Homeschool poetry book lists are subject to personal taste. However, the suggestions here are popular with most children.
Children “should include a good deal of poetry, to accustom him to the delicate rendering of shades of meaning, and especially to make him aware that words are beautiful in themselves, that they are a source of pleasure, and are worthy of our honour; and that a beautiful word deserves to be beautifully said, with a certain roundness of tone and precision of utterance. Quite young children are open to this sort of teaching, conveyed, not in a lesson, but by a word now and then.” Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason encouraged the study of one poet per term with a collection of their works chosen for memorization and reading. In our home we don’t do that but we read do read from the many poetry books we have acquired. They would read a poem a day from a book or I would read them aloud. We also encourage our kids to participate in our local homeschool poetry recital once a year (a public speaking opportunity).
I have also included poetry as copywork for my children.
One year my daughter made her own anthology of poems. Get a good quality journal if you plan on doing this. Her poetry copybook fell apart which was such a shame.
Australian Homeschool Poetry Book Lists
The Australian Poetry Library has a big collection of Australian poems. You can search by themes and occasions.
Many of the poetry books recommended here are out of print but if you can find them they are delightful.
This is not a comprehensive list but they are ones we have enjoyed. Many of our Downunder Copywork books include Australian and New Zealand poetry.
Classic Australian Poems – This anthology of 60 Australian poems has all the classics that are considered iconic poems of the 19th and 20th century. This is a good place to start.
A Book for Kids by CJ Dennis – Free Online Version
This delightful poetry book is full of sweet poems that young children will enjoy. This book goes in and out of print so if you find one grab it. Your children will enjoy the poems.
CJ Dennis wrote many other poems that were also beautuiful. Here are some of his collection The Singing Garden.
The Animals Noah Forgot by Banjo Patterson – Free Online Version
Nature story poems such as Old Man Platypus and Feathers, Fur and Fins.
The Singing Tree: A selection of by Mary Gilmore’s poems for young readers (OOP)
Sweet poems including many with an aboriginal theme.
Tails and Tarradiddles by the Perfesser and Alter Ego (OOP)
This was written by Amy Mack’s (author of a Bush Calendar) husband. It’s funny and my copy has been lent out on a few occasions to other homeschoolers. It was always returned with the comment: “My kids really liked that.”
20 More Well Known Australian Poems & Folk Songs
- My Country by Dorothea Mackellar
- The Man From Snowy River by Banjo Paterson
- Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson
- Mulga Bill’s Bicycle by Banjo Paterson
- Clancy of the Overflow by Banjo Paterson
- The Shearer’s Wife by Louis Esson
- Bound For Botany Bay – Ballad
- Click go the Shears – Folk Song
- The Roaring Days by Henry Lawson
- For the Fallen by Lawrence Binyon – recited on ANZAC day.
- Advance Australia Fair – National Anthem
- How McDougal Topped the Score by Thomas Spencer
- The Wild Colonial Boy – Anonymous
- Hist by CJ Dennis – favourite of mine!
- The Circus by CJ Dennis
- Triantiwontigongolope by CJ Dennis
- Where the Pelican Builds by Mary Essex Evans
- Old Granny Sullivan by John Shaw Neilson
- Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree – Folk Song
- Give Me A Home Among the Gum Trees – Folk Song
The Classics – Homeschool Poetry Book Lists For Kids
Collections are always good for finding a list of poets that you might like. These ones are popular.
The Random House Book of Poetry – A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today’s Child
These are mostly poems written prior to the 20th century. You will find this highly recommended on many homeschool poetry book lists.
20th Century Book Children’s Poetry Treasury
Another anthology with more modern poems.
AA Milne – This is the author of Winnie The Poo and his poetry is delightful.
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
I have seen this collection of poetry recommended on all the homeschool poetry book lists for children that I know of. Here is some Garden Verse Copywork as well.
Beatrix Potter’s nursery rhymes are sweet and the illustrations are exquisite. You will find some of these in our Beatrix Potter Copywork