Customer Service Team FAQ of the Month: On the Potency of Poetry

Dec 06, 2016 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

Have a question? We are ready for you! Our customer service team receives a variety of questions and joyfully assists families by phone, chat, and email. From time to time, we publish the most frequently asked questions along with the answers and hope they may be of use to you. This month we are sharing answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about our poetry program, Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization (LDP). Look for more posts like this in future weeks!


What are the differences between the old and new editions of Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization (LDP)?

The first edition of the Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization contained four levels of poems ranging from “The Vulture” by Hilaire Belloc to “The Hunting of the Dragon” by G.K. Chesterton. The second edition keeps these same beloved poems, but a fifth level of speeches is now included in the course. Excerpts from writers such as Shakespeare, American presidents, and King George make the fifth level informative, diverse, and excellent material to add to your memorized repertoire. Additionally, the second edition includes teacher footnotes, author biographies, and optional lesson enhancements. Charming blackline illustrations accompany the poems in the student book and serve as coloring pages for younger students.


What age can you start LDP?

The younger a person is, the better the ability to memorize tends to be. From the earliest possible age, children exercise this ability daily, progressing from learning their first word to becoming fluent in their native language. Following this principle, you are able to start LDP as early as four or five years of age. Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, the famous Japanese educator who developed the Suzuki method of music instruction, noted that young children are able to acquire a nuance of expression in dialect that adults are never quite able to achieve. He therefore proposed that whatever you want to teach—be it language, music, art, or mathematics—the younger the student is when the instruction begins, the more effective the instruction will be.

In contrast, however, it is never too late to start memorizing poetry. The advantage of being older is that it does not take the student as long to memorize short poems. Having memorized facts such as the times table, phonetics, and history has given the student many chances to build his stamina for memorization. So, whether  your student is in first grade or twelfth, he is able to memorize poetry.


How long does it take per day?

The course begins gently, taking just a few minutes each day. One possible schedule may be the teacher/parent and student sitting down at the beginning of the day, listening to the audio, and reciting the poems together. Then throughout the day—possibly while washing the dishes, driving to the grocery store, or preparing for bedtime—practicing the poems together helps master them.


What is the length of the course?

Since LDP is dependent on memorization, the length of the course can vary. Each level consists of twenty pieces, ranging from four lines to four paragraphs. Because every student’s aptitude differs, it is hard to say exactly how long the entire course will take to complete, but you will likely find that it will take two to four years to finish. Keep in mind that you are never behind! You are always right where you need to be as you work at your student’s ability and pace.

If you are starting the program midway through the school year, you have two options. You may either continue through the summer by integrating it with fun summer activities (be it while driving to the water park or vacation), or you may break for the summer. The course does follow the Suzuki method, so it works best if you continue working on the poems year-round. Most often, students are excited and enthusiastic about adding to their poem database, even over the summer.  However, if you decide to take a break for the summer months, try to take that break at the end of the current level you and your students are working on. At the beginning of the following school year, spend a week or two reviewing the prior year’s material. You and your students will be delighted with how much you are able to recall, and it will set the tone for success in your new year’s endeavors!


How do I use LDP with students of different ages?

The convenient aspect of LDP is that no matter the age of the students, they all start at the very beginning. So, using this program with different ages is very easy to do.

When using LDP with students of differing ages, it is important to let the students work at their own pace. Depending on your students, you might find that one student will memorize the poems more quickly than the others. If this is the case, allow that student to start learning the next poem on the list. If one student is ahead of the others, encourage them to recite the poems they have learned in common together. Since repetition is an imperative part of memorization, this will help one student’s memorization and also reinforce the other students’ memory of previous poems.

Learning poetry together is a wonderful way to spend time together. There are so many advantages! By building a large database of poems, you will find your students will enjoy reciting their poems for years to come. Additionally, they will build a strong lexicon of language which will enhance all parts of their lives. Along with the vocabulary, students will feel more confident as they face delivering speeches and presentations for their other classes and eventually their careers. And it all starts with a simple poem!


We hope these answers have helped you understand more clearly how to use our poetry program with your children. If you still have questions, we would be very happy to speak with you! Our Customer Service Team loves to help. Give us a call!


Live Chat with IEW