Copywork/Dictation - Benefits? Resistance?

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

questions about copywork

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:24 pm

hsm wrote:I am doing PLL with an 8 year old. She has always struggled with handwriting but she has improved immensely since we started mfw and I believe the copywork across the curriculum is a huge part in that improvement...that and possibly maturity. But, we do still have a few lingering issues and I am wondering if anyone else has the same experiences and how you handle it. When she copies, it is rarely perfect. Wow-writing that down sounds like I am a stern teacher. That is not the case. I am just curious if perfect copywork (capitalizations, spellings, punctuations, indentations, etc) comes with time/practice. And, if there are errors, do you have them redo the passage? Or just correct it? Or maybe it depends on the extent of errors?

She balks at any writing. She hates it. She says that it hurts her hand. She does still have some reversals on occasion and her spelling is still pretty lacking but as I said, I see marked improvement so I am not thinking a learning issue anymore, but the hurting hand worries me a bit. Writing is slow and laborious and she really has to concentrate to do it. But, when she draws (which she loves; she is my artist girl), her hand doesn't hurt as quickly or often. Anyone experience handwriting pain? She is young so I am taking that into consideration. Also, we do a lot of the exercise orally except the ones that really need to be written. I often shorten assignments also. She prefers to write big using the 3 lined writing paper rather than regular paper which I do allow, but we are periodically using regular paper for transitional purposes.
Hi Lori,
I so understand your pain. You will find many posts about my son's "pencil allergy" in the archives ;)

What I did with the Bible verse copywork was have him erase errors and correct them, unless he was truly not trying and then I had him re-do it "after school hours" - which only happened once or twice a year, because the consequence was so effective LOL.

Honestly, he didn't think punctuation or caps were important until they actually started to affect the understanding of what he wrote - around 7th grade I think, he suddenly started criticizing his friends' writing for being un-readable without punctuation. But I always stressed that Bible verses were special and must be correct. (He typed almost all the rest of his work, or used the marker board.)

I also used paper with dotted lines until at least 5th or 6th grade. At some point I got smaller dotted lines at convention, from a Minnesota booth called The Works People - one pack was more than enough for all those years.

Just one family's way. Hopefully you'll hear from others. If not, the Language Arts archive has some threads on copywork, handwriting, and writing/quality.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

TriciaMR
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: questions about copywork

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:32 am

Lori,

I have several random thoughts.

1. Is she gripping the pencil super hard or pressing really hard? That could be part of the pain issue. However, my brother's dd is on the autism spectrum and also complains of writing pain.

2. Could you try copy work on a whiteboard or something to see if that changes it up?

3. What about using something like StartWrite software so that she can have the words she is copying on the line right above where she is writing? This might help speed things up as she won't have to transfer from the book to the paper.

I have two dyslexic kids, and one of them has similar writing issues, and sometimes these things make it easier for him
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: questions about copywork

Unread post by hsm » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:38 pm

Interestingly, she doesn't tend to make as many mistakes in the bible copywork or the Hero Tales character traits cw. I write that on the white board for her to copy and the bible copywork I use printouts from MamaJenn so the words are at the top of the page. This might go along with Tricia's suggestion of something like Startwrite. She seems to have the most trouble if I want her to copy from the PLL book onto paper or from something I wrote on paper onto her paper. I don't know if there is a reason for that.

Yes, Tricia, she does hold her pencil tight and it isn't a "correct" grip. I tried helping her with a pencil grip. I honestly don't remember why we quit using it. She does like whiteboards better so that is an idea. I am goofy about wanting something to put in her binder though to show we did the work, kwim?

Julie, I knew you would understand ;) I am interested in those 3 lined dotted pages. I will look at convention this summer. Glad to hear my dc isn't the only one that likes that big lined paper. Makes me crazy though 8[]
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

TriciaMR
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: questions about copywork

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:44 pm

Lori,

If you want to keep a record of her writing on a whiteboard, snap a picture of it ;)

Seriously, going back to the pencil grip might help - we have used them off and on and it seems to help. If my kids have already done a lot of writing for the day, then I might do another lesson orally or let them dictate to me and I write for them. No big deal. Having them see their thoughts get onto paper is important, and I don't want to make writing the battle. One of my boys loves to write and is disappointed if I scribe for him. My other boy, wouldn't be upset if I never asked him to write again ;)

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

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