On Mina, Boys, Education & Poetry

I think we all felt somewhat sad this week to have finished reading the really rather delightful My Name is Mina. This book, more than any other, seems to have sparked a creativity in the boys, most especially in Waif. Although he has been a fluent reader for some time, he has never really been interested in writing. However, with this book, that has changed and he has been writing stories and poems like they’re going out of fashion! Whereas Gman did go to school until the age of 8, Waif has never been to school and I think that, as a result, his style of learning is a lot more fluid and organic, and he seems less worried about “shoulds” and conventions. In addition, he has been exposed to “real” books and poetry (in the last month for example, we have read poetry by Lewis Carroll, Mary Oliver, Basho, Ryokan, William Blake – possibly not what 7 year olds at school are reading!) rather than textbooks and books written with particular curriculum-focused goals in mind (lol – I originally typed that as gaols – possibly rather fitting?!)

Anyway, here are a few poems he has written:

“Peace is”:
peace is poem

(my favourite line – “peace hasn’t got any shouting”)

spring poem

“Sandy Land Poem”:
sandy land poem

And two odes to Corny (Gman’s pet corn snake):
corny poems

I do wonder if a seven year old boy in a school setting would have the same freedom to write? If he would be teased by his peers for his love of flowers? If his poetry would be corrected so that it followed more “shoulds” and conventions? I don’t know, but I do know I am enjoying this new development 🙂

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9 thoughts on “On Mina, Boys, Education & Poetry

  1. Allie says:

    The beauty of homeschooling – the absolute freedom of seeing children learn without constraints! I love the poems!

  2. spidergran says:

    These truly amazing poems really moved me to tears thinking that they are so natural and obviously came from the heart. Well done to Waif.

  3. […] On Mina, Boys, Education & Poetry (livegrownourishcreate.wordpress.com) […]

  4. It is so wonderful to see children writing! Glad to see your son enjoying it! Nice poems and pictures 🙂

    • vivjm says:

      Thank you! I have tried not to push either of them into writing when they aren’t keen to, and both boys are now becoming prolific writers of stories, poems and lots of lists!!

  5. I love that you’re doing this. My granddaughters are 5 and 7 and school programs don’t seem to encourage creativity and originality, even when my son went, but in fairness, I’m sure there are exceptions. I wish I were in the position to home school them. And by the way, they call me Mina. (I’m not familiar with the book though.) And I LOVE the poems!

    • vivjm says:

      I am sure there are lots of creative and original teachers, but it must be very difficult to find time to encourage that within a classroom, especially with the class sizes we have here in the UK. I recommend the book (and Mina is a fabulous name btw :-)) – I don’t think it’s just for kids, I enjoyed it as much as the boys did.

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