Sunday, April 14, 2013

"The Secret"

Once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler.

I couldn't help but think that when I found the second installment of my April celebration of National Poetry Month. Our dear 5 year old Hannah was my first victim student. What a ready learner she was! It's weird to think that she is about to graduate (with honors!) from The University of Arkansas.

I think poem memorization is directly correlated to the "with honors" part. ;)

But I digress.

Even though I'm not an active homeschooler anymore, I still find myself thinking like a homeschooler. When I watched Hannah say this perfect spring poem, I immediately went into lesson plan mode. I never thought like I'm about to describe when I was first homeschooling. I was too novice - too nervous - to do much outside the curriculum I ordered. But knowing what I know now, here's a few activities I'd do with Hannah the week I introduced this poem to her. If this were a real plan, I'd have to break it down into what we'd do on a particular day. Here, I'm just going to write some of the ideas as they come to me.

Introduce the poem. Read through it, dramatically, a couple of times every day. 

Look at pictures of robins. Have Hannah color a picture of one.

Look at pictures of cherry trees. Have her draw one.

Take walks outside to look closely at trees and to look for robins and nests!

Make a spelling word list from the words in this poem.

Practice handwriting by copying a couple of lines a day.

Illustrate the poem.

Talk about when/if it is appropriate to keep secrets.

Dig deeper into bird anatomy. Identify the different parts of a bird.

Dig deeper into the parts of a tree. Be able to label one.

Count all the words in the poem out loud.

Discuss and practice words that rhyme.

Talk about our great, good God who gave us birds, trees and all of nature.

I could go on. There is so much to learn! So much to wonder about! How good of God to put the ability to learn, to wonder, in us all. What a gift it was to see the world again through they eyes of my children! May we never, ever lose that sense of wonder.

You can sense Hannah's wonder and excitement as she says the poem. At the very beginning, she actually asks to say it! Once again, I've included the words because my little 5 year old is a bit difficult to understand at times. And, there is some background noise and activity. There's also background mess - a true reflection of our every day life with a house full of kiddos!

May this inspire you to wonder again at all the secrets coming to life this spring!

God is good.

The Secret

We have a secret, just we three,
The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry-tree;
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just us three.

But of course the robin knows it best,
Because she built the—I shan't tell the rest;
And laid the four little—something in it—
I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute.

But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
I'll try my best the secret to keep;
Though I know when the little birds fly about
Then the whole secret will be out.

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