P is for Pioneer :Pioneer School
We have been reading the Little House on the Prairie series of books as a part of our homeschool curriculum. These stories tell of the adventures and hardships of the pioneers. Reading these books have really gotten us interested in the lives of the pioneers.
During the mid-1800’s people were beginning to migrate west to settle and develop new areas. These people were know as pioneers. When the pioneers began settling in America, they started to created schools.
When learning about a certain time period, I really enjoy trying to recreate that time in history and live as though I was there. I thought it would be a great learning experience to recreate a “pioneer school day” and learn what the children would be learning during that time.
The schools of that time were one room schoolhouses and all grades were taught in that one room. The families of the children in the settlement usually got together and hired a teacher which they paid with food, clothing, or land. Many times the families would take turns letting the teacher live with them. Those times when a teacher did receive money, the amount was typically low ($15 – $30 per month). Some teachers started teaching around the age of 16.
A normal school day would begin with a patriotic song, a salute to the flag, and possibly a scripture reading or prayer. The main subjects were spelling, reading, writing, grammar, singing, arithmetic, and geography. Listed below are the subjects and curriculum that children of the pioneers would have typically used.
Patriotic Song from You Tube
Writing and Reading
For writing, the children would sometimes use quills and ink. Make your own quill and ink. Practice writing your letters very neatly using the quill and ink.
Make berry ink and a quill pen.
The McGuffey Primer was the reading book used during the pioneer days. You can read a free copy on-line or download the pdf’s or Kindle versions for FREE!
A story that would have been read by the students of this time, The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
Learn about the original 13 Colonies here.
Poetry was often memorized and recited orally.
“Who Has Seen the Wind” by Christina Rosetti
Students were expected to be able to add, subtract, and be able to solve normal math problems that might come up in daily life. Math usually consisted of adding and subtracting with manipulatives such as corn or peas. Story problems would have also been used. See if you can solve the following problem Packing Your Covered Wagon.
Oh Susanna YouTube Video
Food you would bring to school usually in your tin pail.
There was no playground equipment for recess, so children made up fun games to play.
More fun information
A letter from a pioneer student.
An example of a newspaper during Pioneer times.
Fun pioneer crafts for kids.
For more information on how a school day would go.
I hope you enjoy your day as a typical student in the pioneer school.
Another great installment of the ABC’s of American History series. Have you missed a few? Check out the entire series below: