Connecting with Copywork

Connecting with Copywork2


If you write for children, there is a growing market that you cannot afford to ignore—the homeschool market. The homeschool market is currently a billion-dollar industry with more than two million children homeschooled in the United States alone.1

But what does that have to do with writers?

It’s simple. Just as it’s good marketing advice to speak at Civil War commemorations if you write fiction that touches on the Civil War, it’s good marketing advice to know what materials homeschoolers are looking for and find ways to connect your writing to that need. One way to do that is through copywork.

Copywork is a teaching tool used by many homeschoolers to develop and reinforce handwriting, spelling, and grammar skills. By copying a specific passage (often on lined paper or paper formatted with a handwriting font for the child to imitate), the child learns the shape of the letters, how to spell a variety of words, and how to put the words together into complete and proper sentences. When the copywork incorporates Scripture, it can also be used as a Scripture memorization tool.

So how do you create copywork?

  1. The first thing you need to know is there are three popular styles of handwriting that you commonly see in copywork: print, cursive, and manuscript. You will see font programs that offer one or two, but not all three. You will also find that some programs offer a dotted font without lines and also with lines. If you are going to use your materials commercially, you need to be careful to be sure you have the appropriate license to use the font for that purpose. I cannot tell you in this post which programs are licensed in what ways (as that would be legal advice!). Several places you can find inexpensive handwriting fonts include: Teachers Pay Teachers, Fontspace, and The handwriting font I use was purchased from Fonts4Teachers at Teachers Pay Teachers.
  1. Next, you need your content. Obviously, if you have something related to your published works, that is a key place to start. Other popular topics are holidays, famous people, famous quotes, and Scripture passages. Keep in mind that you may have copyright issues to be aware of whenever you convert someone else’s words into copywork.

If I wrote a series of children’s stories set at the turn of the century, I could create copywork from quotes from that time period or write something related to that time. For this example, I’ll turn into copywork a quote by President William McKinley (who was President 1897-1901).

“War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.”

  1. Once you have installed your font program and selected your content, it’s time to get busy. It’s possible to create copywork printables in various programs. For the ones I have created, I have used Microsoft Word. This time I’m going to create a printable that has print, cursive, and manuscript to trace as well as to copy. To do that, I will copy and paste my text and adjust the font and size to the one I desire. Then I will have a great deal of reformatting to do as my copywork seems to like to have line breaks in all the wrong places! The steps to converting the text to the copywork font vary by software.

I’ll create the tracing page first for print. Next is the lined version. I’ll finish filling in the page with blank lines. Then I will create a new page of blank lines. Make sure that when you are done creating blank lines you have at least as many blank as it took in the printed version above it. Once print is complete, I will repeat for cursive and finally for manuscript.

With many font programs, you’ll find that the right end does not justify properly. An easy fix that the creator of Fonts4Teachers taught me was to insert a white text box (no outline) along the edge of each page that cuts off the tail end of your jagged lines (but not your text!).

Take a look at my finished President McKinley copywork.

  1. The next step is to get the word out about your copywork. You can choose to sell it or make it a free download. Selling will limit the ways you can expose others to your content, whereas offering a free worksheet opens many doors. You will find many of those doors through blog link ups and blog hops. A blog link up gives you a way to connect with anywhere from a handful of potential readers to dozens of potential readers or more.

One word of caution—do NOT try to enter every link up or blog hop you discover or you will never get anything new written! Each link up or hop has rules to follow and actions to take; therefore, each one represents an investment of your time. You must pray and decide which ones God wants you to invest in and which ones you may just want to file away for future reference (or skip altogether). You can find a list of the blog link ups I try to regularly take part in, as well as links to lists of link ups here.

  1. The final thing I have found that you need is a graphic to place in your  post to draw people’s attention. The graphic is also very helpful in blog link ups and is essential for Pinterest. Pinterest is extremely popular with homeschoolers, so this is a social media platform you may want to consider if you have not already joined. There are also a large number of group boards on Pinterest for homeschool-related material. Joining and pinning to these boards exposes your work to a much wider audience.

Remember, once readers are on your blog or website to download the copywork, you will have the opportunity to expose them to your writing projects and passions. If you’d like to learn more about connecting your writing to the homeschool market, I encourage you to stop by my website, blog or Facebook page. I’d love to connect with you!

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  1. Jean says:

    Thank you, Bonnie. I’m a former school teacher, so I should have checked into this a long time ago.

    Thanks for yet another market possibility.


  2. Cathy says:

    This is a totally new concept for me. Guess I’d better hurry and catch up. I’ll have to read over this a couple more times to get my head wrapped around it. Thanks for the informative blog piece.

    • Bonnie Rose says:

      Cathy, I’m glad you found it helpful. If you run into any questions, don’t hesitate to send me a note at writebonnierose (at) gmail (dot) com. I’m blogging through an entire series of how to write for homeschoolers.

  3. Bonnie,
    I found your article interesting! I guess I should check into publishing copywork, especially since I’ve been homeschooling for 14 years(and I love Pinterest!)
    I am not exactly clear about how to do it but I’ll check out your website and experiment a little.
    Thank you for introducing me to a new outlet for writing.
    Is a paying market for copywork?

    • Bonnie Rose says:

      Sally, I’m glad you liked it! If you run into any questions, don’t hesitate to send them my way. You can always reach me at writebonnierose (at) gmail (dot) com. compensates in advertising and promotion. We have a subscriber base of app. 11,000 and are part of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which is one of the biggest names in Christian homeschooling. If you’d like to talk more about the details, just send me a note. I’m always happy to talk to new potential contributors for the site!

  4. corine says:

    Thanks for this post. I already have a few copy works on my website and have been thinking of ways to market my books. Would you mind sharing a few of the Pinterest boards you use?

  5. Thank you for sharing about copywork. I’ve enjoyed writing copywork for the homeschoolers with you.


  1. Guest Blog Posts and Social Media Collaborations | - […] “Connecting with Copywork,” my guest post on Write2Ignite, posted on January 8, 2014. […]
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