If you are looking for something to help make copywork and free-writing a regular habit this year, as well as encourage the kids to read, then I have just the thing....
What is it?
A fun doodle themed printable journal (ink friendly!) to record and review books read, practice copywork and free-writes throughout the year.
My kids love it....they saw me designing it and demanded to have one too (little do they know the whole reason I started putting this together in the first place was for them).
We have been a big fan of copywork and freewriting for many years, but I have to admit we're not always as consistent as I would like us to be. I know what amazing tools these simple activities are to aid all areas of writing development; however because they are such simple tasks, they're easy to overlook as other bigger projects take over.
We're at the begining of another academic year; the time when I always put my thinking cap on to see how can we improve our studies going forward inshaAllah. This is where the idea for this journal sprang from alhamdulillah.
I wanted something that would help copywork and free-writing to be consistent this year and wouldn't require much of my assistance. What better way to help consistency than with a book ready to fill in. I set to work and I'm super pleased with the results alhamdulillah. It will serve as evidence of writing progression throughout the year, holding a collection of copy-work pieces and free-writing drafts.
Reading is hugely important to writing development. Books introduce a whole array of new vocabulary and writing styles. Therefore I felt a reading log would benefit the journal. There are two parts to this:
The first is a book tracking page; for every book that is read a spine is coloured so that at the end of the year there is a record of how many books have been finished. Alternatively for children who do find reading a struggle and so completing a book is a real challenge, a spine can be coloured every day that reading has taken place. This can be a really helpful tool to encourage daily reading practice.
The second part is the Reading Log page which asks for just one book review each week. It's a really nice way to record their favourite books over the year.
Your child can copy the official book cover or choose to design their own along with writing their review, synopsis and rating they'd give it.
Copywork offers such a multitude of benefits for such a simple task. The obvious is penmanship. If you want to help your child practice and improve their hand-writing, use copywork. Never expect your child to have pristine handwriting when they are creating original content; original writing is the enemy to neat penmanship. Its like walking through water. It gets in the way. You try writing an article or answering a question whilst simultaneously perfecting your handwriting. It is difficult if not impossible!
Remove the obstacle of thinking, and let the focus be solely on the art of writing. Copying text is perfect for this because it eliminates the distraction of thinking.
When we ask our children to copy text, we're asking them to write the best they can, as neatly as they can, noticing every punctuation mark and putting it in its place.
Any text can be used and if it is something the child chooses himself or has interest in, then all the better because they will have a greater level of engagement.
You might think that copywork is only good for developing the skill of handwriting, but you would be wrong. It lends itself very well to improving spelling and grammar too - you can read more about how copywork is good for spelling and grammar in this previous post [here].
The copywork page in the journal encourages your child to look out for new or unfamiliar words and make note of them, as well as offer a small grammar or punctuation fact. The facts are intended to offer a simple introduction or revision of various rules, to make your child more aware of them and how they are used. They are not intended as a full on grammar lesson. Rather a small side benefit to look for after completing their copywork task.
This is the juice of the journal. This is where we see your child's personality and encourage that to come through into their writers voice.
Free-writing is required any time spontaneous writing is called for; be that answering a question in a text book or preparing a full on report. This skill is hugely important, yet is one that is often misunderstood.
It's really common to see children dumbing down their writing in order to match their spelling level. They have amazing things to say, but don't know how to communicate that effectively because they lack spelling and grammar knowledge.
So here, we ask the kids not to worry about how to spell a word or where to put a comma, nor do we worry about having neat handwriting. All we are interested in is original content. We want to help channel what is in their mind and get it out onto the paper. Later these free-writes can of course be mopped up and corrected into a finished piece of writing. But for the first free-write, this is just a draft and we're practicing the skill of extracting thoughts through the pencil.
The journal offers a weekly free-write instruction together with some prompts to boost their ideas if they get stuck.
I know as a parent, how easy it is to buy every latest product I come across with the belief this is the new must-have for my family. But with most workbooks and materials, we're left pretty much alone once we have it and then its not uncommon to find it gets tossed to the side and forgotten.
I don't want you to take this workbook to your children and not know how to help them with it. And so I have prepared a really short, simple yet concise digital guide to help you utilise the workbook at home inshaAllah.
This is a free extra I've prepared so that you won't get stuck.
What ages is the journal for?
I'd recommend the journal for primary ages, so children between around 5 up to 10ish, but certainly is not limited to this age group.
What does it cost and what do I get?
The journal is just £5.99 and you only need one purchase to use with all your children.
You will receive:
- Reading Log, Copywork and Free-Writing Journal PDF 124 pages
The journal provides book review, copywork and free-writing pages to cover 39 weeks (the average school year is 36 weeks).
- Free Parents Guide PDF 37 pages
Please note: you will not receive a physical journal or Parent's Guide. These are both PDF files that you will need to print at home; the benefit to this is you can give all your children a copy with only one purchase!
Your journal can be used with all your children or students and may be reprinted again each year. You don't need a separate purchase for each of your own children or students if you're a teacher.
However please note that your purchase can not be shared with friends, extended family or other teachers. Each purchase is for one household / classroom only.
How do I get the Reading Log, Copywork and Free-Writing Journal?
Send your payment securely here through PayPal, just click the button below. Your order will be emailed to you within 12 hours inshaAllah (usualy it is a lot sooner than that, but please allow up to 12 hours).