How did lesson plans work in small-town schools that weren’t segregated by grade?


Historically, towns would have basically a single schoolhouse with one room where children of all ages would go for education. Did they just all learn the same thing, regardless of whether they were 8 years old or 15 years old? How long would they spend in school and for how many years?

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

At the time, in a place as small and remote as you’re describing, most 15 year olds in a place like that would be apprenticed, working the family farm, whatever. Formal education was very basic and not universal in places like that and if people wanted to continue into what we would consider Jr high level, much less college, they would have to order books and self-educate, hire in a tutor or move to a more densely populated area to study there. A lot of education was left to the families as well.

The greatly reduced curriculum and age range simplified this issue.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It probably varied based on the specific teacher, the time it was in, and other things, but I have a bit of experience in a multi-year classroom.

In practice, when it’s math time, the older kids did harder math, while the younger kids did easier math. When it was reading time, the younger kids were asked to do their spellings, while the older kids discussed the story.

So no, we didn’t all learn the same thing. There were just few enough of us that we could all get more attention specifically, so it didn’t matter that Tim was in the 5th grade while I was in 1st.

Anonymous 0 Comments

My family member told us that they sat according to ages. This half of the room was the very young kids and the other have of the room was middle school aged people. No they weren’t learning the same stuff. They would all listen to the instructions as a whole group though. Pretty interesting that life used to be so small.