Thursday, August 27, 2009


I can only offer a few hints on the teaching of writing, though much might be said. First, let the child accomplish something perfectly in every lesson––a stroke, a pothook, a letter. Let the writing lesson be short; it should not last more than five or ten minutes. Ease in.

Charlotte Mason~vol 1 pg 234

Copywork is not something we have done regularly in our school. To be honest, I never saw a "need" for it. I viewed it as "busy work". That has changed since I spent this past summer sitting at the feet of Miss Mason.

My purposes in using copywork are these:

1. Handwriting practice

2. Establishing the Habit of Attention

3. Exposure to well written literature and character building selections

(This is a sample of Magnus' work from the Book of Common Prayer.)

I create my own copy sheets using this tool from Zaner-Bloser. I love that it allows me to choose the line size and to type in my own words. I have Thane using the first grade level and Magnus is working on the second grade level.

I read on another homeschool mom's blog (forgive me, I can't remember who) how she has her kids working on a different selection of copywork every day. I liked that idea and thought it would change things up a bit.

Here is the schedule we have adopted:


Tuesday-Selection from the Book of Common Prayer or the Bible

Wednesday-Famous Quote

Thursday-Great Literature

(This is a sample of Thane's work on a quote from George Washington)

Let's say it is Tuesday and they are working on a selection from the Book of Common Prayer. If they don't finish it that week, it gets put into the folder until next week and they pick up where they left off on the famous quote on Wednesday.

I have explained to the boys that I want them to concentrate on forming their letters correctly and proper letter/word spacing. They are to give it their full attention for 5 minutes. I set the timer and away they go! I sit between them with eraser in hand. If I see a letter that is "off", it gets erased and they must do it over. If I notice them "rushing", I remind them to stay on task. After the timer goes off, the boys (me too) encourage each other by picking out 3 perfectly formed letters on their pages.

Wanna know something? This is working! Thane has asked to do his copywork everyday and claims it to be his favorite subject. Magnus hasn't complained about it either.


Lori C., Texas said...

Love it! I have only been having my guys do the WWE copywork but I love your idea of doing something different everyday. I might have to look into this more. My guys need all the handwriting help they can get. Also, thanks for the link to that handwriting website. Awesome!

Sharon said...

Your boys have such great handwriting too! :) I'm planning on doing the copywork thing as well this year and forgo other handwriting curriculum.

Amber said...

what an awesome site!! thanks for sharing. I'm here on the TOS blog walk... yeah... I'm a little behind - better late than never though right?