If you are new to homeschooling you may be coming across all kinds of new words, and terms you are not familiar with. When I first started off I too was confused, and felt like I had no idea what anyone was talking about at the local homeschool convention I attended. One of these words was copywork. I had no clue what it was, or why it was important.
I first heard of copywork during a Charlotte Mason style homeschooling seminar at the convention. There were many foreign words to me such as narration, dictation, habit training and copywork. They sounded so fancy, and also overwhelming.
Now that I have been homeschooling for almost two decades these words are familiar, and comfortable. They are just a natural part of our homeschool times.
So what exactly is copywork?
It’s very simple actually. Copywork is having your child copy down by hand, a passage, or sentences from a famous author, speech, poem, scripture, or piece of literature. There are some beautiful copywork books that you can purchase, as well as lots of free printable resources that you can use to incorporate copywork into your homeschool.
You don’t have to use these, though they make it easier and help me to be more consistent in my homeschool. When we first started out I would have my children copy a favorite Bible verse, or quotes from a book they loved or were reading out of at the time.
Copywork is not just handing your child a handwriting workbook, or some handwriting worksheets to write on. There really is so much more to it than just handwriting practice, though it helps in that area. There are some pretty amazing benefits from using copywork in your homeschool.
Benefits of Using Copywork in Your Homeschool:
Charlotte Mason used this method in her own schools to help her children learn letter formation. When you start off with simple words and short sentences you can sit with your child and watch them copy the words and form their letters. Then you can naturally help them with letter formation.
The goal of copywork is to have your child use their best handwriting. Copying down small things each day will help improve handwriting as your child concentrates to write out the words to the best of their ability. If they are working in small bits, and working hard to do their best, their work will not be rushed and sloppy. You will be creating a habit of concentration and good handwriting.
When your child copies a passage down exactly how it is written they are seeing how the letters need to be spaced. They are also practicing punctuation and learning how paragraphs are supposed to look.
Helps with Spelling:
When you practice spelling at home, a common thing to do is to have your child write, and rewrite their spelling words. Many curricula include spaces for copying the words, and recommends copying them over and over until your child masters them.
As your child copies a passage out, they are not just learning how to spell the word. They are also learning the context of the word, and the grammatical use. In copywork, there may be words that they have not yet been introduced to. As they look at the word on the paper, then look down at their own paper to write it out, they are training their brain to see how that word looks.
Before you know it, they are naturally spelling the words in front of them! The more they do the copywork, the more practice they will get with memorizing the words and learning how to spell them without looking back at the word to copy it.
It is Affordable:
What I love about copywork is that you don’t have to go out and purchase separate workbooks for your children. You can start with a composition book and the Bible, or your favorite read-aloud. If you do want to purchase copywork books they are usually very affordable.
There are also tons of free resources available online. All you have to do is print them out and create your own books. These can be used with multiple ages and used over and over again.
We love copywork, and have created some amazing resources for you that are free. They are themed and can be used with many different ages, and for different subjects such as history, science, Bible, literature, poetry and more.
Themed Copywork and Notebooking Resources – We have rounded up hundreds of resources with some unique topics that will interest and delight your children!
Our FREE Subscriber Library is chock full of exclusive copywork resources such as: Biblical Feasts Copywork, Vocabulary Copywork, Helen Keller Quotes Copywork, and more!
Creates a lovely keepsake.
It doesn’t matter what type of copywork you use. If you use a curriculum that includes copywork, or you prefer finding your own passages for your children to copy. You can also use free printables. The end result is always the same. Your children have pages full of nice thoughts written out with beautiful handwriting.
These make for perfect samples for a portfolio, or to keep in a writing notebook.
Another form of copywork is by making a common place book. My daughter’s love creating their own books to fill with their copywork, quotes and scriptures that are special to them. This post will tell you all about how to get started:
It is Quiet and Calm:
We start our morning with table time. This is where we sit down and do our quiet work to start our day. We sometimes may be finishing breakfast. I am almost always on my second cup of coffee, and I like to have calm music playing. Copywork is one of those things that is always done during this time.
Everyone is quiet as they are concentrating to do their best. Their brains are focusing, and it is a very calming time. They are also being exposed to good thoughts, are filling their minds with good and beautiful things. It makes for a really great start to our day, and I encourage you to give it a try!
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!