Durin’s Turn for Poetry

This time, it’s Durin’s turn to recite his first memorized poem, “The Land of Nod” by Robert Louis Stevenson. It took him no time at all to memorize the words, and he prided himself on being able to quote it quickly. I worked with him on enunciation and expression, which was tougher for him, but he really worked at it. I’m proud of how hard he’s trying to do well in school, and the fruit of his labor is beginning to ripen.

I can’t begin to express how really really good it feels to teach my kids, and see them flourish. It gets ridiculously hard at times – to the point that I drool a little whenever I see a school bus – but every moment has been worth it. Seeing his learning strengths and weaknesses, his hard work and clear progress, and the beginnings of mastery are all things I wouldn’t trade those hard days for. The good days far outweigh the bad for me. For now, anyway.

We’ll see what future years hold for this kiddo when we get there.

Without further ado…

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5 thoughts on “Durin’s Turn for Poetry

  1. He did an awesome job! Oh and you reminded me, I meant to ask you what you used to explain the enunciation and expressions to him? I was never taught how to properly read poetry and i still struggle with it now. So, I would like to go ahead and teach my kiddos. Any and all help will me greatly appreciated.

    • When you read poetry, you try to avoid the “sing-song” without disobeying the rhythm. Basically, you follow the punctuation. For example, in the first stanza of Land of Nod, you wouldn’t pause after “day,” but read the first two lines as one sentence. You’d pause at the comma after “stay,” but not after “abroad”.


      “From breakfast on through all the day
      At home among my friends I stay,
      But every night I go abroad
      Afar into the land of Nod.”

      There will be a rhythm to it that’s very natural, but it won’t be sing-songy. Then, of course, it’s more like reading a play – trying to infuse some emotion, and putting emphasis on key words to try and bring the listener in, and to paint the picture with your voice and face. He kinda got the voice down, but not the face. He was so deadpan…lol!

      For enunciation, we go through it VERY SLOWLY, and I encourage him to really put the ending consonant on each word. I demonstrate, line by line, and have him repeat after me.

      I can totally get into it. He doesn’t seem to care as much…oh well. đŸ™‚

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