What were colonial schools like? Sherry Beaman Sumter School District 3rd grade
Imagine going to school and not using pencils, paper, or books.Turn and tell your neighbor what you think it would be like.
Whatwere colonial schools like? • ONE building for ALL grades • ONE classroom for ALL grades • ONE teacher for ALL grades • ONE fireplace or wood stove • Desks and benches for students
AND… • NO pencils • NO paper • NO books
So how did students learn to read? • The children learned from hornbooks. • They were wooden and shaped like paddles. • Paper was nailed to the wood with the alphabet and a prayer written on it. • The paper was covered with a thin shaving of cow horn to keep it from tearing.
What about writing without paper & pencils? • Sometimes kids used pieces of birch bark & wrote with pieces of lead. • Sometimes they made chalk with ashes. • Sometimes kids used a quill made from a feather & dipped it in homemade ink.
What did they write? • Students practiced their letters and Bible verses or poems. • Spelling didn’t count because there were no rules for spelling. • Handwriting was important, and had to be just right.
Who went to colonial schools? • At first, when they were very young, both boys and girls went to a dame school. • Dame schools were in a house. • Girls would learn to read at school so they could read the Bible at home. • Boys would learn more subjects such as math.
A dame school may have looked like this. What do you think this boy was doing?
After dame school… • Girls didn’t always continue with school. They often stayed home and learned to cook and sew. • When boys learned how to read, they could go on to another school where they would be taught more. • BOYS could go on to college.
What about discipline? • The punishments were very harsh. • There were certain punishments if you did not listen or behave appropriately. • A stick was in the classroom for hitting the palms, the knuckles, and the bottom. • Sometimes a knob was on one wall and if anybody behaved badly they had to bend over and touch their nose on the knob. • If a boy or a girl talked, whispered, or giggled boys might have to sit with girls or girls with boys for embarrassment.