Perhaps Miss Nightingale's opinion of copywork was why Miss Charlotte Mason wanted one line, done perfectly!
“Victorian children had copybooks in which hackneyed, improving phrases … had to be copied over and over again. Assigned this laborious and boring task by Miss Christie [her governess], Florence got to the letter ‘T’ and then wrote, ‘Stupid Copybook. The use of this copy I never could see and I do not like it, I never wish to write it and I never will if I can help it’” [p. 94-95]
“Each day Parthe [sister] and Flo were supposed to find some object to draw—a flower, a vase—and to practice the piano for at least one-half hour. They always had some piece of needlework to do, and they were encouraged to hand-make gifts….There were chapters of the Bible to read, poems to learn by heart and on Sunday …[they were expected to] take notes on the Sermon and write out a summary when they returned home….Reading was of course important, but for information and spiritual inspiration, not for fun. [Her Mother] disliked ‘story books’ and exercised tight control over what the girls were reading.” [p. 95]
“In [her Mother’s] eyes, physical exercise was more important than lessons and second only to praying and Bible reading….She insisted that they take at least two good walks a day, rain or shine and do daily calisthenic exercises inside.Thankfully for Florence and her sister, her Father took the radical [nearly unheard of] step of overseeing his daughters' education after this!