Getting Them Started Young

Both of my sons are participating in a summer reading program with the Preble County library system in Ohio. Among the various activities they’ve been asked to complete was writing a poem. While I was planning to work with them on that this weekend, imagine my surprise (and joy!) when they both already put together poems with their Nana (my very nice ex-mother-in-law).

Both Benjamin and Jonah not only wrote their own poems, but they had them committed to memory–something their own father can’t even do (we Brewers are mostly a forgetful lot). As with most firsts for the duo, I never felt more proud to be their Daddy.

Here’s what they wrote:

A bug had a friend named Smug.
They dug in the rug for some slugs.
Then, they gave each other a hug.

-Benjamin, age 6

Once there was a spider
who was a ghost rider.
He went very fast,
and he had a blast!

-Jonah, age 5

While they were both very pleased with themselves for putting together their first poems, Jonah confessed, “Daddy, writing a poem is hard work.” My little 5-year-old sounds like he’s ready to start teaching creative writing.


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11 thoughts on “Getting Them Started Young

  1. Michelle H.

    Robert – very cool! I like your boys’ poems.

    Connie – that’s great that you teach homeschoolers creative writing! I mentioned to my daughters second grade teacher that I had participated in the poetry blog in April and she asked me to come teach the class about poetry!! It was a blast!! They were so excited and enthusiastic – it was one of the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had. I even got asked to come back next year! So now my 8 year old and 10 year have their own poetry binders!

    So now we have more budding poets!! Yeah!

  2. Debra Elliott

    Hey everyone,
    Sorry I have been MIA..
    I was in the hospital, them my mother-in-law passed away June 4th and right after that my first collection of poetry was published. "Life Through the Rearview Mirror" came out June 9th.
    You can go to my website to read more.

    Debra Ann Elliott

  3. Connie

    At the risk of sounding like a proud mama, (but then again, you started it!) here is my daughter Lori’s first poem at age 4, which her aunt made into a refrigerator magnet for me. (Eli is her little brother.)

    I like clowns
    Jesus is tall
    Kings have crowns
    Our house has a wall
    Eli’s tummy rumbles
    Eli walks
    Eli tumbles
    Tick-tock goes the clock.

    Because I am a writer, teaching my children to write came as naturally as teaching my kids to speak. One thing I noticed in my own life, is that writing skills made a world of difference in my own college grades. And I believe that Lori, who is 26 and in college, is doing remarkably well because of her writing skills. And that’s why I have been teaching creative writing to a group of homeschoolers the last five years. I would encourage any writer, whatever age, to let your being a writer rub off on a youngster close to you so that they may do better in school and in life. Sorry, for the soap box, but with this one, you touched me where I’m passionate—writing and kids. (Lori has been with us in the May and June prompts.)

  4. Linda

    Ah, the apples don’t fall to ofar from the tree… great stuff. Thanks so much for sharing. My wee daughter Lea, 6 in two weeks, recently penned her first poem and was quite pleased. Peace, Linda

  5. Tanya

    Thank you for sharing! They’re budding little poets, which is awesome!

    Recently, I’ve been trying to think of a single class in school where we studied poetry, and none come to mind. Makes me wonder where my own poetic voice stems from. Bravo for your library!

  6. Gerry

    Thank you for sharing your son’s poems with us! My daughter, 47 (!) wrote a poem recently as a gift to her friend (a new widow) and I was astounded at how good her work was. She has not written poetry before and I promise you, those sons of yours will continue to amaze you as the years go along.

  7. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Robert, my daughter started out with me reading to her. Then she read to me. Eventually, she got into forensic mysteries alongside her Harry Potter. Then her own prose. Then her own poetry, her own MySpace, and now… she’s into realistic and surrealist art!

    You never know, when you nurture them, where it will go. Hey, I always told her if she wanted to be an accountant, that was OK work, too… but like her mom, her grandma, and countless Irish behind her, music and art were in her soul!

    Got my first two rejections! Printed and saved… even if I use them for wallpaper, I’ll still keep working! Thx for all your inspiration. Amy (poetmomskas)

  8. Paige

    One of my grand daughters wrote a poem for me earlier this year, she is 7. I don’t have it with me, it is in my treasure box, so I can’t tell y’all what it said.