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Copywork, Spelling, & Grammar

The Magical Age and Other Myths
When I first started home schooling I heard that exposure to print—lots of reading—would painlessly make good spellers and writers of children. Another myth I've often heard is that children are usually ready to write at around age ten. I've even repeated these myths to others; there may be some truth to them at least with some individuals. But these myths are not the whole truth. In reality, to become a good speller and a good writer may take years of preparation....

The Royal Road to Spelling
We all make mistakes along this journey of home education. Sometimes the road we choose seems right but leads nowhere. But what a good education to parents these mistakes can be! Years ago with my first child, I let her use invented spelling as long as it made sense phonetically. I had heard that given time and lots of reading, a child would naturally become a good speller. When a ten-year-old, who has long been an avid reader, still spells ‘said’ as ‘sed,’ you realize you've made a big mistake! I have used only Charlotte Mason’s method of spelling with my sons and I’m totally amazed at the results. This method really works!...

What About Grammar?
After a Charlotte Mason workshop at a local home school convention, a sincere and concerned mother asked, "What about grammar? Children need to know grammar (adverbs, nouns, and so forth) in order to construct a good sentence." Much of the workshop had discussed copy work, dictation, and narration, but grammar had not been mentioned.

Luckily, I was not the instructor so no one noticed the incredulous look on my face or my hand as it reached up to close my dropped jaw. The instructor answered very tactfully.

But let's look at this question logically: What about grammar? Is it possible to write well without a thorough, formal knowledge of grammar? First,...

To read the rest of these articles, you may purchase the newly revised, 10th anniversary edition of the
Charlotte Mason Study Guide. This digital e-book is available for $5 from this site.

More language arts articles: beginning reading, italic handwriting, language arts with older students, choosing living literature. Read sample narrations. Print out More quotes for copywork.