The Art of Poetry Review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew

     I dream of the beach at odd times like when sitting in the dentist's chair. I imagine the sand under my feet and between my toes, the heat of the sun beating down and its light reflecting off the water and sand, its warmth on my skin, the sound of the waves crashing, and the distinct scents of sun screen and salt water. The first lesson of The Art of Poetry by Christine Perrin is about imagery such as the beach imagery that I described for you. The teacher's guide and the DVD lesson shared about the author's images that made up her memories of her mother baking bread. Through this study, imagery became a clear concept that translates to poetry and further to life. As I worked through these lessons with my girls, imagery, metaphors,  and other components of poetry were explained in a way that were more clear even than I remember from my college literature course.

     For this review, Classical Academic Press provided the student book ($24.95), teacher's edition ($29.95) which contains the entire student edition as well as explications and answers, and the first two lessons from the DVD set ($69.95.) A product bundle is now available for $99.95. The student and teacher books are rich and filled with explanations. 

     For this review, we received a sample DVD which contained the first two lessons. The interactive DVD lessons add another dimension to help make the concepts taught clear and easy to understand. Each of the video lessons share gorgeous pictures that complement the literary components addressed in each lesson. A small 8th grade class shares their Socratic style discussions as the teacher (who happens to be this book's author) guides them through the discussions in the book. The DVD included an actual video of their class, but visual aids were only incorporated at the beginning of the lessons. We paused the DVD to discuss what the class was discussing and add an opportunity for our own critical analysis. Each lesson ends with the teacher completing one of the suggested activities listed at the end of each chapter. 5-11 activities which correspond to the poems within that chapter are shared with each chapter. I enjoyed parts of the DVD, but the lessons as printed in the book are detailed enough in my opinion without the instructor's repetition.

     The kids, my mom, and I had a poetry tea time each week to share poems and work through this book. Poems fill the pages of the student text, and a download audio file is also included with each of the poems in the book. 

     Another great benefit to my girls is my mom's interest in poetry. She took the teacher guide, highlighted the parts she wanted to emphasize, and began teaching the girls. She even offered to continue teaching, and has taken over completing the book with my girls! Though designed for middle and high school students, the lessons are working for my 7th and 9th grade girls, and my 3rd grade son even joined us for parts of them. My mom shared that the instructor guide suggested the book could even be stretched over two years, so that is her plan. 

     If you are looking for an interesting elective to add to your homeschool plans, this may fit the bill.

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