Copywork for a struggling reader


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  • Sandi Luciano

    Hello!  My 7 year old is a struggling reader.  I read that copywork should match their reading ability.  Because he is a struggling reader what type of copywork should the copywork be?  Because I also read that copywork should also be delightful and beautifully written passages.  Does that come later?  Right now I am using his early reader books as his copywork.  So that way the same passages he is learning to read he is also using as copywork.  Is this correct?


    Years ago I purchases the Elson Readers Primer Copywork book as a PDF by Barefoot Meandering. I like to do cursive and manuscript from the beginning so I really like the variety of copy work options, and it was one of the few that has cursive with simple passages for early readers. The passages are great for the beginning reading stage.

    I also have Hymns In Prose from SCM which I really like, but the passages are a bit more challenging so we used that in 3rd grade.

    Also remember to start slow, no need to rush. Sometimes my children only did a word or two and other times a full line and my 2nd grader has just made it up to two lines, 10-15 words of quality writing.


    At that age, we used passages from their readers for copywork to reinforce reading lessons.  It worked out great.  I think the more beautiful passages come later when they are at a higher reading level.  Hymns in Prose is beautiful, but I think it’s best at about age 8 or 9.  We have liked the variety in Spelling Wisdom which was written for grade 3 and up.  We start it at grade 4.  I have also printed a variety of copywork pdf downloads from Currclick.

    Karen Smith

    It all depends on how well your child is reading. Is he still learning how to read or is he reading but needs more practice? If he is still learning how to read, focus on reading and copying a word or two from his lessons. If he just needs reading practice, A Child’s Copybook Reader gives your child reading practice and beautiful copywork.

    Whichever you do, remember that however much your child can copy in his best effort is more important than filling a page with words. If he can only copy one line before his handwriting gets wobbly, then stop there. You want to form the habit of best effort, not the habit of sloppy work.

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