Recently, I had one of those mothering brainstorms that my children have become accustomed to, and to which they generally accede with grace under the not-unreasonable-assumption that my enthusiasm for the idea will peter our more quickly if they just go along with me. Here's the idea: five nights a week, right after dinner and before the homework blitz, we each pick something to read out loud.
But because they don't like me to get off too easily, Middle usually announces that he has picked The Cruel Mother. We laugh and then everybody readily, if somewhat randomly, reads something outloud. The idea is that you don't practice, don't pick a poem in advance, don't even read the poem before you read it. Just open the book, stand up and read out loud.
We are now a few weeks in and I gotta tell you, this is a keeper. Our living room coffee table now sports a few poetry books. This is a particularly good one for the task:
But, hey, don't take my word for it, take Verlyn's...
Come to think of it, tonight I am going to read that instead of a poem. Will report back.