Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Norse Poetry Problem
The Christopherous curriculum we are using this year offers several Norse-inspired poems to memorize. Mirin loves memorizing dramatic, inspiring poems, even long-winded ones like Robert Louis Stevenson's "Heather Ale" poem.
But the poems provided were just not what I thought he would like. There was one about Thor and Loki that seemed to be the most likely, but doesn't have a really strong beautiful rhythm. After scouring all of our poetry books and doing several fruitless Internet searches, I at last stumbled on a wonderful site of Norse mythology and poetry called Odin's Gift.
Not only does it have translated versions of real ancient Norse poems, it also has an extensive collection of all kinds of inspired modern poetry and songs with recordings and sheet music so you can hear how they are sung and learn them if you wish.
Homeschooling is going very well so far. I think the summer was properly boring, and now they are all glad for something to focus on! I also planned more elaborate circle times. Last year it was just a short seasonal poem and the year before I skipped it entirely because it seemed like too much. But I've found that it helps focus everyone's attention and gets everyone together. I can say a hundred times, "Let's do our lessons now," and be completely ignored, but if I stand up and start reciting "Little Golden Leaves," they rush over and join in.
Our circle starts with a seasonal poem. Then we do a little with French. Right now we are learning body parts, counting and animals. Rose is working on learning all the letter sounds for first grade, so next I recite a wonderful alphabet rhyme I learned as a child that begins "A was an archer who shot at a frog, B was a butcher who had a great dog...."
It has wonderful and often funny images that go in rhymed couplets. Next we sing a song about Thor I found on the Odin's Gift site. It is set to a tune I already knew, and it is proving to be very popular. Mirin was singing it to himself all day yesterday! Then we do a little writing warm-up with bean bags and end with tongue twisters and speech exercises. That is the circle for this language block. It will shift with the seasons and what we are studying for the Main Lesson.