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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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potw: when a wrong wants righting

Dec 5, 2011 by

This has long been one of my favorite quotes and I am sharing it with my children this week with the hope it will become one of their favorites as well. I want my children to know that being fathers and mothers to God’s children is the most powerful and influential path they can choose in this life. I want them to know that we chose that path and are dedicated to their God-given missions. I want them to decide now to parent well and to be committed to building a healthy, functional family for their future children. This poem speaks volumes at Christmas season, for God did indeed send a baby to change the world.

When A Wrong Wants Righting by E.T. Sullivan

We fancy that God can only manage his world with battalions, when all the while He is doing it by beautiful babies. When a wrong wants writing, or a truth needs preaching, or a continent wants opening, God sends a baby into the world…perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the worlds are not the earthquakes and thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.

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potw: the missing turkey

Nov 21, 2011 by

potw: the missing turkey

We have loved this poem for a long time. One of the girls performed it at The Speech Festival we participated in for about ten years and we all could have recited it back then, but I don’t think my younger two have ever heard it. It isn’t the most reverent look at Thanksgiving, but I think we get a lot of that with our other Thanksgiving traditions.

The Missing Turkey

It lay there on the table
That turkey plump and round
But when it was time to carve it
It was no where to be found.

We looked all through the kitchen
And in the pantry as well.
We asked Kate if she had seen it
And Rose and Annabelle.

Even little Mary
We asked her if she knew
About the missing turkey – and she said
“Of course I do!

Poor turkey wasn’t feeling well
Because he lost his head.
So I put my nighty on him,
And tucked him into bed.”

Isn’t that cute!

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potw: i like to see

Nov 14, 2011 by

potw: i like to see

This poem is so Fisher. He would live outside exploring, discovering, and pretending, if only I would let him. But nothing compares to that moment when his papa gets home. Fisher’s devotion is completely focused on his papa and nothing else can take Richard’s place. He follows him around like a little lost puppy ready and willing to do anything his papa asks. It is pretty heart-warming, but I must admit, I sometimes wish I could get the same level of devotion!

I like to see flowers and beetles and things,
I like to see baby birds try out their wings.
I like to see ships bouncing out on the sea,
I like to pretend that the captain is me!
I like to see puppies and kittens and mice.
Sunbeams and showers and seashells are nice.
I like to see bright colored leaves as they fall,
But I like to see daddy come home best of all.

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potw: my friend the monster

Nov 7, 2011 by

Our poem this week is taken from Favorite Family Devotional Poems by LaDawn Jacob, one of our absolute favorite poem books (unfortunately it has been lost for awhile!).

My Friend The Monster

by Janet R. Balmforth

Our vacuum is a monster
Who gobbles up the dirt.
He gulps up paper, strings, and grass
As if they were dessert.
He pokes his nose in corners
And under every chair,
And all the little cookie crumbs
Had better just beware!
He roars across the carpet
And flips his tail behind;
Then sneaks around a table leg
To see what he can find.
And though he’s always gulping
Whatever he can see,
He’ll always be my monster friend
And never swallow me.

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potw: comfortable old chair

Oct 17, 2011 by

Our poem this week is taken from Climb Into My Lap: First Poems to Read Together. “On Top of Spaghetti” was from this collection also.

I remember reading oodles of books each week while curled up in our tan recliner. I would read and read and read some more. I read so much my mom would say “Why can’t you be normal and watch TV or something?” I still read a lot, to myself and to my children, and I’m still not normal, so nothing has changed all that much.

Reading is an adventure where you get to use your imagination to create something completely yours. The scenery, voices, and characters all come alive in just the way you envision them. I have always been disappointed in movies made from books because the producers never get it right…they don’t use my creations!

Our poem this week pays tribute to that process…enjoy!

Comfortable Old Chair
by Karla Kuskin

A bird has a nest
A fox has a lair
A den is a home
If you’re a bear.
I have a comfortable old chair.

Soft pillowed blue,
A flowered cloud.
The perfect place to read aloud
to myself or silently
letting long words run over me,
letting the stories I have read
make moving pictures in my head.
New chairs are nice
but mine is best.
My spot to think in
brood in
to plot in
dream in, many dreams,
to scheme a few outlandish schemes in.
Kings need crowns to be the king
but me
I can be anything
any person
if I just have my book and chair.

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potw: try, try again

Oct 10, 2011 by

My house is still sleeping. I wish I was, but I am up working on Make It For Maggie and planning out our learning time for the next few days. I should have made my plans yesterday, but I was too tuckered out from a 3 AM Make It For Maggie working session with Kat on Saturday night to be able to think straight. I did teach my lesson at church and I did fellowship my fellow church-goers, but that is all I was able to do…the rest of the day was spent in a non-thinking mode!

Sometimes, some people in this house want to give up. Sometimes, some people think a task is too hard if it doesn’t come super-duper easily to them. Sometimes, some people are so afraid of failure they forget how to try. I am hoping as these words sink into our hearts that we will each make a decision to keep on keeping on, especially when its hard and we don’t feel up to the task.

Try Try Again
by T. H. Palmer

‘Tis a lesson you should heed,
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again;

Then your courage should appear,
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear
Try, try again;

Once or twice, though you should fail,
If you would at last prevail,
Try, try again;

If we strive, ’tis no disgrace
Though we do not win the race;
What should you do in the case?
Try, try again

If you find your task is hard,
Time will bring you your reward,
Try, try again

All that other folks can do,
Why, with patience, should not you?
Only keep this rule in view:
Try, try again.

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potw: on top of spaghetti

Sep 19, 2011 by

I decided we needed some humor this week and this poem is just the ticket to laughter! I can’t wait to read it to them this morning and start memorizing it! I can’t help but sing it to the tune of “On Top Of Old Smokey.”

On Top of Spaghetti
by Anonymous (why wouldn’t someone take credit for this?)

On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table, and onto the floor,
And then my poor meatball, rolled out of the door.

It rolled into the garden, and under a bush,
And then my poor meatball, was nothing buy mush.

The mush was as tasty, as tasty can be,
And early next summer, it grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered, with beautiful moss,
It grew lovely meatballs and tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti, all covered with cheese,
Hold onto your meatball, and don’t ever sneeze!

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potw: caterpillars

Sep 12, 2011 by

In honor of Fisher and Annesley loving bugs so much, we are having a poem about bugs this week. Well, at least one type of bug! These two munchkins crack me up with their obsession of finding, catching, feeding, and observing bugs. It seems they spend hours every day in this one pursuit.

Something you won’t know about me unless you’ve known me for years is that I used to be terrified of bugs. Absolutely terrified. When Blythe was a baby, I used to go ask my neighbors to come and kill spiders in my house. I used to scream uncontrollably and at the top of my lungs whenever I got near a bug. It was really quite despicable!

I didn’t want to pass this fear on to my children, so I made a decision to teach my children about bugs and to not act scared in any way, shape, or form. It was quite the decision…but I stuck with it…and by the time Blythe was three she told everyone she met that she was a bug-lover. Now my two youngest are bug lovers as well. Anyone who has spent even the smallest bit of time with them has seen them with bugs in their hands. The sheer volume of insects, spiders, caterpillars, moths, butterflies, and all sorts of other creepy-crawlies that pass through this house astounds me!

I succeeded!

On to our poem of the week…

by Aileen Fisher

What do caterpillars do?
Nothing much but chew and chew.

What do caterpillars know?
Nothing much but how to grow.

They just eat what by and by
will make them be a butterfly,

But that is more than I can do
however much I chew and chew.

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potw: a good boy

Sep 1, 2011 by

We love Robert Louis Stevenson at our house! Keziah has loved Mr. Stevenson’s poems since her Liberty Girls group spent a semester studying poetry. A Child’s Garden of Verses (the version illustrated be Gyo Fujikawa is so charming!) is one of our favorite poetry books and this week’s poem comes from there.

A Good Boy
by Robert Louis Stevenson

I woke before the morning, I was happy all the day,
I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play.

And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood,
And I am very happy, for I know that I’ve been good.

My bed is waiting cool and fresh, with linen smooth and fair
And I must be off to sleepsin-by, and not forget my prayer.

I know that, till tomorrow I shall see the sun arise,
No ugly dream shall fright my mind, no ugly sight eyes.

But slumber hold me tightly till I waken in the dawn,
And hear the thrushes singing in the lilacs round the lawn.

I have no idea what sleepsin-by is, but I am hoping to find out today!

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potw: if all the seas were one sea

Jun 20, 2011 by

The last few weeks we have had some pretty simple poems. I decided to move up to the next level of difficulty and see how Annesley and Fisher do with this one. All of these are easy-peasy for Keziah and Blythe, but it is still fun for them to all work on the same memorization each week.

Here is an old favorite from Mother Goose:

If All the Seas Were One Sea

If all the seas were one sea,
What a great sea that would be!
And if all the trees were one tree,
What a great tree that would be!
And if all the axes were one axe,
What a great axe that would be!
And if all the men were one man,
What a great man he could be!
And if the great man took the great axe,
And cut down the great tree,
And let it fall into the great sea,
What a splish splash that would be!

I think I will challenge the big girls to write their own poems in this fashion and perhaps we will do some artwork based on the concepts in this poem. I love building the picture of a great big man and a great big axe cutting down the great big tree and imagining just how big that spash would be. Fisher is in love with Paul Bunyan, so I think he will really take to this poem.

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potw: catch a little rhyme

Jun 6, 2011 by

I have SO many posts I need to write and simply no time to do it in. I will try to catch up on them this week…Mikelle & Logan’s sealing, swim camp, thoughts on education, thoughts on friendship, a surprise visit from my mom, a new giant bear at our home, nine new puppies, how the chicks are growing, and an update on my lump…we will see what I get to and what gets tabled.

But, I know many of you are loving our poems of the week, so I wanted to make sure and share this week’s with you so you can start memorizing it early in the week!

Catch a Little Rhyme
by Eve Merriam

Once upon a time
I caught a little rhyme

I set it on the floor
but it ran right out the door

I chased it on my bicycle
but it melted to an icicle

I scooped it up in my hat
but it turned into a cat

I caught it by the tail
but it stretched into a whale

I followed it in a boat
but it changed into a goat

When I fed it tin and paper
it became a tall skyscraper

Then it grew into a kite
and flew far out of sight…

I have been choosing easier, rhyming poems lately because Fisher and Annesley are loving memorizing them. The bouncy cadence of rhyming poems helps these little ones in their learning to decode and read journey. It is so fun to be at this stage with two new learners and see how excited they are to finish the sentences as they figure out the rhyming words. Annesley is still catching on, but Fisher has it pretty much down pat.

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potw: bed in summer

May 23, 2011 by

In honor of the longer days that are oh, so lovely, we are memorizing this poem this week. Our children have been sleeping outside a lot this past week and then they wake up to the sounds of the birds in our trees…and I wake up to the sound of my children giggling in a pile outside my window.

Bed in Summer
by Robert Louis Stevenson (Keziah’s current favorite author)

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way.
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

Luckily for our children, they go to bed pretty late so they have time to spend with their papa in the evenings…but I remember putting them to bed in the daylight and how cross they would be at going to bed before the sun.

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potw: the little turtle

May 17, 2011 by

We have missed our poem of the week the last few weeks, but I am trying to get my children’s lives back to normal and have our normal school routine each day. With all the phone calls, doctor’s appointments, and I’m-a-nervous-wreck going on, I needed to regroup, refocus, and recommit to nurturing them. One of those nurturing habits is our poem of the week. It brings a rhythm to our lives and bonds us together as we learn the words of a poem each week. I am reminded of my recent thoughts on how I want my home to feel…in light of this lump, I am thinking ever more seriously about how I want my home to feel…how I want my children to remember me if I am taken home before my old age (and NO, I am not saying I am thinking I am going to die…not thinking that…it’s just that as this lump is staring me in the face, I am thinking more seriously about my mothering…really about my living…but especially about my mothering).

This week’s poem is an old favorite and I think even my littlest people will be able to memorize it completely. I love the quaintness, the cadence, and the delight it gives us to recite it. The excitement and suspense builds until the last line when we all shout out, “But he didn’t catch me!”

Snapping Turtle & Finger

The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn’t catch me.

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potw: the helping hand

Apr 11, 2011 by

I couldn’t live my life and do the things I do without the help of my friends. On any given day, we are helping each other. Sharing meals, giving rides, teaching skills, cleaning kitchens, folding laundry, watching children, and giving hugs. I am so grateful for the help I am given and love to give help to others as well. Our poem this week highlights the good karma that goes round ‘n round.

The Helping Hand – author unknown

If when climbing up life’s ladder
You can reach a hand below,
Just to help the other fellow
Up another rung, or so,
It may be that in the future,
When you’re growing weary, too,
You’ll be glad to find there’s someone
Who will lend a hand to you.

Think of those words with your family in mind. If each of us in a family lived by these words, our lives would run much more smoothly. I’m hoping that as we recite it this week, the level of helpfulness will increase as well.

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potw: the grasshoppers

Apr 4, 2011 by

Spring…at least Idaho’s forty degree version of it…is here and we are enjoying all the birds chirping and insects crawling. Our poem this week is about some disobedient grasshopper children who cannot resist the tug of spring. They simply must be outdoors hopping and playing and LIVING. I remind myself of these little grasshoppers. After a long winter, I want to bask in the sunshine and lay in the grass. I want to see the world anew.

Surely, surely, the sunshine will come soon!

The Grasshoppers by Dorothy Aldis

Over the top
Of feathery grasses the
Grasshoppers hop.
They won’t eat their suppers;
They will not obey
Their grasshopper mothers
And fathers, who say:
“Listen, my children,
This must be stopped –
Now is the time your last
Hop should be hopped;
So come eat your suppers
And go to your beds -”
But the little green grasshoppers
Shake their green heads.
No -”
The naughty ones say,
“All we have time to do
Now is to play.
If we want supper we’ll
Nip at a fly
Or nibble a blueberry
As we go by;
If we feel sleepy we’ll
Close our eyes tight
And snoozle away in a
Harebell all night.
But not
Now we must hop.
And nobody,
Can make us stop.”

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potw: growing up

Mar 7, 2011 by

Last week was jam-packed! Monday I ordered all the books for the 2nd Annual Homeschool Read-A-Thon, Tuesday I took 80 youth to see A Tale of Two Cities in Salt Lake City on a bus I rented for the occasion, Wednesday we had iFamily classes, Thursday I babysat Christopher, had Liberty Girls for Keziah and Eve, violin lessons for Keziah, and our adult colloquium at my home that night, Friday I taught gymnastics, handed out all the Read-A-Thon books, took the children to the library, and had an amazing youth colloquium at my home. Saturday was Richard’s birthday party, and Sunday I slept (I did teach my Primary class and attend all my Sunday meetings, but then I stayed in bed the rest of the day!). I am finally feeling a tad bit caught up on sleep!

Now a new week is here! Keziah and Eve have been conducting science experiments all morning long…something with baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring. I will find out all about it when they share their results with us tonight at Family Home Evening. We are going to be finishing Twenty and Ten today, starting a new poem, starting a new writing challenge, reading some more about Archimedes, starting to plan out our catapults, work on drawing, math, handwriting, geography, learn about another author from Lives of the Authors, and whatever else I decide to throw in the mix. Eve bought a new drawing book with her Read-A-Thon money and she has already improved by leaps and bounds. I love learning as a family and can’t imagine life any other way!

Here is our Poem Of The Week (taken from the book A Zooful of Animals)

A Zooful of Animals

Growing Up by C.J. Dennis

Little Tommy Tadpole began to weep and wail,
For Little Tommy Tadpole had lost his little tail,
And his mother didn’t know him, as he wept upon a log;
For he wasn’t Tommy Tadpole, but Mr. Thomas Frog.

Isn’t that a cute poem? Sometimes growing up is hard and sometimes we just don’t wanna grow up! Of course, I will reassure my children that I will still know them as they change into their future adult selves!

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potw: the jolly woodchuck

Feb 21, 2011 by

We are still working on memorizing last week’s poem, but we are starting a new one today anyway. We will just have to work extra hard to polish up both of them this week! I am loving all these wintery poems about our cold, snowy world and the different ways animals live in the frigid north.

The Jolly Woodchuck by Marion Edey and Dorothy Grider

The woodchuck’s very very fat
But doesn’t care a pin for that.

When nights are long and the snow is deep,
Down in his hole he lies asleep.

Under the earth is a little warm room
The drowsy woodchuck calls his home.

Rolls of fat and fur surround him,
With all his children curled around him,

Snout to snout and tail to tail.
He never wakes in the wildest gale;

When icicles snap and the north wind blows
He snores in his sleep and rubs his nose.

Isn’t that cute! In many ways I would love to be a hibernating animal and sleep for months on end all warm and snuggly with the ones I love best.

Of course, since we had a woodchuck visit us and scare us half to death, I know woodchucks aren’t all that snuggly…at least with us he wasn’t!


I still like the poem though!

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potw: furry bear

Feb 15, 2011 by

We haven’t done poetry the last two weeks because we have been so sick…all our rhythms and routines have been haywire. Today we are starting fresh with a new (actually very, very old library book I scooped up at the book sale for 10 cents) poetry book called I Went To The Animal Fair compiled by William Cole and illustrated by Colette Rosselli. Even though it is quite beaten up, it is adorable!

Furry Bear by A. A. Milne

If I were a bear,
And a big bear too,
I shouldn’t much care
If it froze or snew;
I shouldn’t much mind
If it snowed or friz-
I’d be all fur-lined
With a coat like his!

For I’d have fur boots and a brown fur wrap,
And brown fur knickers and a big fur cap.
I’d have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws,
And brown fur mittens on my big brown paws.
With a big brown furry-down up to my head,
I’d sleep all the winter in a big fur bed.

I had never read this one before and instantly fell in love with it this morning. I love the cadence and the musical quality. I love the words and I love the thought of being warm in a big fur bed! I am SO done with winter!

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potw: polar bear

Jan 24, 2011 by

The girls loved our poem last week and created their own poems about winter. They recorded them in their new Writing Notebooks I bought for them to write down the finished stories and poems they create and their favorite quotes and copywork. I asked them to only write things in their book when they were edited and polished and to use their best handwriting so others can read their creations easily. They both hate handwriting exercises, so this is a way to help them work on their handwriting without them feeling like it is handwriting work. Big successes so far! They are both loving the writing process and had a blast performing for us last night at family council.

Here is our poem for this week:

Polar Bear by William Jay Smith

The Polar Bear never makes his bed;
He sleeps on a cake of ice instead.
He has no blanket, no quilt, no sheet
Except the rain and snow and sleet.
He drifts about on a white ice floe
While cold winds howl and blizzards blow
And the temperature drops to forty below.
The Polar Bear never makes his bed;
The blanket he pulls up over his head
Is lined with soft and feathery snow.
If ever he rose and turned on the light,
He would find a world of bathtub white,
And icebergs floating through the night.

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potw: winter morning

Jan 19, 2011 by

I am creating a new category that I hope to stick to somewhat regularly…we’ll see what happens with my dedication level! We often memorize a poem starting on Monday mornings with a goal of having it recitable in stage voice by Family Council on Sunday. We have memorized oodles of poems over the years and I have no record of it! Today that is changing! Today I will start recording our poems on here! I will be able to go back and find those gems from now when Annes is in Love of Learning in a few years. Good idea, yes?

Without further ado, here is this week’s Poem Of The Week:

Winter Morning by Ogden Nash

Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.
Snow is snowy when it’s snowing,
I’m sorry it’s slushy when it’s going.

The children’s writing challenge for the week is to write their own poem about winter. We will see what they come up with. If any are precious or hilarious or some flavor of excellent I will post them here on Monday.

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