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Copywork Benefits & Tips


Is copywork just a tedious waste of time, or is it actually an important tool for learning?

What is Copywork?

Copywork is a learning practice where you learn handwriting by copying a selected passage by hand. The passage can come from anything, and can easily be tailored to individual interest. This practice not only teaches handwriting, but also allows your student to experience different writing styles and techniques.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, the value of writing by hand is often questioned. Copywork is often thought to be old-fashioned, but one that is now used by many modern homeschoolers.

4 Benefits of Copywork

What benefits have parents seen from using it with their children?

1. Muscle Memory

The physical act of writing stimulates muscle memory and helps the student transfer letter formation and spelling to long-term memory.

2. Attention to Details

It requires close attention to details such as spelling and punctuation that may be ignored when reading through a passage quickly.

3. Memory

Copying meaningful passages helps students remember the ideas or information in the passage.

4. Composition Skills

Reading and copying good literature familiarizes students with the grammar and rhythm of effective writing. The result is often improvement in their own composition skills.

5 Copywork Tips

1. Keep It Interesting

Choose content that is interesting and relevant to the student as well as being well-written.

2. Keep It Short

Keep each session short so that it does not become physically or mentally stressful to the student. Some educators recommend limiting the time spent on one session to ten minutes.

3. Make It Easy

Present the material in a format that is easy to copy. For young children, having each line of text presented just above the handwriting lines is most effective. For older students, be sure the text to be copied is clear and easy to read.

4. Know Your Goal

If you are using itto practice spelling, it is probably not the best time to focus on handwriting skills. On the other hand, if you are using copywork specifically for handwriting practice, it is very important to keep the passage short so the student can focus on careful letter formation without becoming fatigued.

5. Highlight Correct Use

Use it to highlight the correct use of whatever language skills you are currently studying. This could include spelling, punctuation, or advanced composition skills.

Homeschool Copywork Resources

If you’re interested in learning more about copywork and trying it out, Walking by the Way has a helpful blog post with a list of free pages that you can use with your students.

Free Copywork Pages for Your Homeschool

Rebecca Spooner from Hip Homeschooling has a blog post that outlines how she uses it to teach her five children.

How I Use Copywork To Teach Language Arts

Copywork and Spelling You See

There are a number of homeschooling curriculum choices that incorporate it in some form. One example is Spelling You See. This unique approach to spelling uses copywork to help students retain the spelling of everyday words in their long-term memories.

Get a free consultation from a Spelling You See expert.




About Miriam Homer

Miriam's first love is teaching. She taught several grade levels and used Math-U-See in one of its earliest editions. She has retired from working at Demme Learning, where she served for several years in a variety of roles including customer service, writing, and editing. She is thrilled that her two grandsons are beginning their homeschool experience with Math-U-See.


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