Poetry – How do you teach it?

A poem can be the beginning of many other ways to express yourself. A poem could become a song, a dance, or even a play. A POEM is writing that is imaginative and condensed by using words chosen for their sound and meaning, with phrases that may have a certain pattern made with rhythm and rhyme.

When we start a Poetry unit, I usually begin with the I Am Poem. This gets my children thinking of good words to use whilst writing their I AM POEM. I have a list of words that can not be used as they are 'too easy'. I want my kids to really think of using great words. They are also not allowed to use a word again if they have used it already.

This is the beginning of our Poetry Unit. Each week, I will be posting a new POETRY exercise. Please join us!


I am __________________________________________(two special characteristics you have)

I wonder ___________________________________(something you are actually curious about)

I hear _____________________________________________ (an imaginary sound)

I see _____________________________________________ (an imaginary sight)

I want _____________________________________________ (an actual desire)

I am _____________________________________________ (the first line of the poem repeated)

I pretend ___________________________________________(something you actually pretend)

I feel __________________________________________ (a feeling about something imaginary)

I touch _____________________________________________ (an imaginary touch)

I worry __________________________________________ (something that really bothers you)

I cry ___________________________________________ (something that makes you very sad)

I am _____________________________________________ (the first line of the poem repeated)

I understand __________________________________________ (something you know is true)

I say _____________________________________________ (something you believe in)

I dream ________________________________________ (something you actually dream about)

I try ______________________________________ (something you really make an effort about)

I hope ___________________________________________ (something you actually hope for)

I am _____________________________________________ (the first line of the poem repeated)




NEW Tips this Year for the 2014-2015 School Year

We all enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating summer. But the time has come to start a new school year here at the Tiaras & Tantrums household. I have been very busy here getting our "classroom" in order. I feel as if I am truly a veteran this year as I begin my fifth year of homeschooling. I want our school year to get off on a positive note and have learned a few tricks over the years that seem to really get us started out well and tear free.

If I were to offer advise to a new home educating mom I would tell her to not jump in full force in the first week. Basically, do not do everything at first. If you have not been educating your children at home or during the summer, it is actually quite a transition for your children and yourself. The first week I always stick to the basics and only school half days. Ease into your school days and schedule. My kids have been schooling part time the entire summer, so they are prepped and (semi) ready to get started.

During the summer months, my kids are allowed to stay up a bit later, but these past couple of weeks, I have been slowly easing the time back for bedtime for the girls. It is a bit of a rough transition, so do not leave this to the last night before school. You will all be cranky and tired in the morning.

This first week of school is a bit different for us as we are leaving mid-week for an overnight orientation with the academy. The girls will school two days this week and I decided to exclude a couple of subjects and introduce those back in a couple of weeks after our schedule and rhythm are better. Another tip, do not do full days the first week, give yourself some time to ease into your schedule.

Our course load will be a heavy one this year, but an exciting one. We are not using any new curriculum, so my children (and me) will not have to get used to any new writing styles or curriculum.  I LOVE (LOVE LOVE AND ADORE) all the curriculum this year and actually can't wait to get into it all. Everything is centered around the time period of Creation through Resurrection. Ice Age, Dinosaurs, Israelites, Egyptians, The Ark, Moses and Noah . . . all the way through China Dynasties. Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar and Cleopatra to Jesus and His Disciples. Omnibus, Biblical Studies and Literature/Composition all tie into this central theme of Creation to Resurrection.

Back-To-School Dinner Celebration

We started out our school year with a special dinner the night before. I had special cookies made and we celebrated with a Back-To-School dinner celebration. My girls loved it! My girls actual first day of school was not even in our home classroom. Their first day of school was at the academy they attend. I squashed all nerves with my excitement for them as I wanted them to walk in the doors with the most positive attitude ever. It worked and they both had amazing days! My little one has been home with me for the past two years without any co-op or academy and was especially nervous. She had a stellar day and was so happy when I picked her up. She talked non-stop on the drive home about her day. Start with a fun first day.

My last tip for a new home educating family would simply to be flexible. I remember my first year fondly and I thought I had to get through everything everyday that I had it planned. I learned quickly that I set myself up to fail. I now give plenty of time in our schedule for anything that might come up. If I wake up on a Thursday morning and decide that we simply must get out of the house for the day . . . that is what we do. Even if I had a full day scheduled, we leave and have a day of fun instead. Be prepared to just throw in some fun days, even in you have some scheduled already.

We are off to a smooth start this week and so excited for another amazing homeschool year.

About Tiaras & Tantrums: Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.


What’s New In Your School Room?

What's  new in your school room? I'll let you know what's new in our school room this year.

Well, we are down to two since my son abandoned us. Just joking! We are down to just two kiddos though. I have the girls and myself.

Tiaras & Tantrums Home School Tour

Last year I rearranged the school room and changed the desks up a bit to make more room as our school room doubles as a play room / media room for the children. Since they are growing, one small sofa was not enough any longer for them to all sit. I brought in the sofa and love seat that were originally in this room and moved the desks to the back of the room lined up along the wall of windows.

Tiaras & Tantrums Home School Tour

I got rid of a small table and a book case. I also got rid of the work boxes, something that was really no longer working for the girls. It is strange how something worked so well for us lost its value! I purchased new drawer units for the girls desks and got rid of the old stands. They used the shelves to prop their feet up and most of the shelves were broken anyway. These drawer units essentially replace the work boxes, but the girls prefer to leave their binders and books in their school crates and work from there each day.

2014 Homeschool Room Tour

I am using my son's old desk and turned it so I am facing the girls. It is actually nice to have a desk again! I didn't have one last year and just moved from the children's desk with a chair whenever I was teaching something. I have the white board directly behind me and that is really nice as well. It was by my son last year and he would constantly be disturbed when I wanted to utilize it. I have a window on my left and get to look out whenever I want and that is nice too! I moved the one of the girls old table stand units behind me and another one in place of the small table I removed from this room. I put all my teacher's edition books on the shelf as well as all the markers, crayons, pencils and other school supplies. The other stand is used for our printer and extra paper. My FIL gave us an old typewriter and that sits on this stand as well.

2014 Homeschool Room Tour

It is so nice to have the girls on the same curriculum this year. Last year was a bit rough with three children at three different levels, all using different curriculum. I am able to teach a subject and one lesson, but the assignments are at different levels. The girls have different assignments based on their levels. But yeah for no more 6-8 hour days!! This past month has been lovely so far.

Let me know what is new in your classroom!

What’s New In your Curriculum? 2014-2015 Curriculum

Each August I write a post on what curriculum we will use for the coming school year. Here is my 2013-2014 home school curriculm2012-2013 school curriculum and  2011-2012 school curriculum posts. 

This summer I was really relaxed in regards to 'summer schooling'. We schooled full time the entire month of June. Then, I just let it go, I am pretty strict when it it "school time" and I felt that my kids had a REALLY good school year. We finished everything I wanted to and actually were ahead in Math!! So, I gave my kids the rest of the summer off. Mind you, it was only six weeks.

This school year begins in three short weeks. My middle child is fully prepared on what to expect at academy. My little one will be attending academy with her sister this year for the first time and I know she will have a great time. She is a bit scared and wonders what to expect, but I know she will sail through her days there. My son has made the decision to no longer home school and will we attending private school in four weeks.

Math: Saxon Math (Level 5/4 and 6/5)
Does it work? Yes
Will I continue to use it for 2014-15? Yes.

We are heavy on Math in this house! {As you can see} This is the second summer we have not tutored during the  summer or completed daily work to remain fresh. The reason is that my little one is so far ahead in Math that I needed to slow her down a bit. She literally flew through Saxon 2 & 3 this year - BOTH BOOKS!! My oldest daughter excelled in Math this year - she finally grasped major concepts and we were able to get though a Math book in one school year! Yeah for her!  I'm hoping we can dive right in and pick up where we left off. I will continue to use Saxon Math as I really like this curriculum, the children are familiar with it and it works!

My 3rd grader will begin Saxon Math 5/4 andmy 5th grader will continue (we did a bit during the month of June) Saxon Math 6/5.

Grammar: Shurley Grammar (Level 3 & 5)
Does it work? Yes
Will I continue to use? YES

This will be my fourth year using Shurley Grammar. I have to say it is one of the best Grammar curriculum out there, for us. Both of my girls love these books and are very familiar with them.

Spelling: Spelling Power
Does it work? Sort of
Will I continue to use it?  Yes

I have been using this curriculum o and off for a couple of years. I can't find a Spelling curriculum  that I love and adore, so I continue with this one. My girls like it and they know what to expect. I have a great speller and an average speller, so there is my question of whether it works or not. I really think, you can either spell or you can't or you simply don't care (I have one of these)  The Spelling Power book is for all levels, so I will use it for both of the girls.

Handwriting/Penmanship: Classically Cursive

Does it work? Sort of
Will I continue to use it?  Yes

My daughters have wonderful fine motor skills, but their handwriting is not the best. The girls are both lefties and I think they struggle more with where to place their paper in relation to their writing utensil. My 3rd grader will continue Classically Cursive for cursive writing. My 5th grader will continue to improve on cursive. 

Literature/Composition: Introduction to Composition Student
Guide (Grade 3) AND Classical Composition I: Fable, Classical Composition II: Narrative  (Grade 5)
Does it work? YES
Will I continue to use it?  Yes

Grade 3Hittite Warrior, Alexander the Great, Archimedes and the Door to Science, D’Aulaires Greek Myths, Detectives in Togas, Bronze Bow

Grade 5: Hittite Warrior, Alexander the Great, Archimedes and the Door to Science, D’Aulaires Greek Myths, Detectives in Togas, Bronze Bow, The Golden Goblet

Omnibus: Mystery of History, Volume 1 Creation to Resurrection,
Does it work? YES
Will I continue to use it?  Yes

We are so excited to use this again this year. We so missed it last year!! My son, who will no longer be homeschooled, even told me not to read any pages unless he is home. This is GOOD stuff!!

English/Vocabulary/Language: I feel this is covered well with Shurley Grammar and Lit/Comp work
Does it work? yes
Will I continue to use it?  yes

Science:  Exploring Creation with Zoology I
Does it work?  YES
Will I continue to use it? Yes, We love Apologia!

My children adore Science and I'm happy to fill their brains up with whatever they want.  We all adore Science and I will continue to be Science heavy in this house. This will be an exiting year as we will be hosting / hatching baby quail eggs for academy - can't wait!!

Biblical Studies/Religion/Memory: God's Great Covenant, OT 1: A Bible Course for Children
Does It Work? GGC - yes
Will I continue to use?  yes

Bot girls will be using GGC this year . . . oddly enough the academy selected the same book I used last year for my little one. SO - she will be using the same book again this year. It is okay, bible stories never get old. My oldest daughter is excited to be back to GCC after a year break. I love the GGC books!

Foreign Language:  Pre Via Latina (Grade 3), Via Latina II (Grade 5)

Does it work? yes
Will I continue to use? Yes

Latin is always a struggle and I know we will have many hours of studying this year! But, we shall persevere!

Art & Music:  Violin, Symphony Orchestra for my 5th grader, Chamber Orchestra for my 3rd & 5th graders. Art classes at academy, Study of Art Through the Masters - Drawing (Grade 3) & Study of Art Through the Masters - Color (5th Grade)
Does it work? Yes
Will I continue to use? Yes 

Field Trips/Extra Activities:

We have many, many field trips since we live in a great city with numerous museums. Field Trip day will always be the favorite.

About Tiaras & Tantrums: Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.