Children in Ancient Greece Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

The children who grew up in ancient Greece had some things in common with kids today. Come learn about life in ancient Greece, what school was like, what games they played, and some other cool facts about kids back then.

Growing Up Greek

Imagine you're sitting in school in ancient Greece. Your teacher tells you to take notes, but instead of pulling out a notebook with paper, you take out a wood board covered in a thin coating of wax. Then you grab a wooden pen so you can scratch your notes onto the wax board.

And while younger kids wrote on the wax boards, older kids wrote on things such as pieces of broken terracotta, like the clay pots your mom plants flowers in. They used pens made of hollow grass dipped in ink because they couldn't go to the store and buy plastic pens.

Today, everyone has to go to school. But if you went to school in ancient Greece, you would find only boys! Greek boys and girls weren't treated the same and Greek girls didn't even get to go to school!

Greek Girls

From the time they were born, Greek girls stayed with their mothers. Sometimes, their mothers would teach them how to read and write, but helping take care of the house and learning how to be a good mother was more important in ancient Greece.

When you complain about having to clean your room, be glad you weren't an ancient Greek girl! They spun thread and wove cloth, cooked, took care of other children, and even worked hard in the fields.

Spinning thread
Spinning thread

You might have a party to celebrate your birthday, but when Greek girls were about 12 to 16 years old, they would be married to a man their dad chose. They would then go to live with their husband and spent almost all of their time in the house taking care of children and doing chores.

Greek Boys

Boys in ancient Greece, just like girls, stayed with their mothers when they were little. But when they turned seven, they went to school and learned about a lot of the same things you do. Boys with wealthy parents got better educations that boys with poor parents.

They had to practice math, including multiplication and division, as well as learn to how to read and write. They had music class and P.E. Greek boys shot bows and arrows, wrestled, and some even learned to ride horses.

When boys turned 14, they went to a different school for older kids, the way you move from elementary to middle school. At the age of 18, they went to military school and then graduated by the time they were 20.

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