The "Copywork and Dictation" Tea with Julie continues.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
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Cincinnati, November 4, 2023

Hi Friend,

A common question from homeschooling parents: how often should copywork be done?

Copywork can be done more frequently, but one passage per week works well for a few reasons:

1) Some parents set out to do copywork more than a couple times per week and then when they fail to hit their target, they give up and stop doing it all together. Once per week is way better than not doing it at all. In fact, I’ve found that once a week adds up to a lot of copywork if done all year.

2) Kids like to pick their own copywork. When the parent selects only one passage per week, kids have the freedom of choosing other passages to copy (song lyrics, poetry, quotes from a beloved book, sayings on refrigerator magnets). That way, you focus on ONE passage, really teach it, and then your kids can select the ones they want.

3) For reluctant writers, it is a lot to ask them to do handwriting practice, copywork, dictation, freewriting, or other writing projects daily. You want to avoid putting your child through too much pencil trauma.

Of course you can do more copywork if you like.

When one of my sons was 14, he copied things every day and did special handwriting therapies for his dysgraphia. When my daughter was 11, she didn't like the passages I picked so she wrote in her journal and her Greek notebook every day, even in summer. On the other hand, one child successfully went straight into Honor’s English without having ever done a formal grammar or spelling program. He learned it all through less than once per week copywork/dictation over his lifetime.

Pay attention to your kids. 

Do what you believe nourishes them. Let them tell you what is working and what is not. Kids don’t learn as well when they are numb to the subject matter, when they feel obliged to fulfill your expectations without their buy-in. If once a week copywork is tolerable (even enjoyable) for you kids, they will learn a lot! There’s no reason to think that more is necessarily better.

Brave Writer offers programs designed to take the busy work out of copywork. The programs select the passages for you and help you to emphasize the literary elements, grammar, spelling, and punctuation to help your kids grow in writing.





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Julie Bogart
© 2023 Brave Writer LLC™

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