I was given this product for free. All opinions are my own and for sure I will always tell you what is on my mind. When I do accept a product it’s because I’m giddy to tell you about it. Read my full disclosure here. Now on to the fun!
When my boys entered the high school years I admit feeling intimidated to teach poetry. An online homeschool high school poetry class with no teaching involved sounded pretty good.
High School Poetry
Besides fighting my sons’ perception that poetry is too emotional and for girls only, I struggled with the humdrum way I was taught poetry in high school.
Movies, an online self-paced course, and a hands-off approach to teaching the Poetry & a Movie literature course piqued my interest. My son not so much. However, by using this course I’m so tickled that I’ve been able to ignite my son’s interest in poetry. This course has easily become one of my favorites and must-haves for teaching high school teens poetry.
Overview of Poetry & a Movie
Let me back up first and give you a bird’s-eye view of this super course:
- it’s self-paced and online
- there is no physical product and my high school teen loved to pick up and go at his leisure
- the literature course has 10 units
- it is a study of the master poets and their poetry
- it is a study of the poetic devices or literary elements
- videos are scattered throughout
- it has a grammar component
- it’s designed to give your teen the broad strokes of literary elements so there is no overwhelm
- you can purchase the books used in the course or borrow them from your local library
- a movie suggestion is included for a unit end celebration
- there is flexibility to use this course as a full high school credit, one-half of a language arts course, or enrichment
Although studying literary elements is the foundation of poetry over prose, I couldn’t take that usual approach with my son. Another roadblock of high school programs is that most use a textbook method. My son is an auditory learner.
Online Literature Course for Homeschooled Teens
You know my struggle through the years with him because taking notes doesn’t work well with him. I need to blend different styles of teaching to fit his need to learn in a way that appeals to him and make this course a challenge.
Taking information in through audio works extremely well. The Poetry and a Movie course uses an eclectic method of teaching by combining video, text, and real books. Win!
Besides searching for courses that match his learning style, I had to overcome his perception that poetry is not manly. If you have boys you know what I mean. Challenge on.
Instead of picking up another boring textbook about literary devices and beginning there, the course begins with a series of videos about what is poetry. I won’t ruin the videos for your kids, but I heard a chuckle or two from my son.
Poetry and Living Books for Teens
Using the living book in the course that is suggested as a spine or frame for this course is what my son loved. Remember, a spine is normally a living book that is the foundation on which a course is built.
That is another win for the course because real books should still be used in high school.
Now that I had my son hooked on the course, the next step was to choose a master poet that would help my son let go of his negative perception of poetry.
Before I tell you what I did, it’s important for your teen to cover the master poets in order. If this is your middle or high school teen’s first introduction to the beauty of poetry, don’t skip ahead like I had to do.
I was tickled to see Edgar Allan Poe listed as one of the master poets. We moved right to his poems first because my son needed to understand that poetry is not just about love; poetry is about real things in the world like cruelty, war, nature, despair, and friendship.
Because the powerful words of Poe were the first ones that inspired me, I was almost sure his words would not make my teen yawn. It worked.
Next the unit moves on to helping your teen define literary devices by using video to teach them and giving examples. At this point, your teen will set up his poetry notebook. Poetry, Literary Elements, and Trivia are the tabbed sections in the notebook.
Teaching Teens about Literary Elements
Guide your teen to help him set up the tabbed sections because they give your learner a way to break down learning into meaningful and fun parts. After all, learning poetry should have an organized approach so as to not miss one tiny detail.
The teacher in me needs to be sure my son comes away from high school with a foundation in literature and appreciation for figurative language and not just analytical writing.
The trivia section in the notebook helped my teen to see that poetry is lively, upbeat, and challenging.I mentioned before that this course uses many different teaching styles, but it equally incorporates different homeschool approaches.
The study of poetry is both a classical and Charlotte Mason feature. Charlotte Mason touts studying one artist or composer for a while. Studying one master poet thoroughly is the same approach in this course. Instead of quickly shifting focus, poetry requires lingering on words and digging deep for the intentions of wordplay by master poets.
After my initial fast forwarding to a point in the course to hook my kid on poetry, we benefited from staying focused on one poet for a considerable length of time. Mastery is also a unit study feature and that was one huge benefit for us in this course.
Living Books and Online Poetry Study
Having a culminating activity like watching a movie together or having teatime with your teen keeps it fun. Of course I didn’t dare mention teatime to my boy, but popping some popcorn and lighting the fireplace before a movie made it memorable.
Although the course is designed so that your teen can learn independently, don’t miss out by not reading the poems together. Poetry is supposed to be read out loud. Mentoring your teen doesn’t stop in high school. If you want him to appreciate figurative language and rhyme, then he needs to hear your voice.
I enjoyed reading the poems out loud with my teen, but you don’t have to. Another benefit of the program is that he can read it along side the narrator on each video. I have to admit, my voice was no substitute for the narrator reading “The Tyger” by William Blake. Your teen will love listening closely as the poem is read to him.
Although you can use the course for writing lessons, my goal was to use the time to kindle my son’s appreciation for poetry.
5 More Things You Should Know About Poetry & a Movie
One/ The specifics of the course are the introduction, the master poets which are Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Blake, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Langston Hughes, William Wordsworth, William Butler Yeats, Dylan Thomas, and Robert Frost. The last section is a Final Project writing essays.
Two/ You will need to determine beforehand how much credit you will assign to your teen. Of course this depends on how extensive you want to use this online language arts course.
Third/ Each poet has been planned for a month-long study. Because I wanted to get the flavor of the course, we initially skipped around as I explained earlier. Now, my son prefers to cover one master poet in-depth.
Four/ There is unlimited access to the course and I see this as a huge savings.
If you don’t know by now, curriculum for older kids is more expensive. We’re preparing teens for adulthood and curriculum shouldn’t just impart knowledge or rote facts; it should stir a teen’s mind to be included in the bigger picture of life after high school.
Teaching a teen how to think using poetry as an analysis cements beautiful thoughts in our kid’s mind and reciting poetry is a memory aid to use into adulthood. You don’t want to miss covering poetry and it’s especially fun when there is no stress planning.
In addition, this course can be used in a few different ways to get your money’s worth. The master poets and literary elements can be introduced in middle school.
In high school, use the course again, but fold in the grammar and essay components for high school credit. It’s a two-fer.
The best part is that you can use this with all of your younger kids. What a deal for a course that is prepped and ready to go.
Five/ Literary Adventures for Kids is owned by a homeschooling family. You know how much I prefer curriculum prepared by a homeschooling family because they get it when we need curriculum easy to teach and that appeals to a variety of learners. Another win for me.
Poetry Study for Homeschool High School
Poetry & a Movie may be a good fit for your family:
- if your child needs multiple approaches to learning
- if your child prefers using real books instead of a textbook
- if you want to foster independence with your middle or high school teen, but want your child to have a framework to follow
- if you fear teaching poetry and want to learn alongside your teen
- if you prefer an online self-paced course over a physical product
- if you need a course prepped and ready to go with minimal teacher planning
Bottom Line: I’m extremely delighted with Poetry & a Movie and any apprehensions I had that my teen son may find poetry only a girl’s subjects has been put to rest. Hearing him repeat part of the poems he learned as he goes through his day is a proud mama moment.
I am so pleased with this course and I just can’t think of anything that needs to be changed. I would highly recommend it if you have a teen that needs to learn outside the box, but don’t have time to prepare a unit study.
Poetry & a Movie is a keeper in my home and I plan on going over it again both as a standalone course and to use as a review tool. I look forward to seeing my son build on the foundational skills he learned in this poetry course. This has been a rewarding experience and has helped my son enjoy learning to write and read poetry!
Thanks to Literary Adventures for Kids for this excellent product to serve the homeschool community!
Don’t forget to purchase this at this huge discount from Nov. 23 to December 2.
How to Purchase It.
►Product Name: Literary Adventures for Kids – Poetry and a Movie
►Website: Literary Adventure for Kids/Hide the Chocolate
►Grade Level: 7th grade and up Note: There are products for your younger kids too.
►Type of product: These is an online course. No physical product will be shipped to you.
Also, you’ll love these other helps for high school:
- 54+ Fun Books Turned Movies to Spark a Love For Reading
- Best Homeschool High School Literature Suggestions For Teens
- How to Choose the Best Middle School Literature And Favorite Resources
- How to Choose the BEST Homeschool Middle and High School Language Arts Curriculum & Options
- Modern U.S. and World History High School Literature
- 3 Beginner’s Tips: Homeschool High School Literature
- Homeschool High School Literature Guides
- The Ultimate Guide to Poetry for Multiple Ages (For the Intimidated)
- How to Easily Add Poetry to Your Homeschool Subjects
Hugs and love ya,