Topic | Do you do COPYWORK & HANDWRITING? (Seperate activities)

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  ServingwithJoy 4 years ago.

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  • kscrapperw

    Hi All:
    I don’t have my head around this yet. Seems like they might be for different purposes?

    But are handwriting and copywork the same thing>? Or do I have the child (6th, 4th, 3rd grades) do


    #2) How do you organize the papers? I also have papers from Spelling Wisdom.
    This is too  many different types of papers floating around. I need a better system for all this writing.

    #3) At what grade do you STOP handwriting? copywork?

    Thanks in advance!




    To me (in a CM context):

    Handwriting is learning to form the letters, and form letters into simple words.

    Copywork is copying a quote with best handwriting for purposes of practicing handwriting, learning grammar usage, punctuation, spelling, (and hopefully great thoughts) etc from observation/copying

    Dictation is working more specifically on learning punctuation and spelling from writing a passage read out to them (instead of copying it by sight.)

    To me, there is a progression there.  (I didn’t include Transcription, which is Copywork at a level that it is leading up to being able to do Dictation.)


    So – I wouldn’t do Handwriting AND copywork UNLESS we were doing something like working on fixing a letter that isn’t being formed correctly… or perhaps learning cursive while still doing copywork in manuscript…



    Yes, Suzukimom had a great explanation. For a practical example right now at my house:

    7th grader does Spelling Wisdom by using the selection as copywork 2 days per week (focuses on best handwriting, correct spelling and punctuation) and then has her ‘prepared dictation’ of that passage on a 3rd day. I read it, she writes it with correct spelling and punctuation but we don’t worry about beautiful handwriting.

    3rd grader and 2nd grader do copywork a few days a week focusing on best handwriting. Theirs is usually 2 sentences or a few lines from poetry or scripture.

    Kindergartener does what he calls ‘copywork’ daily but is really handwriting, where he is practicing forming the letters, I’m not expecting beautiful letters yet, he is familiarizing himself with forming them until it becomes easy/automatic. Then he’ll transition to official copywork where the goal is beauty. His is 1 sentence long.


    We only do one “writing” type assignment each day (not counting written narrations or notebook pages).  They do either copywork or cursive or dictation.  I have this personalized for each child with what they need to work on most.  

    For organzing papers, I put DS’s Print to Cursive Proverbs in one of those folders with prongs.  I have a few more that I need to put their Spelling Wisdom papers in and my 6yo’s copywork since she’s still using large lined paper.  These folders are nice because they don’t really need a huge binder for such a small amount of pages, and they are inexpensive…I picked up 4 of them for less money than one binder!

    My older two DC put copywork, dictation, grammar, and drawing exercises in a composition notebook…I love these since there aren’t loose papers floating around.  They just have one for all their assignments.  We do have binders for science and history papers.

    As far as when to stop, I have no idea.  😉  My oldest is in 6th and still working on it…she still struggles with cursive.


    We alternate after basic handwriting (print) is established.

    We study letter formation through handwriting, and copywork gives them great ideas, and the sense of grammar and composition they need.

    For my kids, handwriting ‘lessons’ don’t stop until I see that they are consistently using neat, legible handwriting in their daily studies. Once they can do that, they are allowed to ‘drop’ handwriting instruction. That has been a real motivator (especially for my boys).

    The copywork continues (to some extent, independently – ie: Book of Mottoes, etc.) through high school. When you consider that our Founding Fathers used copywork into their teens to improve composition skills, continuing in copywork seems advisable to me!


    We use the SCM copywork books, which keeps everything in one place. You could also use a 5 subject spiral bound notebook, divided by category. My older students use these, and just flip from ‘Copywork’, ‘Grammar Exercises’, ‘Spelling and Dictation’, etc…This makes for easy filing of their work by semester, as well!

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