Archive for December, 2013

Education in the 1800s

Education in the 1800s

Teachers in the 1800s did not have as many qualifications as they do today.  In the 1800s, all you needed was a basic knowledge of math, history, reading, and writing. Today you need a college degree.  Back then, most of the teachers were men, but when the civil war started the men were needed to fight.  Teaching was one of the only jobs women could do in the 1800s.  Also, teachers then were not allowed to do things like dance at social gathering or be away from home in the evening, and keep the schoolhouse clean. The women were also not allowed to marry. 

            The students were all kept in one room.  Boys were on one side and girls were on the other.  Unlike today, they were not grouped by grades, but by what book they were using.  This means that some five-year-olds could be in a class with seventeen-year-olds.  Some of the books they used were the Bible, the McGuffey Readers and The Blue-Backed Speller.  The McGuffey’s readers were written by William H. McGuffey.  They were the most commonly distributed schoolbooks in America.  The Blue-backed Speller was written by Noah Webster and was a very popular spelling book.  Around 60 million copies were sold within the first 50 years.

            Before the year of 1852, there were no laws requiring people to go to school.  Massachusetts was the first state to make a law forcing children to go to school.  New York quickly did the same, and within the next all the other states also made it a requirement.

            Most school days lasted from nine AM to four PM.  They got a lunch break from twelve to one, and a recess.


December 15, 2013 at 10:36 pm Leave a comment

1800 schools

The Teachers, Students and Books

Education in the 1800s was governed by the parents. Thus, the parents elected who was going to be the teacher, as well as they were the ones who selected the textbooks and created expectations as opposed to the government. The teacher had close relationships with the parents as well as the students, and often times if the parents couldn’t afford to pay the teacher, they instead provided food, clothing and shelter. Before the Civil War started, many of the teachers were men. However many became soldiers for the war, and as a result, the majority of the teachers were women. 

The students of all ages were grouped together into a one-room schoolhouse. Most of the students were needed at home to help with farming. A typical school day started at 9:00 and ended around 1:00. 

The students used textbooks like “The Blue-Backed Speller” by Noah Webster, “McGuffey’s Eclectic readers” by William H. McGuffey. The Blue-Backed Speller consisted of Scripture passages, lessons about economics and morality as well as geography. McGuffey’s Eclectic readers taught geography, patriotism, Biblical morals, science, as well as poetry. 

Schools then and now

Schools then and now have changed drastically. In the 1800s, the schools often times started in October and ended around May, due to the fact that that the students were needed at home for farming. Now, most public schools start around the end of August, and end mid June. Public schools are now primarily run by the government, as well as many of them do not present teachings from the Bible or encourage the Christian morals. Most public schools instead teach things that lead students away from God, such as the theory of Evolution. Nonetheless, schools have come a long way with big differences in the technology and the teaching system. 


December 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm 1 comment

School houses in the 1800s

Danielle Wood


In the early 1800s, there were no public schools that were financed by the government.  The only schooling there was besides at home was one room school houses financed and worked by the people in a small town.  The teacher was chosen by the parents of the children.  The requirements were very low.  Basically, the teacher just needed to know a little bit about the basic subjects like math, history, science, reading, and writing.  There were no specific courses for the teachers until later.  The teachers were men in the beginning, but because of World War II, men were needed to fight and so teaching became the only job that single women were allowed to have.  Eventually, the number of women teachers grew much higher than the number of men teachers. In the typical school day, the teacher got up at dawn and went to the schoolhouse.  They would be there teaching during the school hours and after school they would then clean the school house.  During the schooling time, the students would all be together no matter their grade.  The classes were mostly small.  Sometimes there could be 30 kids and other times there could be as little as one.  Since there was no law for children to attend school, many farm kids would be kept home to help on the farm.  This was frequent in rural towns.  The school day would typically last from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  The school would be open for 10-11 weeks twice a year in summer and winter.  The first school period would begin in the third week of May and the second would begin in the third week of November.  The most well-known text books used were the Blue-Backed Speller and the Eclectic Readers which were written by Noah Webster and William H. McGuffey.  The schoolhouses in the 1800s were very different from the public schools we have today.  One difference that to me makes the biggest impact is the Bible’s position in it.  The children were allowed to bring Bibles to read and were encouraged to pray.  The focus of the teaching was on the Christian life.  The Bible had a big part in the school houses, but once the government took over schooling and developed public schools it was clear that the focus was shifted away from God.


December 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm 4 comments

19th Century School System

Sam Operchuck                                                                                                             12-12-13



 The Early School System of the 19th Century.


A Brief History



            During the Nineteenth Century, many revolutionary thinkers came out of the wood work and aided in a critical period of American History. During this time, one of the most important principles came to fruition: that of a school system that was available to the common child. Until the early 1800s, schooling, much like the weaving of clothes and the baking of foods, was done in the home (during the life of the domestic system). However as America pulled away from the domestic system in industry and technology, it also did so in education. The majority of the push for public schools came from Horace Mann, who later became the first secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education. Before a structured school system was established, teachers of very small schools or children’s parents were only able to teach what they knew, partially due to the inefficient speed that news and information travelled. However, as public schools started to spring up, so did smaller schools specifically for training teachers (another one of the contributions of Mann).





By the time that schools were a common institution in towns and cities, states began to pass laws making it mandatory to attend school at least through a elementary level. “By 1918 all states had passed laws requiring children to attend at least elementary school.”



Widespread popularity of a public school system


As schools became more refined, the demand for a uniform, standard curriculum became a necessity. Noah Webster, author of the “American Spelling Book”, or “Blue-Backed Speller”, provided for such a demand. Within the book’s first 50 years of being published, over 60 million copies sold to teachers and students across the country. Webster would go on to contribute America’s first dictionary of the English language. Another widely popular textbook is William McGuffey’s “Eclectic Readers” was the “most widely used and distributed series of schoolbooks in America”. For the 19th century student, a school-day began at nine o-clock and only lasted until 1:30, making it a four and a half hour day.




As history has progressed, even from public schools then and now, there are few things that they have in common. They do, however, share many characteristics. As the school system developed, it brought with it a large amount of controversy. Many demanded education for all citizens, yet many also thought it should be a privilege of the wealthy. As the system developed and attendance laws formed, groups such as Catholics created their own “private” schools, where religion was incorporated into daily education. The Public school system boomed and progressed quickly, but as it did so, the private and homeschooled systems also began to develop. Things like Religion, Segregation, Morality, Occupation goals, Politics and many other things would become issues of debate between the groups, as they are today.




United States History – abeka


December 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm 1 comment

Schools in the 1800’s

In the early 1800’s children went to a one room school house.  They were grouped by what grade they were in with the younger children in front.  The teacher was chosen by the parents of the children and if he or she did a good job they were well respected in the town.  The parents paid the teacher and if they didn’t have enough money gave them food or clothes or other things to pay.  The children were taught mainly from Noah Webster’s American Spelling Book, but also used William McGuffey’s Eclectic readers. These books taught the students the different subjects that they needed to learn.  The classes went from 9:00 to 4:00 each day and they had an hour off from 12:00 to 1:00 to eat lunch and have recess.  There was only school in summer and winter, because spring was planting and fall was harvesting.

The government wasn’t evolved in schooling yet because it was the parent’s choice if they wanted their children to go to school.  I think that the system we use today is better because the teacher is for 1 grade only and the students can listen to them the whole time, and not have to worry about where or not she was speaking to your section.


December 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm 5 comments


Schools of the 1800’s

During the early 18th century responsibility of education fell under the family (homeschooling) and local parents of the community.  Learning the basic academics Math, English, etc. teachers at the time were chosen by parents in the community.  If the teacher did well he/she was respected by the community; if people of the community could pay the teacher, but if there were people who could not pay or afford to pay the teacher the teacher would receive meals and clothing or other items.  Most of the teachers at the time were young and inexperienced but most did their best to teach the kids there academics. As far as disciplinary action was taken was much stricter at the time, students had to say “yes’ sir No ‘sir Vise versa if the teacher was a woman.  Harsh Disciplinary action was taken towards students who misbehaved.

Most children at the time would attend a one room class room were all grades were grouped together, the teacher would teach each grade individually.  The older students would help the younger students with their subjects first before receiving help with theirs

At the time there was no government involvement in schooling.  Schooling was a community decision and project (up to the parents).  Books that were used at the time were McGuffey’s readers, Noah Webster’s Blue-backed Speller these are two examples of academic books.

School days were from 9:00 am in the morning to 4:00 PM is in the afternoon.  From what I have read about the way schooling was done at this time, I think that it would probably be better if we were to use the same system that they used then.  I’m not saying the books they used then or technology, I’m not saying the stuff we have now is obviously better what I’m trying to say is the way and the approach that they used then was so much more superior.

December 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm 1 comment