School houses in the 1800s

December 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm 4 comments

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.



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

19th Century School System 1800 schools

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. monguinhandel  |  December 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

    which system of teaching do you like better

    • 2. dwood07022013  |  December 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      I prefer the teaching that is based off the Bible and centered on God. That to me is something that we desperately need in our school system.

  • 3. linkasourous  |  December 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Why do you think that the women teachers were not allowed to marry?

    • 4. dwood07022013  |  December 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      I think that women teachers weren’t allowed to marry because back then married women did not have jobs. They stayed at home and cared for the kids and the whole home 2 4 7. They could not have done that and have a full time job that required them to be at the school house all day. Also, I would like to clarify that they weren’t necessarily denied marriage. They could marry but they would have to give up their job as a teacher. It was either spend you whole life as a devoted teacher or be a wife and mother.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

%d bloggers like this: