Our Approach to Copywork - With a Free Resource You Won't Want to Miss!

This year we have really developed our home education philosophy.   We have blended Charlotte Mason's philosophy and the Classical Education philosophy into our own unique approach.    In the area of copywork, we didn't have to do much blending because CM and Classical are very similar.  I wanted to share what we do, because it works very well for us and the resources I use are completely FREE!    

I used to have my daughter work through a formal spelling program, and after talking to some seasoned homeschool moms (special thanks to Christine at Fruit In Season!) I found many of them DO NOT have a time for formal spelling.  Rather, if a child is presented with quality passages for copywork, it is natural that good spelling and grammar follow.   This approach is more GENTLE, and actually saves us all time.   If spelling words are presented in a list, out of context, and for no apparent reason, what motivation does a child have to learn them?     

To begin, let's look at what each of the education approaches says about copywork:    In the Classical Model:  

"Copying, the earliest written form of imitation, has always been an important part of a classical education. Copywork is a very simple exercise where the student reproduces a well-written literary selection in his best handwriting with careful attention to correct spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. "

Charlotte Mason approach:  

Copywork is a whole language approach to spelling and grammar. By seeing and copying the words, the child learns how to spell. Grammar is also learned in this indirect way.
Choose passages worthy of meditation that stimulate the mind of the student but are not beyond his comprehension. Discuss the passage and have the child copy it in his best handwriting. Passages can be hymns, Scriptures, poems, quotations, or excerpts from living books.

Quite similar, right?     Here's how we approach copywork:

*We keep a three ring folder for each of my children.   I make copywork pages for them to use 3-4 times each week.   For my youngest (Kindergarten) it is just a couple of sentences.  For my fourth grader it may be a couple of paragraphs, or it may be copying a Bible verse several times.   

*My favorite place to make copywork sheets is Worksheet Works.  If you have never been there, GO RIGHT NOW!  It has so much more than just handwriting sheets! (We also use their maps with Story of the World).   You can type in a passage and then it makes the worksheet for you.  The options are print and manuscript.   I know a lot of people use Start Write Now software, but I am cheap and will use something free it it works for us.  

      Print Copywork for Kindergartener:  

      Cursive Copywork for Fourth Grader:
      *What do we use for copywork?  Our favorite copywork has to be Bible verses, but I will also use passages from books we are reading aloud, or facts about the science or history unit we are studying (lots of dinosaur copying the past two weeks for my little guy!).      For my daughter I usually take passages from living books, because she loves to read.  I would like to begin use poetry and hymns as well.  

      Is copywork a part of your homeschool day?  If so, what's your approach??

      Linking up to Works for Me Wednesday.

        *Image courtesy Photobucket