Thursday, January 31, 2013

Read Alouds - FREE on Kindle

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Amazon has an incredible amount of e-books available for free.  If you have a kindle, or even just a kindle app on another device, you can have a plethora of great literature at your disposal.  My goal here is to group titles in ways that will be helpful to you, allowing your to easily find titles that will aid in what your are teaching.  This week I have a great list of...
 

Read Alouds (or Children's Literature)


Alice in Wonderland by: Lewis Carroll

Wind in the Willows by: Kenneth Grahame 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Brunett

Little Women by: Louisa May Alcott

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by: Mark Twain

Black Beauty by: Anna Sewell

The Jungle Book by: Rudyard Kipling

White Fang by: Jack London

Treasure Island by: Robert Louis Stevenson

Gulliver's Travels by: Jonathan Swift

The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights by: Sir James Knowles

Heidi by: Johanna Spyri

Aesop's Fables

The Swiss Family Robinson by Jean Rudolph Wyss

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by: Frank Baum

A Collection of Beatrix Potter Stories

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain



If you think I have placed a book in this list by mistake (whether it be for not fitting well in the category, or for being inappropriate reading material), please let me know!  I try my hardest to make these lists accurate and beneficial, but I am not perfect =)  Thank you for your help!

Photo Credit (used in top graphic)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Sponsor Shout-Out!

I am so thankful for the sponsors here at Living and Learning at Home.  I love that all of them are great people/companies with great products that I can heartily recommend to you!  I want to take a minute to share each of them with you...

Heritage History


You've probably heard of this great company before.  Maybe you even have one of their e-book collections.  Well, I cannot get enough of them!  They have reformatted enormous amounts of amazing living books so that they are super easy to either print and read or read directly from your e-reader.  These books are categorized by time period and are the perfect supplement to your history curriculum.  If you have a book lover, there is definitely enough material in these collections to use as a curriculum in and of itself!

My new obsession has been printing and binding these books.  Hopefully I'll have a post up about that next month =)

The best part is that each curriculum set is only $24.00 and that is for around 50 e-books (plus 50+ maps, teaching aids, and a study guide)!  You can also get separate 'library' sets for just $19.99.  Until tomorrow, you can get the Early America library (over 80 e-books) for FREE with the purchase of any curriculum set ($24.99) if you use the code 'mazebugs'.  Just add both products to your cart and enter the code.

If you've heard about Heritage History, but weren't sure if you should get it, let me assure you that is it well worth it!


HeritageHistorybanner photo HeritageHistorybanner-1.jpg


My Book Boost


I'd like to introduce you to my newest sponsor, My Book Boost.  My Book Boost is a list of 150 books, ranked in 15 levels from easiest to hardest.  It is designed to help you find the perfect books for your child's reading level.  Level 1 starts with pre-readers and slowly progresses to take your child through a first grade reading level.  From the website:

Instead of wasting hours searching for the right books at the library, you can walk in, get the perfect books, and walk out in minutes.

I headed to the library the other day and came home with many of the Level 1 books.  My daughter had a blast learning to read the first book on the list.  This book, HUG by Jez Alborough, is an absolutely adorable book with only three words in it, so even the youngest of children can learn a few sounds (or site words) and read the book!

I will be reviewing My Book Boost next month, but for now, head on over and check it out for yourself!


Harmony Fine Arts


Harmony Fine Arts is a great curriculum if you are looking to add art and music appreciation to your child's life.  The plans are laid out so simply, with  multiple options for you to choose from, that it leaves no room for error.  Even if you know nothing about art or music, you will finish your sessions feeling like you enriched your child's day.

My favorite part about Harmony Fine Arts, is that it is set up to go along with the classical model of education (or really any plan that studies history chronologically)!  The curriculum is broken down into grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages, and then further into the different time periods of history.

We are thoroughly enjoying using Harmony Fine Arts this year.  If you want to know more, you can visit the website or read my full review.



A Big Thank You to All the Sponsors this Month!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #42

Welcome to Trivium Tuesdays!  This is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Today I am featuring Hills to Die On from The Potter's Hand Academy.  In this post, Kristi shares about how children change as they enter the Dialectic stage.  She talks about how "Because Mom said so!" is no longer a valid response to the question "Why?" how this is all looking in their family.  Do you have children that have been in the dialectic stage?  How did this change things in your family?



Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ancient Egypt Resources-Grammar Stage


Looking for some good Ancient Egypt resources for teaching your children?  Here are some of our favorites!


Hieroglyphs by Joyce Milton -


This neat book comes with a stencil, so no matter what you child's drawing ability, they can make their own hieroglyphs!  My kids (age 2 and 4) ask to use the stencil all the time.

The book itself teaches about how to put the characters together to write words, names, etc., and about different parts of Egyptian life.  I bought this book a few months ago, and I'm glad I did!



Pyramid by David Macaulay


This book walks you step-by-step through one of the possible ways that the pyramids may have been constructed.  It is filled with detailed pencil drawings that really give your a good grasp of the people, land, and the vast size of the pyramids.

Perhaps you are already familiar with this one or others from Macaulay like: Castle, Cathedral, and City (among others).



The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo


This book is a fictional story based upon a Greek girl who ended up being an Egyptian princess.  It is an ancient Cinderella story.  I enjoyed reading this book to my kids as a fun supplement to our studies.  It is fairly short story with lots of nice illustrations to look at.






Benjamin and the Silver Goblet by Jacqueline Jules


I found this book at my library and read it to my kids as review after we had learned about Joseph being taken to Egypt.  It tells the Biblical story from Benjamen's perspective and was a nice easy read that my children enjoyed.





If you are studying Ancient Egypt (or will be soon!) see if your library has these for you to borrow, or check them out on amazon.com (any of the links above will take you there).  These four titles are all part of the 4 for 3 promotion which means that if you get all four, you only pay for three of them!

What are your favorite Ancient Egypt resources?  


We will be heading to Ancient Greece soon, so I'd love to hear your favorites for that too!


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Thursday, January 24, 2013

DIY Ancient Egyptian Toys



We've been studying ancient history this year (anybody with me?) and along with reading the Bible and other books, I've been trying to incorporate as many activities in as I can.  I have the book Old Testament Days, and it is a fantastic resource!  It essentially walks you through the Old Testament giving short summaries, a little cultural information, and lots of activities to help your children remember and understand the stories better.  You can use the "Look Inside" feature on amazon to see quite a few pages from the book, if you're interested.

We have been learning about ancient Egypt and, this week specifically, about Moses and how he grew up in the Egyptian culture.  I had the kids make a couple little toys that Egyptian children might have played with.




Trevor made a Serpent Throwing Stick.  I took an old wooden spoon (if you don't want to give up one of your spoons you could get one cheaply at the dollar store, or even just find a fat stick in your yard) and he decorated it to look like a snake.  He drew a design down the handle and made the round part to look like the snake's head.  The little Egyptian boys would have practiced throwing these at targets, so Trevor went outside (he only lasted a few minutes in this freezing weather!) and gave it a try.  It's a fun, simple little toy.







Mackenzie made a Paddle Doll.  Once again, I found an old wooden spoon (well, this one was actually a salad tosser thing) and had her draw a face on it.  She decorated it by drawing a necklace or something on it (it's hard to tell exactly what her little 2 year old hand drew =)  and I added some ribbon curls to the top for hair.  I guess it doesn't look exactly like an Egyptian, but you could try harder to be more faithful to reality if you want!  I think her little 'doll' is so cute!






The kids really enjoyed this activity and I liked it because it was simple and helped the kids relate to what we were studying.  You could make these as simple or fancy as you'd like, so it works for a toddler or an older, creative child!

I see there is a similar book, called Classical Kids, for learning about ancient Greece and Rome.  Have any of you used that one?  I'm thinking of getting it for when we get a little further along in history (unless you all have negative reviews =)

Do you have any favorite activities that you have done with your kids while studying ancient history? 


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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #41

Welcome back to Trivium Tuesdays!  Last week the link-up was over at Teaching Stars (thank you Kristen!) but we are back and ready to learn here today!

Trivium Tuesdays is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Today I am featuring The Four Year Cycle of History from Harmony Fine Arts.  I've been thinking a lot about history lately, so Barb's post caught my attention.  In her post, she explains about her style and some of the things they have used over the years.  Do you all use a four year cycle for history?  Does anyone use a 3 or 6 year cycle?  If you have a second, I'd love it if you left a comment with what program you use for history!  Then check out what Barb has done before you link up today!





Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)



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Friday, January 18, 2013

Copywork Tips and Testimonials


Welcome to the last day of our copywork series here at Living and Learning at Home.  So far we have talked about what copywork is, who should use it, and where to find copywork resources.  Yesterday I introduced to you a new copywork pack for McGuffey's Second Reader at Classical Copywork (and you have the chance to win over 300 pages of copywork...have you entered yet?)

Today I want to wrap up the series by hearing from you.  All week long I have been receiving your questions, tips, and testimonials and I'm excited to share them with you and answer some of your questions.   I would love to hear you answers to these questions too, or any additional tips you have to share, so please comment at the end of the post!  I will also post these questions on facebook, so be on the lookout for them.


Questions


Q.  "How do you get young children interested in doing their copywork so it is not drudgery?"  (Jennifer on facebook)

A.   If your child is really throwing a fuss about doing their copywork, I would recommend first having him copy something that is of interest to him.  Pick his copywork from a subject that he is enjoying learning about.  Is he fascinated in bugs? Does he have a favorite song he loves to sing?  Write down a fact about the bug, a line from the song, etc. and have them copy that.  My son always is tickled pink when he starts copying and finds that it is the poem that he has been memorizing.

My other suggestion would be scaling way back on the amount of words, as to not frustrate them.  If your child is young, perhaps have them copy just three or four word sentences until they are more confident in their work.

Anyone else have any ideas for Jennifer?

 
Q.  "When you select copywork, is there anything particular you look for that makes a good selection?"  (Stephanie from Harrington Harmonies and Nature Notebook)

A.  I look for a few things when I choose selections for copywork:

  • Ability-appropriate length 

  • Quality content - is it teaching them something you want them to emulate, remember, or ponder?

  • Applicability - does it go along with something they are learning elseware or can relate to their life somehow?

When I am picking a piece for my son, for example, I look for a short sentence (where the bigger-than-normal words can fit on one page, including the lines to copy on) that captures the meaning of the book/chapter/story or that teaches a lesson.  You may want to look for words your child can read, or words you would like her to learn.

Stephanie mentioned to me that she is specifically talking about picking selections from a book they are reading.  Check out below in the "Tips" section for Dollie's tip about living books!

Anyone else have any tips for Stephanie?


Q.  "I am curious if anyone has ideas for a pre-writer who will learn cursive first."  (from a question left in the comments by Austen n Burney)

A.  I would think of having them trace lines that are circular or loopy.  Perhaps it is too advanced for what you are thinking, but Confessions of a Homeschooler has A-Z Cursive Worksheets where your child can trace letters that are larger.   You can also search for downloadable fonts for your computer that are cursive.  I have one that is called Learning Curve and it has an option for dotted lines.  You could type large letters and print them out for your child to practice tracing.

Anyone have any better ideas or resources for Austen n Burney?


Tips and Testimonials



"Quotations are fantastic for a {copywork} notebook because although they are notmally short, they hold a wealth of information about the time period or person you are studying." Jimmie from The Notebooking Fairy


"Living books are full of great opportunity to have your children copy selections that stick out to them.  These selections could also include the portions around the vocabulary words for the week.  The process of using copywork within a high school's literature course is a perfect way for them to meditate on good thoughts and great writing."  Dollie from Teachers of Good Things


Kristi from The Potter's Hand Academy told me how she has neglected copywork recently and said that "all sorts of things are suffering" because of it.  She said "I MUST get better at copywork for my children.  I've slacked off so much, and their handwriting and spelling are suffering."


"I have a kindergartener and I have her do copywork daily.  We bought a composition notebook and I just write what she needs to copy and she does her writing right underneath.  sometimes it's her verse from AWANAS or just a random fact from our day.  I love looking back through the book.  I can actually see her getting better!"  A comment from Nicole


"We brought my youngest homes at age 6 1/2, and she hated all writing.  She formed her letters improperly, too.  I starter her with copywork about 6 months into our homeschool journey and it's made a huge difference.  It is not her favorite part of the day, but she does it and her writing has improved so much.  It is definitely worth the time and effort we put into the subject."  A comment from Becca


"I use copywork with my boys.  For my older son I usually give him a Bible verse to copy and then after he is done copying it, I go through and pick out words that he should be able to spell and quiz him on them.  I prefer this method to doing spelling over the weekly lists method.  My younger son, in Kindergarten, usually writes him name and practices his numbers for copywork.  I am thinking of starting some three letter words with him to help him with his reading skills."  Christian via email


"Copywork is one of the aspects of CM education that i really love.  We saw huge strides in handwriting after we implemented this."  A comment from Erin D


Thank you so much to all of you for joining me this week as we talked about copywork!  I hope you learned a thing or two (I know I learned from you) and were encouraged to either try copywork, get back to it, or keep with it!

If you have any final tips or answers to the questions above, please leave a comment!

If you haven't entered yesterday's giveaway, please take a minute to enter!  You can win over 300 pages of copywork from Classical Copywork.


Take a minute to check out what the other lovely ladies of the iHomeschool Network are talking about this week during the Hopscotch...





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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Copywork for McGuffey's Second Reader and a Giveaway!


Welcome to a week long series at Living and Learning at Home!  The ladies of the iHomeschool Network have another Hopscotch going on and my topic is copywork.  Each day this week we will be talking about what copywork is, who should do it, resources for it, etc.  I encourage you to ask questions or give suggestions at any time.  Either leave a comment or send me an email and we can discuss this topic together!

Today I want to introduce to you my new site devoted completely to copywork, Classical Copywork.  If you haven't already been over there, I would love it if you would check it out!  I created this site to be a resource for families who want to find great copywork for their children of all ages.  So far I have copywork for Bible verses, poetry, and McGuffey reader supplements, but I will be adding more frequently.  I hope to soon build a substantial collection for the benefit of homeschooling families.





I am adding a new copywork pack today and want to share it with you all (and give you a chance to win one for yourself)!  This new pack is 77 pages of copywork designed to supplement McGuffey's Second Reader (Revised Edition).  It is made for intermediate writers who can write on (approx.) wide ruled paper.  To learn more, please visit Classical Copywork.

Also, in celebration of this 5 day series, I want to offer a giveaway of my entire collection of copywork to one reader!  The winner will get a download of each of the copywork packs available currently at Classical Copywork.  That is over 300 pages of copywork ranging from beginner-intermediate levels.  Whether you already use copywork in your homeschool or you are just wondering what it is all about, this is a perfect giveaway for you!  Please enter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Take a minute to check out what the other lovely ladies of the iHomeschool Network are talking about this week during the Hopscotch...



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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Where to Find Copywork



Welcome to a week long series at Living and Learning at Home!  The ladies of the iHomeschool Network have another Hopscotch going on and my topic is copywork.  This week we have been talking about what copywork is, who should do it, etc.  I encourage you to ask questions or give suggestions at any time.  Either leave a comment or send me an email and we can discuss this topic together!

Today we will be talking about where you can find copywork to use with your child.  As your children grow, it will be easy to assign them passages to copy directly out of books, but in the early stages it is really handy to just be able to print out pages for your child to write directly on.  Here are some great resources for each of the stages.  Most of them are free, but some of the bigger packs of copywork are available for a small charge.

 Please note: I have tried my best to place the follow copywork resources in the correct levels, but it is hard to tell exactly what a page is like without printing it out and looking at it.  If you are looking for copywork for your child, please also check the level below and above the level you think they are in to make sure you get something I may have misplaced.  Enjoy!


Pre-Writer


Beginner



Elementary



Intermediate



Advanced


Multiple Ages




I hope this is enough to get you started!  If you offer any copywork on your blog, or have a favorite resource that I have not mentioned above, leave a link in the comments and I'll add it!


I have started a Pinterest board to keep track of all the places we can find copywork for our children.  Come and follow just the board Copywork to Use or all of my boards at AmyJoyMaze to always know where to find copywork!  I will be adding to this board whenever I become aware of new copywork.


Take a minute to check out what the other lovely ladies of the iHomeschool Network are talking about this week during the Hopscotch...


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Who Should Use Copywork?

 
Welcome to a week long series at Living and Learning at Home!  The ladies of the iHomeschool Network have another Hopscotch going on and my topic is copywork.  Yesterday we talked about what copywork is, today we will talk about who should do it, then the rest of the week I will share resources for it, and answer questions about the topic.  I encourage you to ask questions or give suggestions at any time.  Either leave a comment or send me an email and we can discuss this topic together!

Today we will be talking about who should use copywork.  Why everyone, of course =)  Let's take a look at what copywork will look like at different ages.


Pre-Writing


Yes, even your littlest preschooler can begin their copywork journey!  From the first time they trace a line on a page, they are practicing copywork.  Sure, it's not formal copywork, but it is great preparation and the principles are the same.  My 2 year old currently loves tracing letters made of dotted lines, and even trying to write her own letters.  Come back tomorrow for a list of places to find great copywork for pre-writers!


Beginner


I consider beginning writers to be those who are still mastering the strokes each letter, cannot write on normal sized lines, and take quite a bit of time to write just a few words.  They might start out writing just a word or two, progressing to short sentences.  The key at this stage is to not exhaust their little hands or exasperate their attention spans.  Five minutes of writing is a good goal, but you will know the right amount by watching your child.  What is important at stage is making sure that they are taking their time to write their letters well, holding their pencil correctly, and focusing on the task at hand.


Things like simple phrases from children's books, Bible verses, sentences they can read, words that will encourage them toward good behavior, etc. are good choices for copywork at this Beginning stage.  Come back tomorrow for lots of specific examples from many sources!





Elementary


Elementary writers are those who understand how to write each letter well, are starting to write smaller, and are ready for lots of practice!  These young writers will benefit from doing copywork every day.  Don't let this overwhelm you!  Just like beginning writers, this only needs to be for a few minutes a day.  5-10 minutes of good, focused writing is plenty. This might be 1-2 sentences worth of copying.  They will probably still be writing on slightly larger ruled paper and will still benefit from a mid-line to help them position their letters correctly.

My son is at this stage, and the biggest challenge he has is focusing and truly writing his best for those few minutes.  Copywork should be written in a child's best handwriting (taking care with each letter), so if you find that your child is rushing or losing focus, you might want to reign back and focus on getting just 2-3 minutes of good writing and then work back up from there.

Sometime in this elementary stage, copywork can begin to become an independent task.  I'm not saying that you should not be aware of and involved in the process, but at some point your child will be doing the writing without you instructing over their shoulder.  Make sure that you do point out any mistakes after they are done writing so that they do not have an incorrect mental picture of the words they wrote.

Just like beginning writers, elementary writers can copy Bible verses and other sentences that will encourage them toward good behavior.  This would also be a good time to introduce copywork from their school studies: quotes from historical figures, passages of literature, poetry, etc.  Your child will most likely be able to read most (if not all) of the words in their copywork at this point.  You might want to read the sentence(s) to him, or have him read it to you before he begins to make sure they understand what he is writing.



Intermediate


Intermediate writers might be in upper elementary or middle school.  While copywork will still be for the purpose of improving handwriting, spelling, and grammar, at this stage it will increasingly be for exposure to great material, aiding in memorization, etc.

Intermediate writers should be able to write on normal sized lines and not tire after a few minutes of writing.  They should still take care to copy words and punctuation perfectly and will benefit from a short period (15 minutes?) of copywork each day.  Some students will find no problem copying words from the top of a page (or from a book) onto lines at the bottom of the page, but others will still need words written directly over each line.

Jimmie's Collage
A few sentences or even a short paragraph can be assigned and completed independently by your child.  You can check her writing afterwards or teach her to go back over it looking for any mistakes.

These growing minds can copy inspirational quotes, thought provoking ideas, beautiful poetry, Bible verses, historical accounts, etc.  Make sure you come back tomorrow when I share many ideas and resources for this stage.



Advanced 


Advanced writers might be in middle school or high school.  They will have no problem copying words from a book or the top of a page onto regular sized lines on a piece of paper or into their own notebook.  They should be grounded in their spelling, grammar, and handwriting.  Copywork at this stage is almost more for the purpose of immersing yourself in great writing and copying it as reinforcement and inspiration.

image credit
Advanced writers do not need to do copywork everyday, but they certainly could!  You could encourage them to find one thing in their studies each day that is encouraging, inspiring, challenging, etc., and record it into a notebook that they continue to add to.  This sort of book would be a wonderful resource for them to look back on over the year (or years to come)!  Simply Charlotte Mason shares about this idea, calling it a Book of Mottoes.

These students could also use copywork as a way to capture ideas from a specific topic they are studying and keep them together in a notebook or binder with their other assignments on the subject.


These are just some suggestions as to how copywork might look for students at different ages.  I hope you have been encouraged that copywork can be a great and simple addition to your school routine.  Please come back tomorrow to find an great list of all kinds of copywork resources for every stage!  Also, if you missed yesterday's post What is Copywork? you might want to go back and read it too.


I would love to have a time of Q&A at the end of the week, so if any of this information leaves questions in your mind, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email and I will include it in the post on Friday.  If you use copywork with your children, I'd love to hear any personal stories or tips you might have!  I will include those on Friday too.



Take a minute to check out what the other lovely ladies of the iHomeschool Network are talking about this week during the Hopscotch...




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Monday, January 14, 2013

What is Copywork?



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What is copywork?


Copywork is essentially reproducing the written word for the purpose of strengthening writing skills.  A child takes a sentence and copies it exactly, either right underneath or onto another piece of paper.   The child should take care to use their best handwriting for this exercise.  A very young child might just copy a single word that their mother has written on a piece of paper.  An older student will progress to being able to copy a paragraph out of a book into their own notebook.  Typically the piece being copied should be a well written work (Bible verses, poetry, great literature, etc.)

Copywork has been around for millennium (think, they didn't have copy machines or any sort of typing abilities until relatively recently, so anything they wanted to record or remember had to be copied by hand), but in recent history the term has been coined by Charlotte Mason who used it to teach and give practice in handwriting skills.  Yes it does this, but it also accomplishes so much more!


Why I love copywork!


I have been using copywork with my children since my oldest was three.  Maybe you haven't thought about it as copywork, but I bet that you have used it with your children too!  Most children learn to write their letters by tracing pre-written letters and then by copying them.  This is the very beginning of copywork!  We do copywork almost every day and I love using it so much.  Here are some of the reasons why:



Copywork helps your child with their handwriting.

This one is probably a given, but I thought I would start with it.  If your child is seeing perfect writing (either typed or written carefully by you) every day in front of them, and are told to copy it, their letters will soon start to look like the perfect letters.  When I first was teaching my son how to write his letters, we talked about each stroke he should make, but as soon as we started using copywork pages, I let the page do the teaching.  His writing is not perfect, but it gets better and better very quickly!


Copywork helps your child learn grammar.

When your child is copying sentences that are written correctly, they are absorbing this correct information.  They see every day that sentences start with a capital letter and end with punctuation (and harder concepts as the passages they are copying increase in difficulty).  If you see something in a sentence that your child does not know, it is an easy time to point it out.  You do not even need to teach grammar as a separate subject if you just teach the grammar that is present in well-written passages.


Copywork helps your child learn spelling.

Just like with grammar, if your child is looking at and copying correctly spelled words, they will come to recognize when words are spelled incorrectly.  When they are writing on their own, they will be able to recognize when they spell a word correctly (or incorrectly!)


Copywork teaches the above things quickly and subtly.

I love that copywork gives you a great bang for your buck.  All these things are taught at the same time, without your child even really knowing it!  A few minutes a day is all it takes for your child to strengthen his handwriting, grammar, and spelling skills.


Copywork puts good information in front of your child.

Whatever work you choose for your child to copy, it is being ingrained in his brain as he looks at it, reads it in his head (or aloud), and writes it slowly.  It is a great way to put good thoughts and ideas into his mind.  Whether you choose Bible verses, inspiring poetry, information from that day's history lesson, etc. he will more easily retain the information from this multi-sensory approach.


Copywork teaches your child diligence.

Honestly we are still working on this one, but I promise it is good =)  Your child should work to focus hard on the task as hand.  The amount of work you give your child should take her only a few minutes to finish (expecting more of children as they grow), but they should work their very hardest for those few minutes.  It teaches her to stay on task and to take care to write each letter well.  Focus is a big issue right now for my son, so I may need to scale back the amount of words he writes right now until until he can master copying a smaller amount well.


Copywork can be an independent task.

There are times when I sit right by my son as he does his copywork page, but lately I have been letting him work at it on his own more often.  This is good because it is giving him a small amount of time to see what it is like to manage his own time and to (hopefully!) work hard without me telling him to.  This is also great for me because it gives me a few minutes to work on something one-on-one with my daughter or to get something done around the house quickly.


Now you know what copywork is and why I love it so much!  I hope you will come back to join me for the rest of this week as we discover who should use copywork and what kind of passages to use for it.  I will share with you a new pack I have just finished creating, and you will have the chance to win copywork material from Classical Copywork!  (The giveaway is over, but visit Classical Copywork to sign up for free copywork!)


Take a minute to check out what the other lovely ladies of the iHomeschool Network are talking about this week during the Hopscotch...




Monday, January 7, 2013

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #39

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized most of the posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.



Today I want to feature a new blog here at Trivium Tuesdays.  Nature Notebook shared with us a Top Ten Reasons to Nature Notebook post that is just wonderful!  I don't want to spoil it for you, but the reasons given in this post are so great.  There are pictures of children's notebooks that show examples of just what nature journals should be.  Whether you are a journaling pro or have never started a nature notebook before, please take a minute to read this post before you link-up today!




Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

Happy Linking!





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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cute Corner Bookmarks with Free Printable

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Last year, in a moment of creative spark, I made these cute corner bookmarks.  I made a post about it and it is by far my most popular post due to you wonderful people pinning and re-pinning it =)  Thank you!

Check out my original post if you would like and this tutorial for how to fold the bookmarks.

Since everyone has seemed to enjoy these bookmarks so much, I thought I would create a printable to go along with them!  Some people might find it too time consuming to draw out each of the features for these adorable animals, but anyone can cut and paste!


I recommend printing the following file onto white cardstock for durability.



Enjoy!

Copywork Series - Coming Soon!


I am excited to announce that coming January 14th-18th I will be sharing with you a 5 day series about copywork!  If you have been around Living and Learning at Home recently, you have probably noticed my growing love for copywork =)  I am not ashamed!  I have even started a new site, Classical Copywork, where I can share all the copywork that I have created.  I've been working on designing the new site, so if you check it out, will you tell me if it looks ok?  I never know how things look on other people's computers =)

What I want from you is to know if you have any questions about copywork.  I want to make sure that I talk about things that are relevant and helpful to you!  Also, if you have used copywork with your children, do you have any tips to share or testimonials about the helpfulness of it?  If you do, leave a comment or send me an email and I may feature it during the series!

I am excited for this series and really hope that it will be helpful and encouraging to all of you!

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