Topic | Copywork purpose and other questions

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  • amama5

    I am confused about the purpose of copywork after watching Planning your CM Education .  I thought it was not for handwriting at all, but for picking up correct grammar/punctuation, etc.  The video didn’t even mention that, but said it is to improve handwriting.  If so, my almost 7 son is doing really well with copywork, his handwriting improved drastically after we started CM methods, and he never misses the punctuation marks/grammar, etc, so do we still need to do copywork often?  I’ve been having him do it 3 or 4 days a week.

    As to copywork specific questions, I’ve looked at old posts and am still confused about how moms exactly prepare copywork for each child.  I like the idea of copying things we are reading instead of a prepared coypwork book(will do sometime but mostly prefer the other way)  It’s a bit much for me to think of preparing everyone’s ahead of time, but what age can they truly look at their own book and be able to copy it into a notebook? 

    And what age do you start using notebook paper instead of the larger lined paper? (It seems like a big transition to wide or college ruled notebooks) 

    Thanks so much for all the help, Adrienne


    My dd10 has a commonplace book (copywork). She chooses what to write in it twice per week – favorite quotes, passages, etc. I expect neat penmanship and correct transcription, but that’s all we do. She began looking up her own passages and copying from books when she was 9.

    My ds7 is using Queen’s Pictures in Cursive and does 1 sentence per day. He will soon graduate to something else, but small doses still.

    I never use large lined paper, but instead the ones for 2nd/3rd grade when starting. It’s easier to write smaller rather than larger, IMO. DD10 began with regular wide ruled paper at age 8. BTW, I’m also odd in that I start with cursive.Wink



    Sonya Shafer

    Adrienne, in my research I found copywork listed as for beginning writers. It eventually transitioned into transcription and then into dictation. (Here is an article about that process.) Charlotte recommended transcription for about ages 8 or 9, so you could continue copywork for now with an eye to making the transition in a while. The exercise does reinforce good grammar and punctuation and spelling, because the child is seeing those as he is copying; however, the main focus seems to be handwriting practice. (The article linked above will mention those additional benefits too.)

    If he is doing well with copying from a model, you might try having him copy a line or a sentence from a book just to see if he finds it easy at this point. If so, go ahead and make the transition to using a book. If he struggles with keeping his place on the page and finds it frustrating, then give him more time using a model and try the book again in a few months.

    The same with paper and rule size, give the notebook paper a try and see if he’s ready for the challenge. If it frustrates him, back off and wait.


    Thank you Sonya!

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