Friday, January 18, 2013

Copywork Tips and Testimonials

Welcome to the last day of our copywork series here at Living and Learning at Home.  So far we have talked about what copywork is, who should use it, and where to find copywork resources.  Yesterday I introduced to you a new copywork pack for McGuffey's Second Reader at Classical Copywork (and you have the chance to win over 300 pages of copywork...have you entered yet?)

Today I want to wrap up the series by hearing from you.  All week long I have been receiving your questions, tips, and testimonials and I'm excited to share them with you and answer some of your questions.   I would love to hear you answers to these questions too, or any additional tips you have to share, so please comment at the end of the post!  I will also post these questions on facebook, so be on the lookout for them.


Q.  "How do you get young children interested in doing their copywork so it is not drudgery?"  (Jennifer on facebook)

A.   If your child is really throwing a fuss about doing their copywork, I would recommend first having him copy something that is of interest to him.  Pick his copywork from a subject that he is enjoying learning about.  Is he fascinated in bugs? Does he have a favorite song he loves to sing?  Write down a fact about the bug, a line from the song, etc. and have them copy that.  My son always is tickled pink when he starts copying and finds that it is the poem that he has been memorizing.

My other suggestion would be scaling way back on the amount of words, as to not frustrate them.  If your child is young, perhaps have them copy just three or four word sentences until they are more confident in their work.

Anyone else have any ideas for Jennifer?

Q.  "When you select copywork, is there anything particular you look for that makes a good selection?"  (Stephanie from Harrington Harmonies and Nature Notebook)

A.  I look for a few things when I choose selections for copywork:

  • Ability-appropriate length 

  • Quality content - is it teaching them something you want them to emulate, remember, or ponder?

  • Applicability - does it go along with something they are learning elseware or can relate to their life somehow?

When I am picking a piece for my son, for example, I look for a short sentence (where the bigger-than-normal words can fit on one page, including the lines to copy on) that captures the meaning of the book/chapter/story or that teaches a lesson.  You may want to look for words your child can read, or words you would like her to learn.

Stephanie mentioned to me that she is specifically talking about picking selections from a book they are reading.  Check out below in the "Tips" section for Dollie's tip about living books!

Anyone else have any tips for Stephanie?

Q.  "I am curious if anyone has ideas for a pre-writer who will learn cursive first."  (from a question left in the comments by Austen n Burney)

A.  I would think of having them trace lines that are circular or loopy.  Perhaps it is too advanced for what you are thinking, but Confessions of a Homeschooler has A-Z Cursive Worksheets where your child can trace letters that are larger.   You can also search for downloadable fonts for your computer that are cursive.  I have one that is called Learning Curve and it has an option for dotted lines.  You could type large letters and print them out for your child to practice tracing.

Anyone have any better ideas or resources for Austen n Burney?

Tips and Testimonials

"Quotations are fantastic for a {copywork} notebook because although they are notmally short, they hold a wealth of information about the time period or person you are studying." Jimmie from The Notebooking Fairy

"Living books are full of great opportunity to have your children copy selections that stick out to them.  These selections could also include the portions around the vocabulary words for the week.  The process of using copywork within a high school's literature course is a perfect way for them to meditate on good thoughts and great writing."  Dollie from Teachers of Good Things

Kristi from The Potter's Hand Academy told me how she has neglected copywork recently and said that "all sorts of things are suffering" because of it.  She said "I MUST get better at copywork for my children.  I've slacked off so much, and their handwriting and spelling are suffering."

"I have a kindergartener and I have her do copywork daily.  We bought a composition notebook and I just write what she needs to copy and she does her writing right underneath.  sometimes it's her verse from AWANAS or just a random fact from our day.  I love looking back through the book.  I can actually see her getting better!"  A comment from Nicole

"We brought my youngest homes at age 6 1/2, and she hated all writing.  She formed her letters improperly, too.  I starter her with copywork about 6 months into our homeschool journey and it's made a huge difference.  It is not her favorite part of the day, but she does it and her writing has improved so much.  It is definitely worth the time and effort we put into the subject."  A comment from Becca

"I use copywork with my boys.  For my older son I usually give him a Bible verse to copy and then after he is done copying it, I go through and pick out words that he should be able to spell and quiz him on them.  I prefer this method to doing spelling over the weekly lists method.  My younger son, in Kindergarten, usually writes him name and practices his numbers for copywork.  I am thinking of starting some three letter words with him to help him with his reading skills."  Christian via email

"Copywork is one of the aspects of CM education that i really love.  We saw huge strides in handwriting after we implemented this."  A comment from Erin D

Thank you so much to all of you for joining me this week as we talked about copywork!  I hope you learned a thing or two (I know I learned from you) and were encouraged to either try copywork, get back to it, or keep with it!

If you have any final tips or answers to the questions above, please leave a comment!

If you haven't entered yesterday's giveaway, please take a minute to enter!  You can win over 300 pages of copywork from Classical Copywork.

Take a minute to check out what the other lovely ladies of the iHomeschool Network are talking about this week during the Hopscotch...

Pin It


  1. One thing that helps my reluctant writer is I let her pick when she does copywork. We have a list of subject to work on, but I often let the girls pick when they do what. And if she leaves copywork to the end, that's fine with me. She still does it. I don't care if it's reluctantly as long as she's doing it. I also set a timer and she works for 15 minutes. If she makes good effort then she's done after 15 minutes even if she didn't finish the sentence. Otherwise it's an immediate additional 15 minute work period. I've only had to do that a few times in the 18 months we've done copywork.

    1. Great idea! Kids like it when they have some control, don't they? I do that timer idea (sometimes) with my son. I should probably be more consistent with it!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...