One thing I plan to do more of this term is copy-writing. This is an idea I first came across from my friend Jean when she introduced me to Bravewriter and I have done in fits and starts for a while. I even took one of Julie's classes on copy-writing last year, but still have not really incorporated it in anything like a regular way. The course was inspiring and full of good ideas, but I think I began to think of copywork as a big thing and felt intimidated. This term, I have decided, I am going to change that. We will do a little every week and gradually I will refresh my memory of what I learned on the online course, I will re-read the relevant sections of the Bravewriter manual "The Writer's Jungle" and I will work my way in to all that this discipline can be.
I was pleased with myself this morning. I had been on the look-out for interesting passages in our chapter books all last week and had selected a fifteen word sentence lyrically describing a bumble-bee for my six-year old. With hindsight, it was verging on being too long for her, but it contained a good mix of words which she could spell phonetically, some high frequency words which she needs to know by sight and a couple of longer words to help her track back and forth. My middle son copied a short piece on skunks, inspired by reading "On the Banks of Plum Creek". The sentences I chose had an interesting mix of punctuation (a semi-colon, a dash and commas in a list), capitalized place names and words ending -ed, which he struggles with. I had my eldest, confident with writing and language, copy a French poem. This provided not only more demanding copying practice (no relying on words he knows) but also seeded a discussion on how French and English words are similar, the French verb 'to hold' relating to our word tenacious.
I lit a candle, rubbed shoulders, encouraged breaks to run up and down the stairs, enjoyed their illustrations and backed off when they said they were done. I told them how much I looked forward to us all being able to write together, when they needed less of my support and how we would all have journals and fountain pens and copy passages we loved from the books we were reading. I think they were excited too, and I think this morning we took a step towards that dream.