This question has been bothering me for quite some time, so I ask..."How much writing should an 8 and 10 year old be doing? I've read some people say copywork and handwriting are two different things. Handwriting for perfect letters and copywork for writing practice/grammar. I've also read some people do writing for each subject. Do you just pick out paragraphs for them to copy from a book we've just read for science, history, literature? Is copying from every book a bit much? Then there are notebooking and journals and creative writing and dictation. Do you all use dictation just for spelling? It gets so confusing. Could someone please give me an idea of how much writing they should do each day? I would appreciate it so very much. Amy
elementary writing quantity(6 posts) (5 voices)
Amy, you're going to get a variety here, so I'll share my house.
My 10 year old (she's almost 11) does at least one notebooking page per school day writing filling 2/3 to a whole page. That's the goal. Anything more than that is bonus. Copywork for us happens once a week or a few times a week, not super regularly. My 7 and 6 year old are much more regularly doing copywork.
Here's the general plan at our house:
At eight most of my kids would do copywork every day for about 8-10 minutes. By that time, the purpose of the copywork would be to learn correct punctuation, spelling and grammar. Usually by then they are forming all their letters correctly and that is no longer a purpose of copywork. Then there might be some other writing to do, such as in a lapbook or in other LA assignments. Also around that age, or a little older, they would begin cursive. I consider that a transition time. For some kids during this time I suspend other copywork and they focus on learning cursive. Other kids still ask for copywork. I think it's a beauty of homeschooling that we can 'check the temperature' of our children in this way. Some kids flourish with lots of writing and for some all their energies need to be focused on the one thing and that's ok.
We begin dictation somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10 also. My boys have been at the upper end of that scale, one of my dd begged for dictation at the age of 8. At that point it is usually copywork one day and using the same passage for dictation the next day.
Around the age of 10, my children begin using written narration usually for either a science or a history narration. At that age I'll require two a week, one for science and one for history. This can start out as being just a sentence or two and gradually growing to a page. Again it depends on the child. Some kids struggle with this and some take off. The trick is challenging your child without frustrating them.
To sum up -- teach YOUR child. I know rules and standards feel helpful, but don't discard the flexibility of homeschooling for them. I've had 8 yos who could write pages and pages, and one who could barely write his name correctly, but by 13 was cheerfully writing a two page narration.
"To sum up -- teach YOUR child. I know rules and standards feel helpful, but don't discard the flexibility of homeschooling for them. I've had 8 yos who could write pages and pages, and one who could barely write his name correctly, but by 13 was cheerfully writing a two page narration. "
At our house we do cursive firom the beginning. ds8 does copywork daily for handwriting, punctuation and grammar recog. Etc. He also labels for map drill and makes one notebooking sheet at the end of lit and history books. We use AAS, so he writes with that. That's it for him. Dd11 doesn't do copywork anymore but will begin a commonplace book next year. She writes 1 narration per week for lit, 1 for Bible and 2 for history. She also writes with her AAS and dictation.
Examples help, but you know your child best.
My 8yo does a short bit of copywork (only a couple of lines) - but it took us a while to find a writing style/program that really worked for him to be able to write neatly. He also labeled some maps. Next year I hope to have him write a 1 or 2 line "narration" along with a drawing for history / science as well.
Thank you all for your replies. It is definitely helpful to me. I think I will do some praying with the "teach YOUR child" part. I feel like I could use some heavenly insight and guidance for that right now. I also really like the statement to "challenge your child without frustrating them." Certainly tricky at times. I'm sure I have not been challenging mine enough lately, meanwhile everything seems like a challenge to me. Backwards I'm sure. :)
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