Copy Work: Everything You Need to Know

This is a situation whereby an adult instructs a child to reproduce words, phrases, or sentences by copying them. It is an essential component of the practice of grammar. In addition to helping the child learn basic grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation, copywork also facilitates handwriting practice.

For copywork, an adult can choose a short passage or a sampling from a poem, book, verse, essay, or any other form of writing that exemplifies the quality of word usage and sentence structure. Once the adult has selected a piece of writing, he should hand the child a notebook or piece of paper and ask him to copy the selected part exactly as it’s written. It might be a wise choice to make the child read the selection aloud first to ensure he understands what he’s writing.

For young children, copywork can include list-making like the birthday gifts they have received, the birds they have seen, or the toys they hope to buy. It may even consist of short passages from their favorite story or rhyme. The goal is to ensure copywork doesn’t cause anxiety, pain, or anger in the child. If a child finds it difficult to write, he might be inclined just to complete a single word (or even one letter!) in a day. That’s why adults need to encourage the child to take a small step, especially if he’s disinterested in copywork. It could include writing a single word, the name of his favorite toy or storybook, or a bird’s name that he had spotted in the backyard. The child should be praised for his efforts, as such positive encouragement will make him more likely to try copywork again the next time he’s asked.

For copywork to be effective, the adult’s modeling is crucial. Instead of being a chore, it should become a habit that nurtures the child’s writing skills and encourages his engagement in writing. It should also be stressed that identifying meaningful passages and then saving them through copywork is a gift to self.

For a child, there are multiple benefits of copywork, as mentioned below:

·         It teaches him to pay attention to details.

·         It improves his handwriting.

·         It facilitates his understanding of grammar, spelling rules, punctuations and improves his composition skills.

·         It helps him to understand what good writing entails.

It can inspire him as famous quotes or passages can help him learn about character qualities, virtues, etc.

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