Friday, January 15, 2010

What Is Copywork?

I have used copywork off and on for several years to teach my children grammar and spelling and to introduce them to good writers.   We have used portions of books that we were reading, poetry, hymns and great documents.   Before Christmas I invested in two books written just for copywork use by Sandi Queen.  I am using Copywork for Boys for Aaron and Copywork for Girls for Kaelan.  Each day they are assigned a portion to copy in their neatest handwriting.  I then check for misspelled words, punctuation, capitalization and for form.   The children then make corrections.  In two weeks Aaron has misspelled only 3 words and Kaelan two.  I dropped a formal spelling program for them this last year as we discovered that just by reading and writing (a lot) they had become good spellers.  Yesterday I looked over the last couple of weeks of assignments and called out words to each of them that I thought might be difficult for them to spell.  Kaelan missed none and Aaron only missed one.  Good work, kids!!  Aaron's copywork for the week was a poem.  I think I am going to have him memorize it next week.  I am including it here for your enjoyment.

Lord, Make a Regular Man Out of Me
by Edgar A. Guest

This I would like to be-braver and bolder,
Just a bit wiser because I am older,
Just a bit kinder to those I may meet,
Just a bit manlier taking defeat;
This for the New Year my wish and my plea-
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This I would like to be-just a bit finer,
More of a smiler and less of a whiner,
Just a bit quicker to stretch out my hand
Helping another who's struggling to stand,
This is my prayer for the New Year to be,
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This I would like to be--just a bit fairer,
Just a bit better, and just a bit squarer,
Not quite so ready to censure and blame, 
Quicker to help every man in the game,
Not quite so eager men's failings to see,
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This I would like to be-just a bit truer,
Less of the wisher and more of the doer,
Broader and bigger, more willing to give,
Living and helping my neighbor to live!
This for the New Year my prayer and my plea-
Lord, make a regular man out of me.


Dan said...

I was happy to discover your blog today. I was unable to find a contact link. I hope it's OK that I'm contacting you through a public comment. I've developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps children learn their spelling and vocabulary words without the battle that parents often have getting them to sit down and write them out while the parents dictate to them. The parent enters the child's spelling words into the software making a sound recording of each word. Then the software helps the child practice his or her words. It really helped my children with their weekly spelling lists.

I would appreciate your reviewing SpellQuizzer in Busy Hands Busy Minds. If you are interested in hosting a giveaway of a SpellQuizzer license I'd be happy to supply a free license to the winner. You can learn more about the program at There's a video demo you can watch at and a community site where SpellQuizzer users can share their spelling lists with one another ( Finally, there's a page targeted to homeschooling families at I'd be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you very much!

Dan Hite
TedCo Software

Roan said...

I love copywork. I am not currently using it with any of my children.....I need to! I think I will provide some copywork as part of our Miss. study.
Thanks for the reminder!

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