What Is Copywork? Try Homeschool Copywork for free!


Lots of people toss around the word copywork these days, but what exactly does it all mean? Why copywork? Why not just call it handwriting practice.  Cause it is handwriting practice, right?

Truthfully, I am so thankful that my kids do get quite a bit of handwriting practice from their copywork – they need it! However, copywork is not just about handwriting. Copywork is about spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, great ideas seeping into growing minds, reading skill and comprehension, and even thought leadership.  Your leadership, guiding your child’s thought life through carefully chosen verses and quotes in copywork.

What is copywork? Explained.

My journey towards copywork started when my daughter was 11, and one of our main goals for that year was to improve her handwriting and spelling. However, getting her to practice handwriting or spelling was like pulling teeth! I stumbled upon some copywork pages with Bible verses about love, and beautiful graphic images for her to color with markers.

Suddenly, her attitude about handwriting shifted and it became the first thing she did each morning. She recognized the purpose (copying Scriptures), and loved the reward (coloring pretty flowers and doodles.) But after about fifteen pages, we ran out. So we used them over and over until she was totally bored.  I contacted the author, and suggested that she make more ebooks like that, but I never heard back from her or saw any new products. In the mean time, I started making our own copywork pages, and began noticing that my daughter’s spelling improved, her attitude toward memory work improved, and her handwriting most definitely improved.

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Many leaders and writers in the homeschool community talk about copywork and have varying definitions, but all profess the benefits, and point to famous educator Charlotte Mason as the first champion of copywork.

“Children should transcribe favourite passages. ––A certain sense of possession and delight may be added to this exercise if children are allowed to choose for transcription their favorite verse in one poem or another…   But a book of their own, made up of their own chosen verses, should give them pleasure.”  ~ Charlotte Mason (1842-1923)

“The purpose of copywork is to get into the child’s visual (and motor) memory the look and feel of a sentence that is corrrectly composed, and properly spelled, spaced, and punctuated.” Jessie Wise Bauer, The Well Trained Mind

“It is a method, that when used consistently in your homeschooling studies, will improve your child’s penmanship, grammar, and punctuation skills as well as expose him to a variety of writing styles, structures, and techniques.” Debra Reed, {affiliate link} NotebookingPages.com

“Its purpose is to improve the child’s handwriting, expose them to noble thoughts, good sentence structure, rich vocabulary and introduce basic punctuation and capitalization rules. Even grammar is incidentally taught but this is just an added benefit and not the purpose for copywork.” Linda Johnson, Charlotte Mason Help

The selection and variety of copywork ebooks in the Homeschool Copywork memberships today are a direct result of my struggle to find appropriate, motivating copywork for each of my children. The more we use copywork, the more we realize the many benefits.