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Life in the Old-days: School Life

Life in the old-days: school life.. thought your school was old, crummy, and boring. say that to these kids back in the old days 1700s-1900s.

School in the old days


If you went to school in the 1700s you would not get your own book since paper was so expensive. Students studied off a wooden paddle called a hornbook. It was a single sheet of paper with the alphabet and a religious verse. The covering was made of clear cow’s horn (to keep the paper in), and students usually tied it to their belts to keep track of it.

School building

Back in the day of settlers, schools were made of whatever was available. Many schools were only one-roomed. The schools were usually made of wood or bricks. Some schools were even made of sod, logs, or even tarpaper, some were even tents. One thing they all had in common, no indoors plumbing, so when nature called the kids would have to use the outhouse.

Paper (or at least something to write on)

Since paper was still expensive in the 1800s students used a slates-small portable little chalkboards. They wrote with little slate pencils and wiped the words off when they were finished.


Many one -roomed schools had one stove for heating called the “hot seat”. On the cold days the students would do exercises around the stove to keep warm. Those that were close to the stove were warm and the ones that were far were cold no matter what the child was (grades).

Eating (lunch)

Before the 1900s many schools didn’t serve lunch. Students either brought food with them or went home to eat lunch. Unfortunately many families ere too poor to feed their children a midday meal so the government passed an act to make sure every child would get a nutritious midday meal at school.

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