10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #2 Copybook

One of the second notebooks we implemented in our homeschool was a copybook for each student.

When you require your children to write something every day, sometimes it is easier for them to fall back on copying from one of their favorite passages from a book they are currently reading than to write something original.

A copybook (well, really more than one) grows with a person from simple beginnings (a carefully copied alphabet) through passages copied from favorite books — reaching into adulthood with quotes, notes, thoughts, and journal entries.

  • Provide your child with his own notebook.  Encourage him to decorate the cover and add embellishments that make it his own.
  • For the youngest child, begin with tracing.  He can start by tracing passages that have relevance for him.
  • Once he is tracing well, he can begin copying.
  • Allow him to illustrate or draw pictures to accompany his copywork if he is interested.
  • Copy widely: Scripture passages, well-written lines of verse, favorite literature passages, interesting quotations, historical speeches, even scientific theorems.
  • Choose passages to copy carefully.  Good writers copy the masters.
  • It is tempting to move to a digital format as the student gets older.  But despite the number of things we will likely use a digital device to record, a written copybook should still be retained. There is something that happens when words are taken in through the eyes, processed in the brain, and flow out of the hand.  Those words tend to be thought over, reacted to, and committed to memory — something you cannot experience digitally.
Additional Resources
Language Arts the Natural Way: Copying

Language Arts the Natural Way: Copying
Copying tips.

Activity: Tracing
Ideas and helps for beginning writers.

Activity: Copying
Ideas and helps for copying inspiration.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
Great for illustrating what has been copied.

Handwriting Worksheet Creator {Free}
Helps you easily make copywork pages for your child’s notebook.

Beautiful Coloring Alphabet Notebook Pages {Free}
Pages from Jan Brett that will make a beautiful notebook!

A Copybook of Love
Free pages set up for copying passages from 1 John 4:7-21.

Twas the Night Before Christmas Copywork Set {Free}
Fun for Christmas.

Other Suggested Passages for Copying
Review: Prayer for a Child

Prayer for a Child
A child’s first simple prayers.

The Real Mother Goose
Nursery rhymes.  Some prefer those illustrated by Kate Greenaway.

A Child’s Garden of Verses
Free collection of poems from Robert Louis Stevenson.

Beatrix Potter Tales
Free collection of the tales of Peter Rabbit.

Milo Winter’s Aesop Fables
Free, beautifully illustrated collection.

“The Calendar”
A poem for each month.

Three Years With the Poets {Free eBook}
Free collection of poems arranged by calendar month for years first through third.

Required Poems for Reading and Memorizing
Another free collection of poems that include Longfellow, Stevenson, Lear, Wordsworth and others.

Enjoy the entire series:
10 Ways to Use Notebooking
10 Ways to Use Notebooking: Complete Series

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