What if there was something your child could do every day for five to ten minutes and it could make a difference in school? Have you heard of copywork? If not, you may be wondering what is copywork? It’s very popular with those who use the Charlotte Mason method, but I think it’s one of those tools that can cross over into any teaching style.
Copywork is a very simple concept. You provide your child with a great passage of literature, and he copies it onto a piece of paper. Sounds way too easy, right? A lot is going on when your child is copying those words. There are amazing benefits from it that will show up over time.
Benefits of Copywork
Focus and Attention
Copywork requires some extra effort because the student has to pay attention to the little details. Children must work letter by letter, word by word through the passage they are copying, making sure not to miss anything. This process increases their ability to stay on task longer and develops better focus and concentration.
It’s always a plus when you can find something that helps with several areas at the same time. As children write out well-written passages, they will be reinforcing excellent spelling, grammar, and punctuation mechanics. This helps solidify rules they need for their own writing.
When excellent pieces of writing are chosen, you are exposing your children to great literature. This will allow them to experience authors they may not have known and introduce them to different types of writing they may want to read. They may not have picked these up on their own and discovered them otherwise.
Copywork gives students a chance to practice their handwriting on a daily basis. The only way students can get better at writing is to keep writing. If you build copywork into your schedule, they will have an opportunity each day to practice their handwriting with a wide variety of selections.
Vocabulary is a large part of being successful in school. We all know, the more words a child can learn, the better he will comprehend what he is studying in any subject. By choosing a wide variety of great writings, your child’s vocabulary will grow as he copies poetry, quotes, great sentences, and short passages from great works.
Short yet Effective
Using copywork only takes a few minutes a day, but produces so many results. This is a highly effective tool that covers many areas in a short time, and because it takes so little time, most children don’t mind doing it.
Video of Results with Copywork from Creative Minds Homeschool
Read Want to Become a Better Writer? Copy the Work of Others! to find out the history of copywork and famous people who used it.
How Do I Select Copywork?
Depending on the age of your child, you will choose an appropriate length for him to copy. You can start with just a small sentence, and as he moves up in age, you can progress to paragraphs and short passages.
While you may want to try this with your preschool or kindergarten child, there are a few things to take into consideration such as his ability to concentrate and the fine motor skills he has developed. While this does train a child to focus better, he still may be too young to expect this kind of concentration from him.
Also, a child must have to proper pencil grip and be able to write with ease. If it is still taking him a lot of effort just to form letters, he will not be able to focus on the other details required of copywork. The foundational skills of handwriting must become automatic before he’s ready to move on.
Where to Find Good Copywork
There are a lot of places you can find good copywork. You can search the internet for quotes that apply to things such as character qualities you want to reinforce in your child. You can use scripture from the Bible. You can also purchase ready make copywork that many people have created to save yourself some time.
Fortunately For You Books is a company myself and another friend have created that provides supplemental homeschool materials. We have written supplemental homeschool materials, and one of the products is copywork printables that are themed. There is a set for every month of the year (and more), which provides you with plenty of materials for your entire school year. If you are not interested in searching for your own passages, this may be something you want to consider.
I have a separate post which explains our Pockets of Copywork. There are pictures to demonstrate how to put them together. Each of our monthly themes is divided into four weeks with five sentences to copy each week. Your child will put together a pocket where his work can be stored. If you are interested in purchasing them, you can find them at Teachers Pay Teachers. They are priced very modestly at $2.99 each. However, my subscribers can try a Pockets of Copywork for FREE. Go to my Copywork Printables article and at the bottom there is a form to fill out to get your code.
It’s Worth a Try
So stop asking what is copywork and start doing it. Copywork has so many great benefits your child can gain in a just a few minutes a day. It’s definitely worth trying. The hardest decision is finding and choosing what you want to use.