Copywork . . .
Some children cringe at the sound of that phrase. For them, copy- work is about as exciting as wash- ing the dishes. But as you know,
like washing dishes, copywork has to
be done. Hands can’t magically learn to
write by themselves. Their owner has to
apply himself and practice regularly in
order to become skillful at the task.
If you have a child who dislikes doing
copywork, there are ways you can motivate him so that it will seem less like an arduous task, and more like a fun one, or, at
the very least, a job worth doing. Let’s take
a look now at some of these techniques.
1. Tell your child the “why”
When a child knows the purpose for doing something, he will typically be more
motivated to do it. On the other hand,
exercises that have no meaning will typically be a turnoff. That’s why it’s a good
idea to try to explain the value behind
2. Offer choices whenever possible.
Choice is a source of internal motiva-
3. Use an incentive chart.
tion. It gives your child ownership over
his learning. Choice is also an oppor-
tunity for the Holy Spirit to guide your
child. While you many need to require
certain pieces for your child to copy, do
your best to offer choices as frequently
as you can.
Keep track of the number of passages
that your child copies without complaint
on an incentive chart. When he fills up
the chart, he can get a reward like a trip
to the park or a special dessert.
4. Set up a special copywork nook.
A special place just for copywork can
make the copywork seem, well, a little
more special. You may want to add a
little decor to this nook, or set it up in a
favorite spot in the house. Just make sure
that you have a writing surface for your
child to use that is set up at a comfortable
5. Remember that variety is the
spice of life.
Variety creates interest, and interest is
6. Choose passages from your
a motivator. To create variety in your
copywork time, try to use text from an
assortment of genres such as historical
fiction, folklore, just-so stories, poetry,
mysteries, and adventures. You can also
use nonfiction books about topics your
child’s favorite books.
A child is more likely to enjoy copying passages from books he really loves,
therefore, you may want to try to select
sentences from a few of his favorites.
7. Choose works that are
interesting, captivating, or
Find amusing or thrilling literature that
captures your child’s attention. Consider
the humorous limericks of Edward Lear,
the silly nonsense verse from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the intriguing
riddles found in The Hobbit, or the exciting action scenes from Treasure Island.
8. Look for passages from unusual
Joke books, tongue twisters, bilingual stories (good for foreign language learning,.
song lyrics, and magazines are some lesser
known sources for interesting copywork
that you may want to employ.
15 Ways to Motivate
Your Child to Do
When a child knows the purpose for doing something,
he will typically be more motivated to do it.
by Susan Brown