Saturday, August 29, 2009

Copywork meets Nature Study

When we decided to get more structured back in the spring, my oldest son started doing copywork or dictation every day. We tended to alternate, with the dictation coming from his spelling program All About Spelling. This summer my middle son started doing very simple dictation and copywork. After talking with the boys, we decided to drop the dictation for now and just stick with copywork (they prefer copywork, so I figure that some days I'll focus on writing elements from Writing With Ease and some days I'll just write out a sentence from their spelling program so they are practicing that day's spelling concepts without it having to be dictation). Here is what my oldest son did yesterday.

We have been reading The Burgess Bird Book for Children; my oldest son especially has been enjoying the stories. For the past couple weeks we have been working on abbreviations in writing - months of the year, days of the week, and common abbreviations like Mrs., Mr., Dr., and the such. So yesterday I had him write a sentence about Jenny (Mrs.) Wren and Mr. Wren. His picture is what really got me though. His writing is consistently neat and nice. He takes great pride in it. But he has never been huge on artwork. He'll illustrate most of his copywork and dictation sentences. And sometimes he really gets into it, but yesterday he really put a lot of time and attention into his drawing. He was so proud of his work and so am I. 
We keep writing, science (which is sorely lacking), history (lacking as well), and nature study/observations (this is the first) in a 3-ring binder. The boys really enjoy looking back over their work to see how much they have improved and matured in their work.


  1. Where did you get the copywork paper? Half blank for a drawing, half lines for writing. We're going to start this very soon...

  2. I made it on Publisher - I basically measured the distance between the writing lines in their current Handwriting Without Tears books and tried to replicate it with lines in Publisher (I used the draw-a-line tool instead of a text box). With my oldest, I now have him writing using 3 lines where the middle line is light gray to transition him to eventually using regular notebook paper. My middle son's copywork paper is matches the 2-line system in HWT. (I hope that all makes sense!)