Andrew Pudewa and the Institute for Excellence in Writing are one of my favorite creators of homeschool curriculum. I first heard him speak at a homeschool convention last year, and I attended every session I could that he taught! I love his approach to the process of writing, and developing excellent language skills in kids. When we were offered the opportunity to review their program, Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization, I hesitated just a moment because, well, it’s poetry, and I didn’t know how my kids would go for memorizing it. I decided to give it a try because of who created the materials, and I’m so glad I did!
IEW kindly sent us their kit for Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization which includes a Teacher’s Manual, 5 CD’s of poetry in a nice leather case, and a DVD of Andrew Pudewa teaching on the topic of Nurturing Competent Communicators. The Student Book is available for download, and IEW sent us a hard copy of this as well! IEW also included free downloads for 7 MP3 files:
- Nurturing Competent Communicators (mp3 of the message included on DVD)
- Mastery Learning, Ability Development, and Individualized Education
- Ten Thousand Times and Then Understanding
- On Listening
- On Speaking
- On Reading
- On Writing
I love how intentional IEW is about equipping parents to teach our children!
The Teacher’s Manual is very handy and I referred to it often. The beginning introduces parents to the why of studying poetry – the kids aren’t simply memorizing words but they are building a “large database in [their] brains of reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns.” In other words, by memorizing well written poetry and speeches, kids are learning how to write and speak with excellence. These days, it’s too easy for our kids’ languages role models to be cartoons, or the radio deejay. Then, their writing ability and levels are reflective of that level of language sophistication. Intentionally exposing children to well-written materials will exponentially benefit them in being able to communicate well.
This program includes 96 different poems for kids to memorize, beginning with simple and fun poems like Ooey Gooey. My kids LOVED the poem about an unfortunate worm who had an encounter with a train, and memorized it in a matter of minutes. Even my toddler tornado was running around the house sharing his version of “Ooey Gooey”. Memorizing more poems in the book also came easily to them, and I was soon hearing all about “Celery” and “The Vulture”. I was surprised, honestly, at how quickly the kids got into the poetry and how much they wanted to keep going. Super D took over the operation of the CD player when I got sidetracked with lunch preparation, and the poetry memorization continued.
The ideal pace is to memorize one poem per week, listening to it every day. At one poem per week, this set will last for years! We can also repeat it as our toddler gets a little older. 🙂
Level 1 contains 20 mostly silly fun poems. The difficulty level of the works increases as you work your way through the discs, and more serious works are included as well as light-hearted ones. Level 5 includes an excerpt from Winston Churchill’s call to Fight on the Beaches during World War II, as well as works from Mother Teresa, Ronald Reagan, Dorothy Sayer, Theodore Roosevelt, King George VI, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, William Wilberforce, Patrick Henry, and more. It also includes the introduction to the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution.
I highly recommend this program as an addition to your homeschool! It is easy to use, and just takes a few minutes of your day. It can be done easily in the car or during mealtime.