potw: baby chick

Sep 4, 2014 by

As we move into the swing of things for our fall learning routine, I decided to start doing our Poem of the Week again with my little ones. I love the challenge of memory work and poems are such lovely ways to learn that I want to fill my children’s souls with hundreds of them. Some of them are silly, some of them are tender, some of them are full of character building thoughts. One of my children isn’t too keen on the idea of poetry, so we are going to be doing some animal ones for a bit to reel him back in to this fun tradition.

Baby Chick

by Aileen Fisher

on the warm brown egg.
OUT comes a neck.
OUT comes a leg.

a chick
who’s not been about,
discover the trick
of how to get out?

Pretty cute, eh? We found it in Eric Carle’s Animals, Animals, one of our favorite animal books.

read more

Related Posts

potw: that really matters

Jan 20, 2014 by

This week our children are participating in the first annual iFamily Speech Festival. They participated for many years in the Cre-Act Speech Festival and when that wonderful school closed a few years ago, we really missed the fun and inspiration of the speech festival.

They have been busy memorizing their poems the past few weeks. Annesley is doing one of my favorite poems. Both her older sisters competed with this one when they were about her age and now it is her turn!

That Really Matters
Author Unknown

My mother says she doesn’t care
About the color of my hair
Or if my eyes are blue or brown
Or if my nose turns up or down.
She says she doesn’t care for things like that.
It really doesn’t matter.

My mother says she doesn’t care
If I’m dark or if I’m fair
Or if I’m thin or if I’m fat.
She says she doesn’t care for things like that.
It really doesn’t matter.

But if I cheat or tell a lie
Or do mean things to make folks cry,
Or if I’m rude or impolite
And do not try to do what’s right,
Then that really does matter.

It isn’t looks that makes one great.
It’s character that seals your fate.
It’s what you are within your heart you see,
That makes or mars your destiny.
And that really does matter.

When she does it in full-on-Annesley performance mode it is adorable. We’ll have to see if she puts all heart into it on Wednesday or not.

read more

Related Posts

potw: windy nights

Apr 9, 2013 by

Oy, the wind. It has been blowing and gusting and wheezing. I heard it blew the power right out a little bit south of us and it is still shaking our trees and rattling our home more than 24 hours after it started. In honor of these gusts, we are memorizing Mr. Stevenson’s ode to the man in wind.

Windy Nights

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenver the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

Does the wind sound like a horse to you?

read more

Related Posts

potw: cats

Apr 1, 2013 by

We started a new poem today. We haven’t done very many poems these last several months, but I decided to pull out our new poetry book, The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, and let Keziah select a poem for us to memorize. Having a poem to memorize all together brings some fun and unity to our weeks. Everyone is learning different things, doing different projects, and a weekly poem for each of us to learn gives us one thing to all learn together. It also brings some beauty into my soul…and today I need all the beauty I can get.

By the way, the Barefoot Book of Classic Poems is oh, so lovely. I am love with the illustrations, the text layout, and the wide variety of poems. We have a lot of wonderful poetry books and this one is one of my favorites. I am so glad I got it on Jessica’s book co-op last fall and now that we have pulled it out of our secret box of book surprises, I can’t wait to delve into it every week!


by Eleanor Farjeon

Cats sleep
Any table,
Any chair,
Top of piano,
In the middle,
On the edge,
Open drawer,
Empty shoe,
Lap will do.
Fitted in a
Cardboard box,
In a cupboard
With your frocks –
They don’t care!
Cats sleep

Isn’t that cute? We used to have a cat like that. Her name was Sarah and we got when Blythe was about six. She gave us many litters of kittens and loved on that girl more than I thought possible. She died about 18 months ago and Blythe’s poor heart still hasn’t recovered.

read more

Related Posts

potw: kindness

Aug 27, 2012 by

We are back at it with our weekly poems. I love sharing inspiring thoughts with my children and challenging them to memorize them each week!


Drop a stone into the water
In a moment it is gone,
But there are a hundred ripples
Circling on and on and on.

Say an unkind word this moment
In a moment it is gone,
But there are a hundred ripples
Circling on and on and on.

Say a word of cheer and splendor
In a moment it is gone,
But there are a hundred ripples
Circling on and on and on.

Good lesson for all of us, me thinks. Those words that escape our lips need to be full of kindness and encouragement, especially with our family members.

read more

Related Posts

potw: habits of the hippopotamus

Feb 6, 2012 by

potw: habits of the hippopotamus

We started this poem last week, but only worked on it for one day and only for a few minutes. The play and a houseful of people were too much for me to keep up our regular schedule…so we are doing it again this week.

Habits of the Hippopotamus
by Arthur Guiterman

The hippopotamus is strong
And huge of head and broad of bustle;
The limbs on which he rolls along
Are big with hippopotomuscle.

He does not greatly care for sweets
Like ice cream, apple pie, or custard,
But takes to flavor what he eats
A little hippopotomustard.

The hippopotamus is true
To all his principles and just;
He always tries his best to do
The things one hippopotomust.

He never rides in trucks or trams,
In taxicabs or omnibuses,
And so keeps out of traffic jams
And other hippopotomusses.

read more

Related Posts

potw: how to talk to your snowman

Jan 24, 2012 by

I was too gnome-ridden to do our Poem of the Week yesterday, so we started it today. It is so silly and Annesley and Fisher have already got it about half-way memorized. Yesterday they made a little of family of snow people and they are giggling thinking of talking to them with these words.

How To Talk To Your Snowman
by Beverly McLoughland

Use words that are pleasing,
Like: freezing
And snow,
Iceberg and igloo
And blizzard and blow
Try: Arctic, Antarctic,
Say: shiver and shake,
But whatever you never say,
Never say: bake.

read more

Related Posts

potw: winter burrows

Jan 16, 2012 by

potw: winter burrows

Although this is the strangest Idaho winter I have ever experienced (we have no snow and my children run around on the yellow grass every day), we are going to memorize a poem about winter this week. Winter burrows, which sound so cozy and make me want to burrow down in my bed for months on end just like our hibernating friends. This poem is especially appropriate because we have not built a single snowman, gone sledding, or gotten out our kick sled to race down the lane. There isn’t any snow!

Winter Burrows

by Douglas Florian

Beneath the pond a sleeping frog
Recalls she was a polliwog,
Once wiggling wild beside a log.

The rusty fox deep in his hole
Dreams of chasing mouse and mole,
Schemes of racing red-backed vole.

The fat-cheeked chipmunk can be found
Inside her burrow underground.
She dreams without a single sound.

And me, I’m burrowed in my bed
With cozy quilt above my head
And dreams of snowman, sleigh, and sled.

read more

Related Posts

potw: know this, that every soul is free

Jan 4, 2012 by

We have taken the last few weeks off from our memorization work and focused on spending time with family. As we sang our hymn this morning during family devotional, I decided I wanted the words we were singing to be firmly planted in our hearts, to not only be able to sing them, but to be able to say them as well…and to be able to own them as our own personal creed on the doctrine of choice.

I am an ardent advocate of agency. I believe our ability to choose and to learn to choose God is what we are here to learn. I hope that focusing on memorizing these words will aid my children throughout their lives in remembering the foundational principle of choice.

I have only ever known the first four stanzas, but I found the last three today and I think we will try to memorize those ones as well.

Know this, that every soul is free,
To choose his life and what he’ll be;
For this eternal truth is given,
That God will force no man to heaven.

He’ll call, persuade direct him right;,
Bless him with wisdom, love, and light;
In nameless ways be good and kind;
But never force the human mind.

Freedom and reason make us men:
Take these away, what are we then?
Mere animals, and just as well,
The beasts may think of heaven or hell.

May we no more our powers abuse,
But ways of truth and goodness choose;
Our God is pleased when we improve
His grace, and seek his perfect love.

It’s my free will for to believe:
‘Tis God’s free will me to receive:
To stubborn willers this I’ll tell,
It’s all free grace, and all free will.

Those that despise, grow harder still;
Those that adhere, he turns their will:
And thus despisers sink to hell,
While those that hear in glory dwell.

But if we take the downward road,
And make in hell our last abode;
Our God is clear, and we shall know,
We’ve plunged ourselves in endless wo.

By the way, “hell” to me isn’t some place of demons and fire and brimstone, it is a state of being that is without God and without progress…and I do think we choose to live in that state or to live in a way that leads us towards God.

read more

Related Posts