If there is one thing that I have really slacked on when it comes to the kids schooling, it has been handwriting.. They absolutely hate it and I haven't forced them to do much of it. I figure it is something that will come along on it's own timing. However, I still offer them copy work from time to time as a way to still help with their penmanship but not overwhelm them with huge amounts of writing. I find that copywork tends to allow them to see a beginning and an end to the assignment as because of this, it's much easier to get them to finish an assignment. This is why I was pretty excited when we received a Lifetime Membership to Homeschool Copywork which contains a library of ebooks of copywork and notebooking pages to use with the kids.
Homeschool Copywork currently offers over 54 (with more being added over time) various ebooks of copywork on a range of different subjects, from famous artists and composers, scripture and hymns, poetry, and more. Options range from early elementary school to junior and high school and many ebooks offer both manuscript and cursive pages, making it a site that can be especially useful for homeschool families with a large range in ages between students.
There are various membership options available to fit a variety of budgets. A Free membership is available which gives parents access to the free section of copywork and many Charlotte Mason style resources. An Annual membership ($29.99/yr) allows for full access to all ebooks notebook pages found on the site for one calendar year. The Lifetime Membership for a one time fee of $45.00 allows for full access to the site for the lifetime of the website. New Ebooks are added monthly, most authored by Homeschool Copywork owner, homeschool mom and ex Review Crew member Amy Blevins. Another familiar name authoring many of the ebooks found on Homeschool Copywork's website is Bonnie Rose Hudson as well as Annette Breedlove.
There are so many wonderful options that I had a hard time deciding what to try first. While looking through everything, I almost felt like a kid in the candy store and found myself saying "I'll be able to use this when we study this in a few weeks" and "I'll be able to use that when we study that", especially as we get to the different composers and artists. Unfortunately, the artist and composer we are currently studying wasn't one of the options ( we're currently studying Franz Schubert and Peter Paul Rubens) but many of our upcoming studies such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Monet and Van Gogh have options we can definitely use in our studies.
Instead, we decided to venture off our courses a bit and I printed out the Star Spangled Banner copywork. As we live on a military base, the kids are very familiar with the tunes of Reveille, Retreat, the Star Spangled Banner and Taps, however, I realized that the kids had not actually learned the words to our National Anthem yet. A quick download on my computer and a few copies printed of the manuscript pages and we were ready for the week. Each page was one stanza of the National anthem, which allowed for us to focus on one part each day of the week. Each page had a nice clipart image of the US Flag along with lines for the kids to copy on their own. With the stanzas spread out over 5 pages, it was very easy for us to incorporate one page a day while we discussed the words, listened to the Marine Corp Choir perform it (don't tell my Air Force husband), and then let them copy the words on their own. This made it very simple for us to turn this ebook into an easy mini unit study, as we were able to also discuss Francis Scott Key and find the definitions for words such as "ramparts" and "gallantly". There were enough pages for us to print out 2 weeks worth of copy work and by the end of those two weeks, the kids knew the words to the Star Spangled Banner.
God. It just so happened that I remembered seeing a copy write ebook on that very subject. Another very quick download and a printout and we had copywork covering Ephesians 6: 10-18. This particular copy work ebook had 57 pages of copywork options, from dotted letter guides to solid letters, cursive and manuscript, three lined options and single lined options, making it perfect for all students to work on their own level but do the same work. For the kids, I opted for the three lined, solid letter pages. There were 9 pages of each option and so we spent those two weeks learning about the belt of truth, the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit. Each page had a nice piece of artwork that tied in with armor and knights and the kids really enjoyed coloring the pages. The verses were spread out over enough pages that made the actual copy work short enough that the kids didn't balk at the amount which was absolutely perfect.
I'm really looking forward to including more of the copywork ebooks and notebook pages throughout my lessons with the kids.. With so many options for artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, quotes from President Lincoln, Bible Scriptures, Holiday copywork and more, I have no doubt this will be a valuable tool to that I will use for years to come.
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