Charlotte Mason Copywork {TOS Crew Review}

Do you want your children to follow a Charlotte Mason approach?  Having a hard time finding a Charlotte Mason copywork that works for you?  Recently with the TOS Crew we received a Lifetime Membership to Homeschool Copywork.  This to me is so awesome!  

I’ve had a hard time finding good copywork for my children.  We follow more of a Charlotte Mason approach and I didn’t just want them copying silly phrases.  I wanted them copying and reading and memorizing things that had meaning.

 

Homeschool Copywork Review
 

If you’re like me you’re going to love this Charlotte Mason copywork.  With our lifetime membership we get access to upper and lower elementary copywork for a lifetime as well as a junior and high school level.  I can go in and print off whatever I want whenever I want.  There are also some extra resources that we have access to.  

Homeschool Copywork offers two membership levels.  You can get a full membership which is for only a year or a lifetime membership(which is what we received) which is good for the lifetime of the site.  

 

Charlotte Mason Copywork {TOS Crew Review}

 

We have a great variety of Charlotte Mason copywork that we get to choose from to use.  There are also different writing styles and manuscript versus cursive that you can print out and use.  I like to print them out and put them in a folder with brads or in a binder so that each copywork book is together.  As far as the variety, you can choose scriptures(we love the KJV ones she has) or artist studies, or nature studies, hymns, quotes of composers, and so much more!

The object of the Charlotte Mason copywork is not to just copy the words.  But to read and memorize the words.  To fully understand their meaning and to do your absolute best while writing that phrase.  You don’t need to write the whole copybook in one day.  That defeats the purpose.  Each page and each study should be done slowly and with great care.  

We’ve used several of the coypwork books as I do have several children.  I had my two five-year old girls start with the ABC copywork.  Just short little phrases like A is for and B is for.  It helps to familiarize them with their letters and how they’re formed. It also includes an area where they can trace the words.  Oh and a good-sized picture of whatever animal is being referenced so they can color it too.  I really like this because at this young age we are definitely still working on coloring inside the lines and doing our absolute best.  One of my five-year olds is more advanced and did a better job on her copywork.  The other will have to do it again probably at some point.  

 

Charlotte Mason Copywork

 

My favorite Charlotte Mason copywork for my older kids is the Character Building Copybook.  I printed off the entire book to start with.  Then I chose the writing styles that I wanted each child to use.  If more than one child was using the same writing style I printed off an additional cover and then copied the pages they would need.  Most of the time we printed in black and white as with 8 of my 9 kids using the copybooks it is definitely a lot of ink.  I highly recommend making sure all your cartridges are full before starting printing!  I did however go full color on the cover page.  You want it to be enticing!  

 

Charlotte Mason Copywork

 

The description for the Character Building Copywork is copying scriptures to train the heart.  That’s definitely something I think my children are still needing to work on at their young ages.  It’s done in KJV which is the version we like to exclusively use for memorization.  And each page does have a smaller picture to color as well.  This is from the Early Elementary section but also included in the Upper Elementary section.  I used it with anyone who could read as I wanted them to be able to read and understand what they were being asked to copy and memorize.   

I do want to mention that not all the scriptural copybooks are done in the KJV.  They also do use the ESV for several of them.  Another we used was the Armor of God.  It’s a great one for boys but done in the ESV instead of the KJV.  So we made sure to look in our Bibles while we were doing that one so that we could see what the difference was.  It was easier for the kids to memorize what was on the pages for this but I did want them to be familiar with where it was in the Bible and how it read in the KJV.  

 

Charlotte Mason Copywork

 

Amy Blevins is the creator of this site and does a wonderful job with the Charlotte Mason copywork.  I’m excited to see what new things she’ll add over the year and years to the site.  There are some great copybooks that I also can’t wait to get my older children working on.  Quotes from famous authors who happen to be favorites of mine to start with!  My oldest daughter can’t wait to do the some of the author quotes as she loves to read while my boys are all in awe over the Dragons one!

Want to see what other reviewers thought and what Charlotte Mason copywork pieces they chose to use?  Head on over to the Main TOS Blog and read all the reviews.  I did not use much of the upper elementary level so make sure you check out some of those.  My main focus was as you’ve seen on the lower elementary in particular the K-1st level.  You can also find more about Homeschool Copywork on facebook, twitter, instagram, Pinterest, and Google +.

 

 

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Ancient History the Charlotte Mason Way {TOS Crew Review}

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a great fan of Charlotte Mason and her teaching methods.  When I got offered a chance to review something from Brookdale House I knew that I wanted to.  You see, I reviewed the Writing Through Ancient History, Level 2 Cursive.  This is truly learning Ancient History the Charlotte Mason Way and I couldn’t be happier!  Well, I will be happier once we get the entire series!!

 

 Brookdale House Review
 

With this curriculum, my kids are learning proper cursive handwriting as well as important lessons in ancient history.  I’ve never been a fan of copywork that just has them copy the same word over and over and over.  It’s boring.  It’s dull.  They’re not learning anything really.  Oh yes, they learn how to spell that word and how to form the letters, but that’s it.  They’re not getting any real lessons out of it.  This is why I love the Charlotte Mason way of learning.  You eliminate the “twaddle” and the stuff that doesn’t encourage learning or improve the mind.

While they’re learning about the proper way to form cursive letters, they’re also learning ancient history the Charlotte Mason way.  It doesn’t seem like they’re memorizing rote facts to them.  It doesn’t seem like they’re really learning at all!  But they are!  They’re memorizing passages of history that will stick with them through the years.

I received an e-book of the Writing Through Ancient History, Level 2 Cursive.  The online cost for this is $22.95.  You can also purchase a print copy of the book if you’d rather.  Level 2 is for Grades 3-5.  Level 1 covers grades 1-3.  I chose level 2 because I have two children in 4th grade who are working on their cursive handwriting.  I would now like to go back and get all the Level 1 and 2’s from all the different levels of history!  My two younger children who are in preschool and kindergarten(ages 5 and 4) obviously aren’t quite ready for these, but my older six could all use them.

 

Ancient History the Charlotte Mason Way 

The e-book came as a 384 page PDF download.  It’s broken up into an introduction section and then subsequent chapters.  There are four chapters and each chapter has a different type of reading passage.  Chapter 1- short stories, Chapter 2- extracts from primary sources, Chapter 3- poetry, and Chapter 4- folk or cultural tales.  There are also Bible passages interspersed that you can use as well.  There are some ancient mythology stories in here so you may want to skip those if you don’t approve.  I personally love mythology and will want to teach that to my children but from a Biblical perspective.

Another choice besides which era of history you’d like to do is whether you want cursive or manuscript.  I chose cursive simply because that is the type of penmanship my two in 4th grade are using.  I wanted to give them more practice writing and READING cursive.  You see, not many curriculums or books even these days use cursive and it can be difficult to find copywork that is cursive unless you make it yourself.  Which, though I have done, it’s time-consuming and as a busy working mom of 9 children I don’t have the time!!

That is why we are in love with Brookdale House and their Writing Through History series.  We started with the Ancient History because I love to take things along a timeline.  The next era that we would then do is medieval, early modern, and modern.  I’m already excited to see what those entail as I love history!  You can see some sample pages from each book HERE!

 

 Brookdale House Review
 

To get a bit more in-depth, this course allows them to read historical selections, understand and be able to verbalize that back, write down a short summary of that, and then read a short model that they then copy down three times.  At first it may take your child longer to read and comprehend what they’ve read if they are not used to reading historical type narrations.  

After browsing their site, I’ve also found the Bible Memorization made easy that we’d like to try out as well.  It looks like an easy way to help your children hide God’s word in their hearts for many years to come.  

So our final opinions are that we love this.  My kids were a bit not in love at first because I hadn’t made them narrate back or summarize very many things.  This is great practice for them and I think they are really learning how to analyze and break apart works now.  The copy work is good as well as it’s not just childlike phrases or words strung together.  As the parent I heartily approve and as the students they are beginning to love it!!  We recommend it and encourage you to give it a try.   Ancient history the Charlotte Mason way has definitely been a hit in our homeschool!

If you’re interested in what we reviewed or something else from Brookdale House, make sure to check out all the other reviews on the main TOS Crew Blog.  We were given several different choices of what we could review so I’m sure you’ll find something at your child’s level.  You can also find Brookdale House on facebook, pinterest, twitter, and google +

 

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Bible Studies for Children

I consider our Bible Studies for children to be totally separate from our actual school work.  We have Bible in our school too, but I want more for my kids because we tend to miss Sunday school a lot.  I have yet figured out how to get the extra sleep I so desperately need and get everything together to get us all to Sunday School at 9:30 consistently.  I know it’s possible, but just not in the cards for us right now.  It’s our season of life right now.

Anyway.  So our Bible Studies is different.  It’s a Bible studies for children.  Think of it as a personalized Bible study that I share with my kids.    

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop
Welcome to Day 2 of our Back to Homeschool Blog Hop!  Today I’m talking Bible and how we incorporate more Bible time into our days.

This year I’m trying something different.  We reviewed the Moore Family Films dvd of ABC Say it With Me earlier and I knew that it was so good I wanted to do more with it.  So, I’m building our morning Bible studies off of it for this semester.

Each week we are taking a verse.  For our first week of school we will be doing letter A.  I am making some copywork to use with it, we will watch the “A” clip daily and by the end of the week it is my goal to have everyone memorize the verse.  I will memorize or re-memorize with them.  That verse will be up on our school board for the week as well.  I’m in the process of making a Bible Memory Verse chalkboard(you won’t want to miss this DIY project) to write our verses on.  We will also be doing fun things each week.  I’m thinking things like make the verse out of cookie cutter cookies, writing the verse outside with sidewalk chalk, making letters with bodies, etc.  Lots of fun things that hopefully will make learning our verses so much fun that the kids will remember them!

ABC Say it with Me

I will be sharing my copywork with you as well so make sure to check in weekly.  My goal is to have them up the Sunday of that school week.  Our official school week count will start on September 1st.  We’re doing school already, but it’s not part of the week count.  We haven’t officially started yet.  We do school year round but have two actual semesters to coincide with our local homeschool group that we work with.  

 What do you do for Bible?  Do you prefer a specific translation?

We use the KJV in our house.  All of my kids have their own Bible.  Well not baby yet, but she will soon have a Toddler Bible.  I am looking at getting new preschool type Bibles for our 3 and 4 year old as well.  All of the children’s Bibles are KJV as well except for the Toddler Bibles.  I have yet to find a storybook Bible that actually incorporates a version.  I could do a whole post on why we chose the KJV but this is not the time for it.

Now I know some might be curious what Bible courses we use in our school.  I highly prefer the Abeka Bible Curriculum.  It is wonderful!  But Bible is a daily part of ALL of our school, not just the Bible coursework.  We incorporate Bible with our Konos, we have Bible in our math(Mommy makes some of her own stuff up for this), we have Bible in our copywork and our handwriting, we have Bible in our reading, etc.  I think the Bible should be a daily part of our lives and showing up all over the place.

I know there is some controversy in the homeschool realm as to how structured Bible studies should be and how somber they should be.  Some don’t believe in making storybooks and tales about the Bible.  Some don’t use real Bibles.  It’s such a personal choice though to me.  My husband and I made our choice.  We did not ask other people, we did not take a poll.  We did however, spend time in prayer and I constantly feel led to change a small part or make something a bit different as my children age and I want them to take the Bible and the love of God seriously.  That being said I do allow my children to watch Veggie Tales and What’s in the Bible.  For young children I think we need to take a step back and let them learn however they can.  One of our biggest things has always been music.  If music is playing in our house it is Christian. 

Now, let me step back there a bit and say come back soon and I’ll share that revelation with you as it was a recent change to only Christian.  But my children love to sing.  They sing Jesus Loves Me as they swing.  They Sing God’s Not Dead as they clean house.  They sing Daniel Prayed when the baby is cranky.  I am tone deaf but I take every opportunity to share music and my love of music with my kids.

Now back to the task at hand!  Visit the other blogs below to see what they are doing for the 2nd Day of our Hop as well as the Main Crew page for all 50 blogs participating.  Don’t forget my Day 1 Post either where I talked about our Homeschool Curriculum for this year.

Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy
Crystal @ Tidbits of Experience
Rebecca @ Raventhreads
Jennifer @  Milk & Honey Mommy
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Lisa @ A Rup Life
Beth @ Weavings

Thy Word Have I Hid in Mine Heart

We all want what’s best for our children.  I know this.  You know this.  We don’t always agree though.  One of the major points for my husband and I is that we want our children to learn the Scriptures.  We want them to hide His word in their hearts, so they will remember and obey as they grow.  It says “Thy word have I hid in mine heart”.  This is what we want for our kids.  And we want to lead by example.

This is why I was so excited when we received a copy of the ABC Say it with Me DVD to review.  Moore Family Films created the DVD which is available to purchase on their website for  $15.95.  It is 55 minutes long from A to Z and also includes a short little behind the scenes making of the DVD.

In the DVD your child will find a cute little video to go with each memory verse.  There is one verse for each letter of the alphabet.  So in reality your child can learn their letters and learn their verses at the same time.  A child does not need to know how to read to memorize Bible verses.  In fact, in our house I think they memorize before they can read and that is a wonderful thing.  Children learn well when they are young and absorb so much.

Take a quick peak at letter A:

Not only will your children learn their Bible verses, but they will also see a cute little video.  In the cute little video though they learn something else.  They learn how to apply the verse to their life and use it.  They learn how to treat others and obey the commands given in the verses.  We should not only just memorize, but learn how to apply the verses to our lives to get the most out of our knowledge.  It would be sad if you could quote the entire Bible but still chose to ignore what it said and live your life in a way that was displeasing to God.

Now some more about the movie with how we’re using it.  We started off just watching the entire dvd.  The kids sat down and I was going to just let them watch one letter and then work on the verse, but they wanted to watch the whole thing.  Knowing that they can absorb I let them.  Then we discussed some of the verses.  And I created a plan.  I homeschool my kiddos as I’m sure you know.  I have 9 kiddos as well(which if you read regularly you know that too).  I also love to create my own unit studies!  You might not know that.   While waiting for me to get the unit study created we have been watching over sections of the dvd on an almost daily basis.  We start our school days with Bible and I like to have us watch and listen to a verse off of here as well.  Some of the kids are already starting to memorize verses and say them with the children just from watching it!

So I decided we are going to go through the dvd with one verse per week and do a study on it.  I will write the verse on a large sheet of paper and hang it to our school wall so it is visible.  This paper will be taken down at the end of the week and we will create a book of sorts of them at the end of the study.  I am also in the process of creating copywork using the verses for each week to help with our handwriting and also our memory.  Because reading and writing go hand in hand in our house!  We are also going to work on finding the verses in our Bibles to help increase our knowledge of where the books of the Bible are.  Each day will also include a small Bible lesson about what was going on when the verse was written, why it was written, what it means to us today and what it meant to the people of the time.  Some history of the time to go along as well.  I haven’t fully figured how I’ll get math in there but I’m sure I will!

We will be starting our unit studies on this the first week of June when we will be totally done with our current school year and starting on our summer work.  I have other studies to do over the summer.  I hope to make the unit study copyworks and any worksheets I create available here on my blog for free for others to use as well if they wish.  These are not endorsed by the Moore Family but I hope they’ll appreciate them!

Another key for us with this dvd which makes me super happy is that it is in the KJV.   We use the King James Version is our home pretty much exclusively.  We do have a few of the New King James Version for one or two of the younger children’s Bibles.  I myself have the KJV of the Homeschool Mom’s Bible and love it.  My husband and I feel it is important to use the KJV for our family.  If you read a verse in the KJV and then in the NIV there are often some words missing or the context changed a bit.  For most this isn’t a big deal, but we prefer the KJV.  So, that just makes this little DVD that much better!

Make sure you go and check out the DVD.  Browse their website as well because they do have more to offer!

 

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