Copywork has been a long-standing method used in homeschooling for quite some time. As the word suggests, it simply means copying a selection from another text. What and how a child copies usually depends on their age, grade, and developmental ability; but overall, it’s one method worth adding to your homeschool routine. Here’s why.
Top Benefits of Using Copywork
One of the top benefits of using copywork in your homeschool is the creative freedom to choose what you want your child to copy. Whether you use sentences in their favorite book to a passage in the Bible, the possibilities are endless. From the educational perspective, the benefits are even more plentiful.
If you’ve ever wanted to help your child work on their penmanship, using copywork is one way to do it. Instead of having them focus on what they’re writing, have them pay attention to the way they are writing it.
Fine Motor Skills Practice
Especially for those new to writing, holding a pencil (or any writing utensil) can be a challenge. With copywork, they are getting the fine motor skill practice of holding the pencil all while manipulating it to create letters, words, and sentences.
Enhances Language Arts Skills
Parts that make up the content your children copy are important components in the verbal and written English language. Even without directly teaching it, copywork exposes your children to spelling, vocabulary, and other mechanics of grammar.
Helps with Memorization
Although it’s considered an old tactic, memorization plays a major role in a child’s education. Copying something by hand helps the brain process information in a more detailed way. This especially comes in handy if memorization (especially classical hymns) is part of your homeschool routine.
Increases Thought Process
Copywork challenges children to pay attention to detail, which also means their little brains are working to input and output information. In order for them to copy something correctly, they have to slow down and think about what they are doing. This especially comes in handy if you have children who rush through assignments and miss valuable information.
How to Start Using Copywork in Your Homeschool
You don’t have to wait for a special time to start introducing copywork in your homeschool. In fact, you can start as early as when your child can hold a pencil. The younger the child, the sloppier the work may be, but the act of practicing will pay off.
Here are a few quick tips for easily adding copywork to your homeschool routine.
As tempting as it may be to start with a full chapter in Proverbs, consider starting with just a few sentences and gradually working toward bigger passages. If reading Scripture or singing hymns is part of your homeschool routine, choose a few sentences from those to turn into copywork. Also consider using your child’s favorite story, poem, or movie to use as copywork.
Add a dedicated copywork time to your schedule.
Just like you plan for the math and geography lessons, set aside time to focus on doing copywork. This time should be spent copying a passage and followed through with correction, editing, and rewriting (if necessary). This is also laying the foundation for the process of writing a paper from rough draft to final copy.
Make it fun and rewarding.
Copywork can be used to set writing goals for your children. If there’s a certain aspect of their penmanship that needs practice, set a goal for it. If they would like to be able to write a certain amount of sentences, set a goal for it. Then, keep track of their progress and reward them once a goal is reached.
Use resources you already have on hand.
Before you jump up and buy the latest copywork curriculum, consider using books and resources you already have on hand. Books from a unit study or pieces from Christian stories make for great copywork lessons, as well as math and science facts, geography definitions, and so on. Another idea is to let your kids pick something they’d like to copy.
If you’ve never considered adding copywork to homeschool, now is the time to do it. It’s easy and beneficial and can add another unique addition to how your kids learn. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take much to get started and it can make a world of difference!
CHIME IN: Do you currently use copywork in your homeschool? Comment below and tell me what resources you use!