Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Shadow

Most of the children can now recite the poem we learned last week: My Shadow – our longest one yet! It is by Robert Louis Stevenson, who also wrote Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. 

Here it is, coupled with a cursive-writing exercise (I write the cursive and the kids trace it. I also ask them to sign their sheets in cursive).

My Shadow
By Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.
He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see; 
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
Here is a recital of it by Billy Connolly, with clips from Disney's Peter Pan (the audio is way better than the video, imho).

Yesterday they picked a new poem to learn: At the Zoo by William Makepeace Thackeray. We will be working on memorizing it this week.


  1. Love this! We homeschool in Maryland. Are you perhaps familiar with Charlotte Mason education, the Read Aloud Revival podcast or the work of Andrew Pudewa. Pudewa believes learning poems and other great pieces of literature would greatly improve American education. Is this generally how cursive is taught or do you use a particular curriculum?

  2. We have just made it a practice to teach cursive this way. It also reinforces the poems we are learning! We agree about memorizing poetry.