I have used copywork in my homeschool for over 10 years and it’s been crucial to developing my children’s handwriting skills. They spend a little time every school day practicing writing from their copywork books. Copywork encourages good penmanship and also gives a subtle lesson in spelling, grammar and punctuation as children write from good models.
Selection Of Copywork
In my early days of homeschooling, I found selecting copywork for my child to be quite time-consuming. My young son also found it hard to copy from a book. Small letters, and books that wouldn’t stay open meant he kept loosing the spot he was copying from. He became quite frustrated with this. So I tried typing the passages out or highlighting them in a book. This worked but it was a time waster, and I ruined a few books. My solution was to use pre-done copywork books. Whilst using these copywork books a friend, Margaret, and I were bemoaning the fact that there were no Australian literature (or spelling) copywork books. This began our resolve to put together a collection of quality Australian and New Zealand literature for children to use.
Pre-Done Copywork – It’s Such a Time Saver
Our Downunder Copywork books:
- save you the time needed to select the copywork and present it in a suitable format
- have passages that are thoughtfully selected using, quality, age appropriate, Australian and New Zealand literature
- help you fulfilling the Australian National Curriculum Australian literature requirements
- include poetry, fiction and factual texts which provide a good variety
- give you a choice of handwriting styles—manuscript or italics
- ebook pdf format & copyright means these copywork books can be used multiple times within the family.
How to Use Our Copywork eBooks
- Select the copywork ebook that best suits your child’s ability.
- Print of the selected ebook in one go and fasten them together.
- Put them with your child’s other homeschool work.
- Instruct them to copy one page of the copywork book per day (if this is too difficult then work towards a page a day).
It’s that easy, it requires minimal forward planning and it’s something they can do independently.
Choosing Your Font
Manuscript Handwriting Font Styles This style is characterised by its easy to learn vertical letter forms. The child has only four simple strokes to learn and mastery is quickly accomplished. The printed letters are easily read and are often used in books.
- Zaner-Bloser and Ball and Stick are basically the same manuscript font with a different name.
- Manuscript cursive is fancier; in fact it is quite different to the printing style. It was the style I used at school back in the 1970s. My daughters prefer this font.
Modern manuscript (D’Nealian) is a slanted form of manuscript. It still has two different styles for print and cursive but the slant, in theory, makes transition to cursive easier. Italics Handwriting Font Styles It is a slightly slanted font that looks similar to cursive. The same alphabet is used from printing to cursive. There are more strokes for a child to learn initially than with manuscript print. Letter formation taught to beginners evolves seamlessly into joined-up (cursive) writing. The letter formation never changes. Since italics cursive is just an extension of italics printing the difficulty some children experience when transitioning from printing to cursive using manuscript almost disappears. My sons prefer this font. Italics font include:
- Foundation Font (Australia and New Zealand)
- Getty Dubay (USA)
- Handwriting Without Tears (USA)
- Barchowsky (UK)
- Jarman (UK)
Downunder Copywork Book Two – Cursive
Book Two is specifically for those making the transition from printing to cursive. It begins with tracing the font and then progresses to a smaller font that can be copied on lines below the text.
Age range: 8-10 years old.
Available in Manuscript Cursive(ball &stick font) or Italics Cursive (foundation style)
Literature Selections Include:
|Dorothea Mackellar||Tiger in the Bush||CJ Dennis|
|Burke and Wills||Old Granny Sullivan||Spindles and the Orphan|
|Dot and the Kangaroo||G Collingidge||Meet The Lees|
|We of the Never Never||Colin Thiele||Nuri Mass|
|The Geebung Polo Club||Banjo Patterson||The Silver Brumby|
|Our Sunburnt Country||Bushland Stories||Amy Mack|
|Bell Birds||Henry Kendall||Esther Glen|
|The Loaded Dog||Henry Lawson||Watkin Tench|
Covering The Australian Curriculum
- Children produce texts in the desired handwriting font from good models.
- Basic spelling and punctuation rules are used when reproducing different texts.
- Vocabulary is increased with exposure to different texts.
- Produces texts clearly, effectively and accurately, using the sentence structure, grammatical features and punctuation conventions of the text type.
- Uses knowledge of letter-sound correspondences, common letter patterns and a range of strategies to spell familiar and unfamiliar words.
- Variety of text types used using Australian literature .
PDF ebook: 70 pages
Recommended Age: Ages 8 to 10
Curriculum Suggestion: Year 3 to Year 4