A Peek in the Past

Author: Natasha HK

In around 1774, education was quite different from what it is today. Young girls spent most of their days learning how to become proper women. Their mothers taught them how to direct slaves and servants. Girls learned how to cook meals, dry herbs for cooking and medicine, preserve meat, and to make and mend clothes. Young women were also taught how to plant a proper garden with herbs near the kitchen and flowers near the front of the house. What a lot of work!

Colonial girls were also expected to learn the art of being a lady. Teachers taught girls how to write elegantly and how to create samplers out of fancy stitchery. Girls also practiced singing and playing musical instruments. Girls would never have played the violin or trumpet. Colonial folk thought it was ungraceful for a young lady to bend her neck or pucker her lips!

Above all, girls learned how to dance. In the southern colonies, dance lessons were a very important part of a young lady's education. From the age of eight, girls took as many as nine hours of dance classes a week! Dancing was supposed to help girls with their posture and grace while moving. The proper way to curtsy and difficult routines were just the beginning!

In the northern colonies, this would have been considered shocking. There, many people thought dancing was wicked like drinking or playing cards! Soon, though, dancing was excepted in all of the colonies.

What a lot of work it must have been to become a lady back then!

The above is the work of one of our avid readers, Natasha HK. Natasha is 11 years.

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