A friend of mine asked a question about copywork on a CM yahoogroup to which I didn't know the answer. So that got me googling. Yes, googling is a word... an action verb to be precise! :)
I came across this post from a blog that I have been reading since I became newly acquainted with Charlotte Mason. It describes copywork and dictation from a CM viewpoint, and I think now that I've not been doing either one correctly.
I've been using Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason, but I've been using the exercises as copywork first and then dictation. Apparently, that's just not how studied dictation is supposed to happen.
Okie dokie... I read Lindafay's (from the above referenced blog) description of a dictation lesson, and I've re-read the introduction to Spelling Wisdom, and I see now where I went astray. I've sort of missed the purpose of both copywork and dictation. I was really assuming that the "studied" part of dictation was when they copied it. Nope, not at all.
The "studied" part is the work that the child does to be able to picture the words they may have trouble with, to be able to recall the placement of capital letters, commas and other punctuation. Then you are also working on their attention by only repeating a segment/clause of the dictation one time. None of this "can you repeat that last part again, Mommy?"
And the copywork part is supposed to be different every day, from their school books, and the varied subjects. Or from the Bible. Or from Poetry. Or on and on. Varied. Interesting. And for the older children, it can be self-selected. They would LOVE that, and talk about owning their learning!
Ok, lots to ponder and re-work.
And in answer to the friend's question (because I know she reads here when she can): I believe you do copywork forever, but as the student becomes older it becomes more of a place for them to record quotes and quips that are meaningful to them. Sort of like a scrapbook of beautiful words.
Hope that helps! :)