I read Michael Rosen's blog as I share his views on, amongst other things, Central Government 'diktats' being a negative thing for education. This post about the latest initiative to be introduced into primary schools to teach children to recite poetry is a good example and a very timely one for us.
We have been reading these Red Nose Readers books lately which include funny rhymes and, out in the garden this morning whilst hanging out the washing, Harry repeated several verses of a rhyme called One, Two, Flea and has continued to do so throughout the day.
Had I taught him the poem? No, we have read it three times at most as part of normal daily book reading. Had I asked or even encouraged him to recite it? No, he did it because, I assume, he liked it. There is no need, in my opinion, to specifically teach poetry or recital to young children or to waste time and money on a policy about it. It is literature like any other and if they enjoy it, they will listen to it, read it, learn it and repeat it. I doubt there are many nurseries/schools/home educators who have not read poetry and rhymes to young children.