Today I’m sharing one of my favorite aspects of a Charlotte Mason education: Copywork. This understated and simple, learning tool packs quite a punch when it comes to what it is capable of accomplishing for a child’s education.
In our home, copywork first started with learning the letters. My kids have used (and are using) this Handwriting Notebook to start their journey of handwriting.
Once the basic letters were learned, we moved right into copying words, then on to short sentences, scripture, and poetry.
I’ve been very pleased with their progress, and plan to continue using this method to strengthen their skills in writing.
Here are some of the benefits that I see in doing copywork along with what we have already experienced in our homeschool by using this tool…
(Note: to learn more about a Charlotte Mason style of homeschool, check out a the book, Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. ?)
Benefits of Copywork
1. A Focus on the Mechanical Skills of Writing
Copywork allows the student to to develop the mechanical aspect of writing without having to produce their own original content. Oral narration and reading are also used in the early years to develop compositional skills that will later be married with these mechanical skills, therefore, producing great writers.
(Know and Tell by Karen Glass is a fantastic book that elaborates on the narration side of composition.)
2. Gently Teaches Grammar
Children assimilated a lot by copying great writing. Even college professors will assign lengthy pieces of copywork, that their students might grasp the syntax of composition. Likewise, children learn the natural flow of language and often do very well with copywork.
Another way to gently grow their knowledge of grammar, is to point out a simple rule before they begin. For example, you might point out that the first letter of a sentence is always capitalized. As they do their daily copywork they will build their knowledge of grammar rules, and will learn to apply it to their skill of writing.
(Simply Grammar is a nice resource for adding this element of oral grammar to your copywork.)
3. Builds Vocabulary
Charlotte Mason encouraged the use of good literature for copywork. By giving your students quality sentences, quotes, and poetry that contain rich vocabulary they will be continually enriched and challenged to broaden their use of various words.
4. Grows the Skill of Spelling
With each time your student writes a word correctly, they are becoming better at spelling. Copywork is also a great foundation to transcribing, which teaches a child to see a word, close their eyes, picture the word in their mind, then spell the word aloud.
5. Builds the Habit of Attention
Copywork is a short and concise assignment that is very attainable for children young and old. They can focus their whole attention of this simple task and give it their very best. They are left with a feeling of accomplishment that will more than likely, be a catalyst for future interest in writing.
6. Exposure to Literary Geniuses and Gems
Copywork allows the student to build relations with great works of literature and the authors who bore them. It familiarizes them with great names, deep ideas, and the beauty of written words.
7. Short, Effective, and Concise Lesson
Charlotte Mason was very careful to keep lessons short, and children from getting exasperated in their studies. Copywork is a simple task that can be done within 10-15 minutes and yields high results in the areas of handwriting, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and literacy.
Free Printable Copywork Notebook of Quotes
Here is a notebook of over 100+ quotes from quotable people that I made for my daughter to use this year. It has quotes from Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, and much more.
The letters are Zane Bloser style. Space and proper lines are provided within the notebook for the student to copy under the original quote.
This printable can be put into a three ring binder OR bound together at a local print shop. To access the download… ?
How do you use copywork within your homeschool?
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