*Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.*

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting Started in Homeschooling Part 5

OK, last time I ended by saying that we would talk about what to do for Language Arts without buying a curriculum for each particular area of LA.
If you have not heard of copy work, I am here to tell you that this may be your biggest help in the Language Arts area.
Copy work just might become your best friend.
When your children are younger and just starting to learn how to write their letters, you typically get them a handwriting workbook, and they trace their letters, and then progress to copying their letters,and then progress to copying words and sentences.
Then we typically stop the handwriting books until we want to learn cursive.
Here is what I want you to try. After your child has completed his print workbooks, I want you to basically continue what you have already been doing. Copy work is not difficult at all.
When they know how to write their letters well,have them continue to copy short sentences to keep practicing their letters and their handwriting. Copy work really becomes indespensible after a child can read.
When your child can read, have them copying something every day that is interesting to them. It could be a poem, a favorite book, a quote,a bible verse,anything.
The key is to make it interesting to them so that they want to copy it down.
The benefits your child will receive form copy work are many. Obviously, they will be continuing their handwriting practice, but they will also be learning basic grammar, spelling, sentence structure, writing and writing style. As your child copies a favorite book for example, he will see that you must capitalize the first letter of the first word in a sentence. They will see that you must put some kind of punctuation at the end of a sentence. They will begin to see that you put a period at the end of a statement,a question mark at the end of a question, etc..They will be copying the words,so they will be seeing the words spelled correctly, so they will be writing the words correctly. They will see how a sentence goes together,how sentences should sound,they will learn to recognize when a sentence doesn't sound right. They will learn about different writing styles from reading and writing, from different authors.
As you can see, they will learn all the basics this way and there is no need for a more formal curriculum yet.
You may eventually want to add some more formal grammar and possibly some writing exercises in the upper grades, but you can still benefit from copy work even through high school.
Remember,we do not need to push our little ones with too much work too early. This is all they need for Language Arts for quite a while.
Add some things here and there as you see fit.
I recently told my daughter, who is 12, that I was going to leave her copy work up to her, and she surprised me by wanting to copy a WHOLE book!
Let them choose some of their copy work and they will be learning all of their language arts skills plus learning something at the same time!
Dig in and let me know what you think.

1 comments:

rodnamomof2 said...

Living books really are one of the best ways to learn any topic.

Quotes

"The democracy will cease to exist
when you take away from those who are willing to work
and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson
Martin Luther: b. 1483-1546: "I am very much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt."

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