There are some homeschooling activities that in their simplicity give me delight. One of those activities include my children’s copywork lessons. Charlotte Mason taught that a child learns grammar by doing copywork. Copying over selections from fine literature, Bible Scripture, or Founding Documents into a notebook allows the child to pay attention to the details of good writing. In our family this copywork becomes a penmanship lesson as well because we require our boys to write slowly and carefully. We usually choose short selections as I would rather them do a good job on a small piece than sloppy work on a larger piece.
I’m sure that many reading this post already include copywork in their homeschool lessons, but I thought I’d share a bit about how we do copywork in our family.
When we first began homeschool lessons, our copywork books were so very simple. My boys would write something like My name is David or Jesus is Lord. That was enough for them when they were just beginning to learn to write. Now though, we have lovely journals filled with poetry, lists, founding documents, Bible chapters, family mission statements, Our 21 Rules, Schedules etc.
I usually give them the assignment but sometimes they ask me “Mom, may I make a list of my favorite dogs” or “May I write up a list of my favorite baseball players?” For some folks this might be unacceptable, but I am fine with this. Their copywork journal will eventually be a memory book for them to read when they are grown.
Although any notebook would be fine, I like to purchase books that are nicer than a simple spiral notebook. I do not sit with my children while they do their copywork but am so blessed to have a Mother-in-law who has the best penmanship and loves to write. She has worked with my boys for years and keeps her own journal up as well. She goes over each lesson and has the boys erase and re-due any misspelled words or poorly formed letters. This time together with their Grandmother is precious and something that they look forward to most of the time. The best thing of all is that Grandma is involved with their homeschooling and she feels good about contributing to their education. I would encourage you to find a subject that your grandparent loves and recruit them to be a teacher. What a wonderful resource a grandparent can be and the wisdom and life experience they have can be a huge blessing to your family.
One example of a copy work lesson might be a lovely and inspiring poem like the following one by Louis Imogen Guiney.
Out In The Fields With God
The little cares that fretted me I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields above the sea, Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds, The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds, The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what might happen, I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass, Among the new-mown hay,
Among the husking of the corn, where the drowsy poppies nod
Where ill thoughts die and good are born-Out in the fields with God.
Many Blessings to you as you homeschool your children!!! ~Anne