Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Music of the Hemispheres

In my search for a delightful, rigorous grammar program, over the last two years, I kept coming back to look at Michael Clay Thompson's language arts.  This year, I finally spent the time to figure out how the program worked, and decided to give it a try. I didn't want to buy the whole program, first because it's expensive as a whole program. Secondly, I'm very happy with our writing and Latin programs, and didn't want to switch over. But I did feel that his grammar and poetics books could work for us, even apart from the whole program.

So I bought Grammar Town and Music of the Hemispheres, the poetics book. I did not know what to expect, but thought, it can't hurt to give it a try.

We've been reading it aloud together for a week and a half now, and can I tell you, I have learned so much about poetry!  I had no idea that poets were such artists not just with the meanings of words, but with the sounds an using sounds to evoke feeling.  In the first third of this book, we have really come to understand end rhyme, internal rhyme, eye rhyme, and alliteration and more.

Today, at the end of the reading, the book issued a challenge: write a short poem using words and sounds that make you think of a specific sound or place.  We have NEVER attempted to write poetry before, I had no idea where to start or what to do. But this seemed like something we could do.  So here was what we all came up with. I share mine hesitantly, only to show that I am trying to learn alongside the kids and set an example of trying my best.  But it's terrible, really. :)  I am no poet, ha!


The sharp knife swished through the produce
Crunched as it chopped it to bits
Hoping to create a crispy, delicious dish
That could strengthen the body and give tastebuds fits!


The Forest
Who is that rustling the bushes
Who is that chirping in the trees;
Listen to the silent swinging in the canopy
Oh, how I would love to go to the forest, you see.


As I walk through stables of horses I stare
At beasts wild and mighty
They are furry, shaggy and covered with hair
But the creatures are rather friendly

For first attempts at poems, I think these are so delightful! :) I'm really pleased with what we're learning from Music of the Hemispheres!


  1. Do you need both the student book and the teacher's manual for Music of the Hemispheres?
    I'm very interested in getting it now!

  2. Jessica, I don't have anything but the Teacher Manual. It is the same as the student book, but has little boxes of things to highlight, etc. Since we use it as a read aloud together, the Teacher's manual is sufficient. If I was having them work through it on their own, I'd probably want both... (We do the same thing with Grammar Voyage, but I have them read the TM on their own, then work in the Practice Voyage iBook to practice the concepts they are learning). :)

  3. Fantastic! Thank you! We're almost done with the poetry anthology we've been reading daily for a while so I think we'll read this next to learn a little more about poetry before we start another anthology.
    Unrelated, but I'm going to a CiRCE conference next weekend. I'm so excited!

  4. Ooo!! Which one? The one in Louisville?? I'm trying to get their Restful Teaching conference to come to Wichita! I need one more potential hosting city within driving distance. If it doesn't work out, I'm planning on going to the GHC in Dallas this year to hear Dr. Kern and Dr. Perrin. Can't wait!!

  5. I would love to go to the one in Louisville but it's not feasible. I'm going to their family conference in Charlotte. The sessions sound great and it was only $17! I want to go to the Restful Learning one too but the closest one is still too far. I hope you get it to work out!