Tomer Pesin 7C2-ID2

Unlike today, some kids went to school
and some didn’t. That’s how it just was.
At first boys and girls went to Dame
School. The teacher would be a woman,
and children would come to her house
and learn how to read and write.
Back then, the older kids would use a book
called The New England Primer. Children
in Dame School, however, would use
hornbooks. It wasn’t a real book, but it was
wood with a printed page on each side.
When finished with the hornbook, children
would have finished Dame School.
After Dame School, boys would go onto
another school. Though girls…… went
home! Most people thought girls should
just know how to read and write, and
more importantly, how to cook and clean
the house. Other people said that girls
should just as smart as boys. Therefore,
girls were taught at home.
Now back to boys. Boys were forced to go
to school (according to the law…) That
same law said that a town with more than
50 families would have to build a school
just for boys (some law….) But, some
towns did not have enough money (oh,
what will they do....?)
The law (probably the same mentioned a slide
ago) did not say schools had to be comfortable.
So, most of them weren’t. The benches were
hard and there was only one room (which was
freezing in the winter.) The heat came from the
fireplace. Unfortunately, each boy had to bring
in firewood. If someone forgot to bring it in, no
warmth for them!
Also, the family of the boys had to pay the
schoolmaster. Often, they paid with corn.
Sometimes, the schoolmaster might even have
too much food!
There were no blackboards and no maps. There were
no pencils. They wrote with a lump of lead or with
goose-quill pens dipped in ink. Paper was really hard
to get. Instead, they wrote on birch bark. Boys also
spent a lot of time to learn to write neat. If it was
neat and small, nobody even cared how words were
After learning what was in the New England Primer,
boys would go to another school. Though, some boys
were ready to go to college at the age of eleven. Then
again, some boys stopped going to school and went
Schoolmasters would keep a
birch branch in handy-just in
case if someone needed a good
amount of whacking! But, there
were also other punishments.
For instance, if you didn’t know
what you were doing, you
would have to wear a dunce
cap. If you were caught biting
your nails, you would have to
wear a card that said
“Bitefinger Baby.” In Colonial
Times, you would have to think
twice about misbehaving.
Bet you
don’t want
to go to a
-…If You Lived in Colonial Times by Ann McGovern

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