For brand new writers, copywork starts with learning the letters and numbers. Once the basics are learned, children can move right into copying words, then on to short sentences, scripture, and poetry.
Copywork hones the mechanical skills of writing, without the pressure to produce 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.
It teaches grammar in a gentler format
Children assimilate a lot by copying great writing. Even college professors will assign lengthy pieces of copywork, so students might grasp the syntax of composition. Likewise, children learn the natural flow of language by copying literature’s masterpieces.
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.
Copywork builds a vibrant 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.
It will grow spelling skills
Every time your student writes a word correctly, they are becoming better at spelling. Copywork is also a great foundation for transcribing, which teaches a child to see a word, close their eyes, picture the word in their mind, then spell the word aloud.
Exposure to Literary Geniuses and Gems
Copywork is a bridge that connects your child to great works of literature and the authors who created them. It familiarizes them with great names, deep ideas, and the beauty of written words.
Builds the Habit of Attention
Short and concise assignments that are attainable build confidence in a subject. When kids can focus their whole attention on a simple task and then accomplish it, they get those all-important feelings of accomplishment and gratification. More than likely, those feelings will be catalysts for future interest in writing. 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.
You can find incredible copywork material just about anywhere!
- Nursery rhymes
- Hymns and songs
- Works of poetry
- Classic literature
- History books
- Science books
- Quotes from founders, leaders, scientists, and philosophers
The possibilities are endless! Here are some additional resources to get you started!
Teachers Pay Teachers  is a great, low-cost resources for copywork
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