The other day, Emma (age 2) was “counting” some picture cards. She carefully lined up the cards along the edge of a table one-by-one (“one, do, twee”), repeating the sounds she had heard (“foe, fie, sick”) her brothers and sister say so many times before (“se’en, ate, nie”). It won’t be long before she makes the connection that the sounds are numbers and that she can count things with numbers. Watching the kiddos learn by imitating is so much fun, and they do it every day, whether it be learning their numbers, or how to make a peanut butter sandwich, or even how to write.
One of the best ways I have found to teach my children simple grammar and the mechanics of writing is through imitation…by having them do copywork. Mind you, the boys tend to complain about it, but having them copy classics, Bible passages, and even statements from history texts has given them a basically painless way to practice spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, subject/verb agreement and more. And that’s not including benefits of improving their handwriting.
But your typical handwriting workbook tends to be, well, typically boring, really.
Run by a homeschooling family, Bogart Family Resources knows the importance of copywork for young ones and has a whole series of copywork books in four popular handwriting styles, in both manuscript and cursive:
- Getty-Dubay Italic
- Handwriting without Tears
Copybooks are available in 3 different levels, for your beginning to more advanced writers and are provided as downloadable pdfs. Prices range form $2.95 to $4.95. Each book contains enough lessons for about a month, if you have your child do copywork every “school” day. Titles are based mainly on verses from the Bible and classic books.
We received 3 books for review:
- 21 lessons using traditional Zaner-Bloser manuscript
- 5/8” lines
- copywork from the classic Among the Farmyard People by Clara Dillingham
- Bible verses from KJV
This 55-page book sells for $4.95Copywork for Curriculum: Copying the Basics – ZB 1-A & ZB 2-A
- practice forming capital and lower case manuscript letters
- personal facts (name, birthday, address, etc.)
- numbers and their ordinal counterparts
- Roman numerals
- days and months
- and more
Each of these sell for $4.95.
Level 1-A is 88 pages and features 5/8” lines.
Level 2-A is 71 pages and features 1/2” lines.
All three books are adorned with charming black and white pictures (ready for your kiddos to add their own color to), reference charts showing correct letter formation, blank templates for creating your own additional penmanship practice, and instructions.
I have been using these delightful books with Mary (age 7) and Peter (age 5). We ordinarily use the Getty-Dubay Italic style of writing, but I thought we’d try the more traditional Zaner-Bloser just for a change of pace and because there is a greater variety of titles available for this writing style. Bogart Family Resources is a family run business and they introduce new titles quite regularly (I’m on their email list)…just don’t expect supermarket variety in title selection. I wanted to use Among the Farmyard People in particular, as we are reading it in our homeschool, and this was a perfect way to reinforce the readings. And covering the basics was also important to me, as we want the kiddos to know their phone number, address and so on.
What do we like?
I wish I had some pics of the kiddos practicing their copywork…but, alas, my camera is done for (I may have the heart to post that story at a later date). Peter is using the 1-A books and Mary is using the Basics 2-A book. Size-wize, 1-A is just about perfect for Peter, who tends to still draw his letters. The 1/2” lines of 2-A are ok for Mary…she probably could have used just a hair smaller than that.
We like the nice clear font and clear lines. I like that these books are entirely black and white, so no wasted color ink. And I love having copywork in electronic form…makes it so easy to print out as many sheets as you need for as many kiddos as you have, skip the pages you don’t want, and do extra practice on certain pages. I may never use another printed copy workbook again.
I also love the price, and if you sign up for the Bogart Family Resources e-mailing list, you can get a $5 code to try it out for free, not to mention mailing list exclusives (including free copywork) delivered right to your inbox.
The only think I would improve…
I’d like to see a bigger title selection in the other handwriting styles…but I know this is coming and patience is a virtue.
Not sure that copywork is for you or wondering what style of handwriting to choose? Grab the absolutely free “What About Penmanship?” e-book from Bogart Family Resources and figure it all out.
Disclosure: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by: Bogart Family Resources for this review.
Now for the giveaway! Bogart Family Resources has very generously offered to give one of my readers a free copywork e-book!
Deadline to enter: Friday, May 6, 2011 (10 pm est)
Mandatory to enter: Visit Bogart Family Resources and tell me the title you’d like to receive if you win. That’s it!
Optional additional entries (please leave a comment for each entry):