Famous Scientist Copywork Pages ~ George Washington Carver

Twice a week we practice handwriting by doing copywork.

Beautiful copywork

This term we will use some of George Washington Carver’s quotes. (I sourced these from Brainy Quote.com .)  Have you read his amazing biography?  We read our Sonlight book ~ Man’s Slave Becomes God’s Scientist George Washington Carver by David Collins ISBN 0-915134-90-X and found out the most amazing information about this inspirational Christian man and famous scientist.

Each quote has an interpretive question or vocabulary extension section. The copywork pages I am sharing are:

Primary lines George Washington Carver Quotes ~13 pages with red top line/blue base line/ grey dotted middle line with large spaces for easy, big  letters and also include a biography page on George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver Quotes ~13 pages with black and grey dotted lines and medium spaces and includes a biography page on George Washington Carver

Print George Washington Carver Quotes ~ 13 pages with clear print font and primary lines as above and includes a biography page on George Washington Carver

Primary lines for beginner handwriting

It is wonderful to see what regular copywork teaches!

  • beautiful, flowing, neat handwriting
  • appreciation for peoples’ thoughts, ideas and views
  • vocabulary extension ~ new words are often incorporated into the child’s own writing
  • sentence construction ~ a natural method of learning language
  • expressive writing ~ provides ideas, knowledge and skills to writing
  • grammar –  learnt from whole and broken into its parts in natural contextual method.
  • reinforces memorization and memory of famous quotations

New Ancient Egypt Lapbook & Activities

Hot off the press!  My new Ancient Egypt Lapbook is here! Here’s the download ~ Ancient Egypt Lapbook

3D Ancient Egypt lapbook

Pyramid-shaped lapbook folds flat to store with other Ancient Egypt work

This lapbook is created to become a 3D pyramid-shaped folder.  The 16-page download includes:

  • Lapbook planner ~ with answers and references & websites
  • minibooks ~ People, hieroglyphics, write your name in hieroglyphics, hieroglyphic message to decode, word search, Rosetta stone, making papyrus, Egyptian burial and Egyptian food
  • Biography page ~ King Tutankhamun
  • Pictures to colour & make into puzzles
  • Additional hands-on activities ~ making papyrus, baking bread in pots, a model of Egyptian home, ‘mummify’ a doll, make sarcophagus, making a water-clock and making a shaduf.

What about downloading some Ancient Egyptian Paper dolls and men to go with your Ancient Egypt studies? Pop over to my Paper Dolls page for the downloads.

Ancient Egypt Men    Paper Doll Ancient Egypt

Hope you and your children enjoy learning about Ancient Egypt!

Blessings,

Plan the New Year ~ Overviews, Year Planners and Week Planners

January is Back to School for South Africans and many moms are getting their last few plans in order.

This year I put together my very first eclectic curriculum for my junior and middle school girls and I’m so excited!

I thought, in my early days of homeschooling,  that it was always better to use a bought, professional package, but during the past few years, I used my bought curriculums more as guidelines (and not as strict schedules) and in that flexibility, I could see that it wouldn’t be too hard to put together my curriculum package. I began to pray and the Lord led me and provided me with materials.  Much of my curriculum is FREE!  Free downloads, notebook pages and free lapbooks will make up the core of the work! 🙂

I’d like to share the processes and steps I took to plan the year and then the weeks plans and share the organizers and planners that I made.  Feel free to download and change anything/ ignore what will NOT work for you/ or be encouraged to take these first baby steps ~ yes ~ YOU can also make your own programme!

1. First I used the wonderful “Home Centred Learning Methods” model from The WholeHearted Child Home Education Handbook by Clay and Sally Clarkson from Whole Heart Ministries (read the review on my Book List) and created my overview plan.(Download pdf:Overview_Year_Planner WholeHearted Child)

This is a bird’s-eye view of all that one needs to give a balanced and holistic education.

Next I wrote in all the materials I had to serve each subject and jotted them in the spaces.  This is where I jot in the circles all the basic concepts and books, downloads, programs and ideas.

2. From this I created my 2010 Year Plan (Download pdf: 2010 Year Plan Blank)  deciding on skills, activities and time I would use.  Basically I used this to decide on daily, weekly or monthly workand what skills and activities we would use.

3. Then I broke the year into a 36 Week Overview (Download pdf: 36 Week Overview) and split the work into the weeks for the year.  This will become my master plan, but (typical of homeschooling) it will be flexible – I don’t REALLY know how long some work may take or if we decide to spend more time on something.  It is not a schedule to be followed, but a guideline! [sigh of relief …]

4. Now my 2010 Weekly Timetable (Download pdf: 2010 Weekly Timetable)  was ready. I filled in the work we need to cover for each week and record and comment on the work we complete.  This becomes my record of work.

5.And finally I created a Daily Timetable (Download pdf: Week Timetable1) .I will laminate this and place 1 in each girl’s file for reference.

So ~ there it is!

I hope this helps you to ‘ take the plunge’  and use all the curriculum materials lying around your shelves  waiting for another year.  GO FOR IT ~ create your own curriculum package!

My Subject References:

Bible: Picture This! www.bibledraw.com and Bible Reading  and Hymn Schedule from AmblesideOnline.com

Maths: Singapore Maths

Reading, Language Art & Writing: Sonlight.com

Poetry: Classic Poems for the Literacy Hour THE WORKS 7 by Brian Moses ISBN: 978-0-330-44424

Science: Exploring Creation Zoology 1 &2 Jeannie Fulbright Apologia Science (with free notebook pages from her site and a lapbook bought at CurrClick.com)

History: Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (with free lapbooks from HomeschoolShare.com)

Geography: K-2 Maps! by IntellegoUnitStudies.com

Art: Impressionist Painters by Guy Jennings ISBN: 0-7537-1073-0 and further sites found on AmblesideOnline.com

Music: Schedule for composer studies and their music from AmblesideOnline.com

Crafts, Needlework and Sewing: The Encyclopedia of Two-Hour Craft Projects by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc ISBN: 0-49725-51137-8

Typing: Typing Tutor or similar online program

Thinking Skills: Brain Gym for all, Audiblox and other similar books and activities

Overview Year Planner - a Home Model

OverviewYear Planner with my notes

2010 Year Plan 40 weeks

Week Timetable & record of work

Daily Timetable

Copywork ~ Famous Quotes from World Leaders ~ Free copywork pages

As we covered World History in Sonlight Core 1&2 this year, we used Charlotte Mason’s principle of copywork to teach language, grammar and develop vocabulary and style and practiced handwriting at the same time!

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Copywork pages

I have selected some of the most famous world leaders and their most notable quotes.  Each quote has a print and cursive version on the same page.

Below each quote I have included a response prompt where the child puts the quote into its context or describes their reaction to the quote and its meaning.

Short and simple, these copywork pages are an enriching form of handwriting practice, memorization and inspiration lessons.  Here is your download ~ Famous World Leaders’ Quotes for Copywork.famous world leaders' quotes cover

Pop over to my Copywork page for other themed copywork downloads.

Blessings, Nadene

More Sonlight Notebook Pages!

Free Sonlight World History Notebook Pages to download

American War of Independence This 3 page download includes a notebook page and biography pages on Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

British India A notebooking page on British in India.

Explorers & Empire Builders A 6 page download with a biography page each for David Livingstone, Captain James Cook, Rene’ Caillie’, Robert Peary and Roald Amundsen.

For the more Sonlight notebooking pages please visit my Free Pages ~ ENJOY!

United Nations Notebooking & Minibook Page

Here is a notebook and minibook combo page on United Nations. Enjoy!

Check out other free Sonlight Notebooking pages here

Footprints Into The 21st Century

A rich collection of South African Literature

A rich collection of South African Literature

Footprints Into The 21st Century is a wonderful literature-based South African high school curriculum featuring an exceptional collection of living books for 12-16-year-old students.  It spans South African History from the South African War, World War 1 to the first democratic elections of 1994 and the emergence of a new democratic South Africa.

Image result for nelson mandela quotesThe curriculum covers eight historical periods and includes detailed outlines for the literature studies, faith-building reading, natural sciences studies and life skills activities. Footprints into the 21st Century features iconic leaders like Nelson Mandela, as well as other political  religious leaders, sports heroes, and famous South African artists and musicians.

This curriculum provides detailed guidelines, outlines and schedules and my 14 and 15-year-old daughters each completed almost all the reading and most assignments independently.  Most the assignments suggested followed a Charlotte Mason approach, with a variety of narration, research or presentation options.

We stretched this one year curriculum over 18 months, which gave us time to delve deeply and make the most of the experience.  You would need to buy a suitable Maths and 2nd language program to provide a complete highschool curriculum.

When I read the books and outlines, I remembered living in South Africa during the 1980’s apartheid era as a teenager and I was  emotionally moved by the content. However, my daughters viewed much of this as ‘mere’ history and I found that the content was suitable for a younger reader, yet challenging and thought-provoking.  Books like Faith Like Potatoes and The Seed Sower inspired our faith!

I am delighted that  we could study the rich heritage, history, culture, natural sciences, politics and geography of South Africa.  I highly recommend Footprints Into The 21st Century.

Blessings, Nadene

Teaching Print Handwriting step-by-step

Handwriting arrows

In earlier posts, I have shared some basic principles of teaching handwriting using a laminated chart and writing with a whiteboard marker.

Today, I would like to share some step-by-step tips to help teach print to a beginner writer:

Each of these exercises will form  the writing lesson for the day – keep it short and happy! Repeat the first 4 steps each time you begin a new lesson.

  1. Notice the “man” in the margin – his head is in the head line, his body is in the body line and his legs are in the leg line – (Let your child add eyes & a smile to his face) This “man” is vital for letter placement.  We draw men in all our margins of our lined paper and then begin the writing.  This helps prevent the missing lines or squashing letters too close to the previous line.
  2. All, ALL, ALL, ALL the letters sit on the body line – (let your child underline all the letters with a coloured whiteboard marker)
  3. ALL tall letters start in the head line – (use a whiteboard marker and let your child draw all the tall letters in a new colour)
  4. Some letters have shapes that “hang” down in the leg line – (Use another colour whiteboard marker and let your child  draw over the ‘”legs” of these letters)
  5. Many letters have circle shapes – (let your child draw over all the round, circle-shaped letters)
  6. Many letters have straight lines – (use a coloured marker to draw over the straight, stick shapes)
  7. A few letters have dots – (find them and dot them with the whiteboard marker)
  8. Your child can continue to find similar shapes – candy-canes, lines that make crosses, snake shapes, etc..  Allow them to make any associations with the shapes and use words or pictures.  This is important for them to remember the specific letters and their differences.
  9. Now you are ready to start each letter!  Find the 1 on each line.  Tell them this letter starts on the head line/ just under the body line. Mom must draw and explain. Draw the first shape, describing where it touches lines, bends, curves, becomes straight until you get to number 2.  Now begin the 2nd part of the letter describing where the line/ dot/ crossing line/ straight line starts and finishes.
  10. Let your child copy exactly what you have done.  Talk about and describe exactly what you did.  The child must remember where to start, slide up without lifting his pen, go straight, start to curve and so on.
  11. Once your child has successfully copied that letter, move on to the next.  Do only about a row a day when starting.  If they make any mistakes – lifting the marker instead of sliding it up or down a line already drawn/ making it too big or too small, going over a line etc. – let them wipe it out and try again.  We are aiming for 1 good, clear letter formed correctly!  Use humour – “Oh dear, that body looks too fat!  He ate too many cookies!  Let’s try draw him round, but not so wide!”  or “Wow!  That ‘c’ is floating – let’s try draw him sitting on the line!”  🙂
  12. Once your child can draw over all the lines with care and correct formation, he can do the lower case chart with staring dots.  Talk through the letter formation and watch for correct style, size and starting points.
  13. Once your child can do the lower case letters, you can introduce him to the upper case (capital) letters. Remember with capitals:
  • They ALL start on the head line!
  • They ALL sit on the body line!
  • None hang down into the leg line!
  • Pick up your pen to draw each shape.  They are too big to slide up or down – e.g.: “Capital A – Start on the head line, draw a straight slanting line that leans forward.  Pick up you pen and make another long straight line leaning back.  Pick up you pen and draw the small middle line across the body line to join the tall lines.”

I hope these tips help!  🙂  You can download all these charts on my Free Handwriting Pages

Cursive Handwriting – More Tips

Cursive handwriting should be a functional, beautiful, legible, a flowing transition from print writing Cursive writing styles differ and some letter shapes are very different from print, requiring re-learning of each lower case and upper case cursive letter.  For this reason, some parents chose to teach their children italics which mostly join the letters already learnt in print.

I teach handwriting with laminated charts!

It’s easy!  It’s quick!  And it works! And it’s fun!

With these charts you can teach neat, correct handwriting in just a few days!  It is so much quicker than expensive programs, books or tedious worksheets. And better still, children begin to use their handwriting in a meaningful way within days!

Most handwriting programs offer exercises with practices in the slant, or the joining stroke, and then teach the same shaped letters in groups.  This reinforces the techniques needed to learn the new style.

When a child is mature enough to learn cursive, at about 9 to 10-years-old, and they have mastered writing in print and can write at a reasonable speed, then he/she could start learning to write in cursive.

I have found that my children have easily traced over their laminated charts with a whiteboard marker.  With daily repetition, they quickly learn how to form the letters and then they use their charts for reference while they do their copywork, dictations or narrations in pencil.  And with this system, I have found that they learn the style quickly, and soon begin to write in cursive with ease and confidence.

Once they have mastered writing in pencil without too many errors or erasing mistakes, they can begin to write in pen.  My children preferred the smooth flow of gel pens and especially enjoyed using glitter pens for special notes or heading.

My eldest daughter wrote perfectly – flawlessly!  She loved doing beautiful cursive handwriting, but it came at a cost – speed.  She was slow and she needed much more time to complete her written assignments.  As she has matured and her workload has increased, she has needed to lower her standard of perfection, speed up her writing and yet still write legibly.  She still can write beautifully, but she does this is for birthday cards or special notes.

Conversely, my 10-year-old needs to slow down, try perfect her writing and try keep the slant and size of each letter consistent.  She needs encouragement to slowly write her copywork or dictations.

If your handwriting program is causing unhappiness and reluctance, pop over to  download my FREE Handwriting charts.

I have also created a comprehensive 8-page booklet Teaching Cursive step-by-step  filled with practical advice, simple instructions, clear examples, step-by-step descriptions on how and where to place letters and how to form cursive letters.

My 20-page Handwriting Tips Booklet is packed with practical tips and activities to teach children to write and covers all developmental stages; pre, early and basic writing skills.  It includes helpful activities and fun pre-writing games which help to build up your child’s gross motor strength, develop fine motor control and develop their spatial awareness.  Important guidelines to promote correct posture and pencil grip for maximum control and minimum stress while learning to write.

I hope that these downloads help you quickly and easily teach your children to write in cursive.

Blessings, Nadene
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Free Cursive Handwriting Charts

Cursive Handwriting Charts for Free!

My children are about 9 to 10-years old when they start cursive handwriting.  They should have mastered print handwriting. They should learn all the letter forms on the chart before writing in cursive in notebook pages. The writing style we chose is the official South African school cursive form.

Handwriting cursive lower

Cursive lower case

Cursive upper case

Cursive upper case

Cursive upper & lower case

Cursive upper & lower case

They use whiteboard markers to learn the letter shape and practice letter formation on the chart.  Once the child masters lower case letters , they learn the upper case letters.  Then they are able to write dictations and copywork in pencil on notebook pages.

You can download the 3 page cursive handwriting charts here – Cursive Handwriting Chart

Some more tips:

  • Daily practice helps mastery
  • ‘Talk’ through the letter formation – e.g.: flow up, loop over, straight down, touch the base line, slide up the line, curve up to mid line …
  • Use a H pencil instead of HB as it doesn’t smudge easily
  • Use sharp pencils
  • Use rubber pencil grip to hold the pencil comfortably and correctly
  • Use propelling pencils with the triangle rubber grip
  • Sit comfortably, at the correct height table with feet resting on the floor (or foot stool/box/ledge)
  • Neatest work for copywork – other writing is functionally neat and legible
  • When they accomplish writing in pencil they can begin to use pen

Look at my Handwriting pages for more charts and tips 🙂