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Where have I been not writing as many posts as usual? Well, I have a lot of preparation for my children copywork materials and I am also going to share with my readers some resources we use in copywork. If you have not read some posts about the copywork, here are some of them that you might like:
It has not been a long time that we do copywork regularly and consistently. However, here are some tips on copy work that we can share to get more out of copyworking.
A Small Bite at A Time
Many children will hate to see number of pages they have to do at the back of the page they are doing at that time. Instead of being concentrated on the page, they will have a sneak on the next pages waiting for them to do. It often happens to the copy work activities. Instead of being focus on the letters the produce, they will wonder how much more time they need to finish.
Therefore, It is better for them to get small chunks each time they do the copy work activities based on their level of capability. To increase the amount of work, you can do it gradually. If you have a long story, asking them to finish a page at a time will be better rather than getting them finish a chapter at a time.
Use Short Time
5-15 minutes a day should be enough for my children doing a page of copy work for whichever level they belong to. I confess that some children need extra time to get warmed up while other children, on the other hand, can perform much better in the earlier time of learning. Giving a time as a target for children to finish their copy work should be able to improve the speed of their writing and their fluency in writing with certain styles. Every child will have different capability to finish their work in terms of quantity
Rather than giving them target based on the number of pages they can accomplish, I prefer to set the amount of work based on the time. Give some mark to where they start and finish their work will help them to trace their performance.
Have A Different Types of Copy Work Variation
There are some different types of copy work you can do with children. Copy work resources can be in the forms of:
- Verses from the scripture
- Paragraphs in short stories
- Quotes from some prose
- Quotes from famous people
- Song lyrics
- Nursery Rhymes
- Important concept in certain subjects
You might have some schedule for copy work activities. For example:
- Mondays: poems copy work
- Tuesdays: quotes from the scripture
- Wednesdays: song lyrics (choose a well structured lyrics with appropriate words)
- Thursdays: maths copy work
- Friday: short story copy work
You might also have a thematic copy work. For example:
- Quotes by Albert Einstein in a week
- Poem copy work in another week
- Aesop's fable week or Month will finish certain amount of fable.
Give Decoration to The Layout
Some children love drawing and they are visual learners. Giving them a chance to decorate their work by doodling and coloring will make them happy. Try to make their copy work pages special for them. It is not different with their other notebooking pages they have got. Therefore, it is great to have some tools to decorate their copy work pages. The decorated pages can make them more confident in copy work. They will be proud also with their result when they decorate the work seriously.
Provide The Letter Model and Be Consistent
Copy work can be done more seriously when your children have been familiar with the alphabet sets and the handwriting. However, the younger learners or early writers might forget with the shape of certain alphabet according to the writing style they are doing or they might forget how to join the letters in the cursive writing. It is also annoying to find them asking how to write the upper case for certain letter. Giving them a mini poster or display will ease your work altogether in the daily copy work. Put the poster on the table or in the copy work binder so the children can look it up when they need it.
Besides, when you have already decided to use certain style of handwriting, try to be more consistent in applying it with the punctuation mark and the capital letter uses.
Correct The Children Work with Dignity
Is copy work just a way to keep your children busy? How do you know that they learn something? The reflect to use writing mechanic automatically is one way to measure how far the children have learned in the copy work activities. Therefore, correction the children's copy work is a part of learning time. For me, I prefer the correction is done in front of the children with smaller correction mark to give them more dignity. Large correction mark will just make them not confident to show the work result to others.
The correction made is usually in terms of spelling, grammar, capital letter use, punctuation mark, and the letter shape for all levels that I have.
Collect The Work in Appropriate Bundles
What do you do for the copy work result? At first, you might keep and organize all of the copy works in 3 ring binders. Give them some dividers based on the subjects or the set. If you have so many works that you cannot afford to keep them all, what will you do?
- You need to do a kind of selection, I guess. You might give priority to the set of whole piece of literature copy work and the quotes.
- From the selection, choose the best of them and you might use My Memory Box to get them well organized
- If you still want to keep more of the work, you might make a classification based on the work quality.
- You can also have a review time with your children about the piece of work they have finish. My children usually will work more after they review their old work.
Emphasize the children to give their best work so that they will have more collection to display.
Follow Up with Dictation
Copy work and dictation is like a pair of couple. Having a dictation of a small piece of the copy work will give more exposure toward the skills they have got in the copy work activities.
There are some methods of dictation after copy work available. Here is which works for us:
- When the copy work finishes, children or I choose the sentence we want to use for the dictation.
- We discuss why we choose the sentence(s) and the meaning behind.
- We read the sentence(s) and learn the spelling, the parts of speech, and the punctuation.
- Children close the text before I read the sentence. I read it partially when it is too long.
- Children who have just started the dictation section or the younger children repeat the phrase or the sentence.
- Children write it on the paper.
- When all of the sentences have finished, I repeat the sentences while they check their work (for younger children only)
Get Some Lessons Out Of The Work
Discussion the content and the structure of the copy work will give you more benefits in the copywork activities. With this discussion, copywork is not just merely giving children activities to kill the time. They will learn deeper about:
- The parts of speech and punctuation
- Harmony and coherence
You might visit my previous post about what the children get from the copywork activities.
Giving dates might sound trivial and unimportant. Dates in the copywork can help both children and me to see the benchmark of the handwriting. Handwriting can change and of course, we hope to see better change. By giving dates, we can see the progress of children in their handwriting and attitude in learning.
In addition, we can see how the children have shown some progress in the future.
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.