Last week, I said we would kick off unit studies this week. I hope you will forgive me for a slight change in plans. I realized our Charlotte Mason unit would not be complete without a tutorial showing you how to create copywork on your own.
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. Several places you can find inexpensive handwriting fonts include: Downhill Publishing, Fontspace, and dafont.com. The handwriting font I use is called Fonts4Teachers from Downhill Publishing, and I highly recommend it.
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 have copyright issues to be aware of wherever you find your content as well. Of course, if you create your own content, that isn’t a problem!
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.
For this tutorial, I’ll make a copywork printable from Isaiah chapter 9:
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined . . . for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2, 6 KJV
I’m going to create a printable that has print, cursive, and manuscript to trace as well as to copy. I copy and paste my text and adjust the font and size. 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!
I’ll create the tracing page first. 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.
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!).
You can download the free Christmas copywork from Isaiah here.
Next week we’ll talk about getting the word out about what you’ve created!
This post is Part Three of a four-part series: How to Write for the Homeschool Market: The Charlotte Mason Method. Enjoy the rest of the series here.
Tutorial: Creating Copywork 1-2-3