Saturday, December 1, 2007

Copywork

We use copywork in our homeschool to teach and reinforce a variety of subjects and topics. We use copywork for penmanship, spelling, grammar, phonics, history, science and moral lessons. Once you learn how to do copywork it is such a nice tool that really does not cost you extra money to use. I will explain how we use copywork in grades Kindergarten to second and the resource we use.

How to use Copywork to teach:

For Kindergarten copwork is great for teaching proper letter formation. We start with the letters of the alphabet. I make a letter and my child copies it below. If she has problems I make a dotted outline and guide her.

Once she is writing the small and capital letters then we move onto words which magically appear. I have her copy one letter at a time as I write it and when we get done we have a word. Each word is like a little treasure. I generally start with their name and then move onto Spell to Write and Read Phonograms.

How do I use Spell to Write and Read Phonograms for copywork?

First, I made up a series of sentences for each phonogram and spelling rule. So I introduce the phonograms both with the letter and give them the fun and catchy sentence that includes all the sounds of that phonogram. I also draw pictures to go along with the key words in the sentences. (I am looking at writing up all the sentences and scanning the pictures and putting them up on lulu.com in the near future.)

So for Kindergarten we write the key words from the sentence and other like them to reinforce the phonics sounds. For first and second grade, we write the sentence and talk about other words with those sounds.

So how do you use copywork for grammar?

You give them a simple sentence and start with nouns or subjects and verbs. They copy the sentence and then you have them point out or mark the parts of speech. As they get good at nouns and verbs you add and explain other parts of speech. You can also work on punctuation and types of sentences this way too.

What about history and science reinforcement?

We generally use key sentences from our readings or turn to the Happy Scribe Copybooks. These are very inexpensive and give you a month's worth of copywork ideas in a certain topic. You can find these here: http://www.thehomeschoolshop.com/sh-happyscribe.htm

So where do you find sentences to use for copywork?

We use the WISE Guide to Spelling by Wanda Sanseri, our reading material, quotation books, our grammar curriculum and I make them up myself.

Other resources to make copywork more fun:

We love the primary copywork paper at this site: http://www.notebookingnook.com/index.html

This site also has nice materials: http://www.notebookingpages.com/

For Kindergarten I like pages with three sets of two lines together so that we can write up to 3 lines/words with her copying directly beneath my writing.

For first and second I like two sets of three to four lines so that I can write a sentence and she can copy it on the set of lines below.

The next step is to have the child use the papers with five to six lines where they have to copy from another page.

I hope this helps give you some ideas on how to use copywork to meet your own school time needs.

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