, a selection from BookShark American History 100. He is doing all of his own reading this year, except for poetry, because I think it “goes” much better read aloud and discussed, just a bit. This book is unique because it focuses on just six poets. Each poet has their own section, which includes a biography followed by several poems. It’s an all-in-one poet study and I enjoy the focus on just one poet at a time. Note: this book is out of print on Amazon, but BookShark carries it. It is a bit spendy though, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying it outside of the program since there are so many other great poetry books out there.

My eleventh grader is reading Heart to Heart this year, a selection from Sonlight’s Core 300 20th Century World History. It’s a pretty light poetry year for her; I believe she is typically only assigned a poem or two a week to read. Still, the book is a nice addition to this core and quite unique.  Each page depicts a painting, sculpture or other artwork, and then an accompanying poem that was inspired by that artwork. Such a neat idea! She prefers to do most of her work independently at this point, so I don’t read this one aloud with her, but I look forward to doing so with Christopher when he starts this Core later this year. 
The second piece of our poetry study, besides reading, is memory work. My three younger kids are memorizing several poems this year. They choose their own poems from any of the poetry resources we have, though Favorite Poems Old and New is their favorite resource by far. Each day, they read their poem to themselves several times.  Once they have it down, they recite it to me, then type the poem up (I type Rose’s) and file it in their binder. I usually ask them to memorize around five poems a year, depending on length. Memorizing poetry is one of the few things I remember from high school – I can still recite Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” from junior year English class.

So that’s this year’s poetry study in a nutshell.  Thanks for stopping by!