- I can get Willow to do it without much fuss about once a week. Although the copywork is tedious (of course), I think that she finds the composition interesting, and the activity novel.
- It's a productive schoolwork, something that we do in real life and that has real-life results.
- I feel like it helps the girls connect to our extended family, all of whom live very far away.
So far, the girls have written letters to their Uncle Chad, their Grandma Janie, and their Uncle Mac (who's not a blood uncle, but a close friend of mine who also loves the girls--does everyone have a couple of courtesy aunts and uncles in the family, or is that just a Southern thing?). Our letter writing kind of follows the Classical Education model in that first, they dictate the letter to me, while I copy it out onto a dry-erase board and make some compositional suggestions, things like "Grandma Janie asked about Disney World in her last email; you should tell her a little about it now."
The Classical Education model would want me to hold on to my dictation and present it with them at a separate time for copywork (and Sydney would be too young to copy it at all), but I then give the letter right to them, and expect that they sit right down and copy it out before the dry erase marker gets smudged or we need it for something else:
This is also a good time for me to sit down and write my own letter to "Uncle" Mac, or to collect a few photos of the girls that their Uncle Chad has been asking for, etc.
I address the envelopes myself, but the girls stuff them, and I used to permit them to decorate the envelopes, too, but the last time I did this I had to re-write the address on top of some very exuberant decoration and I'm still not certain that it was completely legible, so that may not be part of the game in the future.
We've got a couple of other people to write in the next couple of weeks--friends the next town over, the other grandma--and then, hopefully, the return correspondence will begin to arrive, and we can start the game all over again!
So, it costs 45 cents to get two kids to practice their handwriting, test their composition skills, and develop relationships with family and friends.
Not a bad investment!