Copy Work Hirn Style

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In our family the core of our schooling is called copy work.  But if you ask a hundred teachers what copy work is, you will get a hundred different answers.  In our house copy work, is the name of the method of learning that includes detailed copying of the Torah (scriptures).  Today, Lydia completed here second book of Torah, Exodus.  To give other families an idea of what this means I want to share the method and work that Lydia has done over the last five years.

Last month, Lydia completed the book of Genesis and now in less than a month’s time she has completed her second book.  You may be thinking why did the first book take four years, and the second only a matter of a month.  Well let’s travel back in time to when we first began copying with this method.

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First, let me explain the method.


Copying Torah in the Hirn house goes like this:

Before you can start you have to learn to write clearly and plainly, in cursive, Genesis 1:1.

(IN our house once you start reading and writing, you start learning cursive and Hebrew.  A student will practice writing Genesis 1:1 many, many times before they begin their master books.)

Once you begin copying Genesis in ink into your official copy book you use the following process to copy the Word into your heart and mind as well as your book.  A student needs to be able to work independently to copy into official books.


Step One:

Read Chapter to yourself.


Step Two:

Copy chapter into book word for word, dot for dot, from your Bible.

Hard at work.
Hard at work.

Step three:

Draw a picture to represent chapter.

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Step four:

Write a Journal entry for chapter.

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Step Five:

Check over copy work for any mistakes, and correct them using white out.

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This process may sound simple and easy, but it takes a very long time to do this work correctly.


When a student first begins this process they may complete a chapter a week of copying, and the next week complete steps three through five.  It is a very tiring work.  It requires concentration and endurance.


So, Lydia is seventeen and has been working on her copy work for five years.  Those first four years, she learned how to sit still for long periods of time and stay focused on the task at hand.  She learned how to read quicker and comprehend what she was reading.  She mastered her penmanship.  She learned how to read and copy quickly with little error.  She learned how to apply what she was reading and studying to art and journaling.  She learned how to apply scripture to her life.  She learned how to pace herself, and manage her time.

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So, even though the book of Genesis took her four years to copy, she could copy and learn the book of Exodus in only a month.

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Her goal is to finish Torah by mid-summer.  This is a requirement for her to graduate from Hirn Homeschool.  She will be the first student to actually complete the whole Torah before graduation.  YHVH has blessed her and will continue to bless her as she seeks to complete this task.  Just to make it clear how much time is required to copy that much in a month.  Lydia works on her copy work three hours a day.  She gets up at 6 am, and she uses her free time in the afternoon to get extra copying in.  She is dedicated and determined.






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