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When my grandparents were young

Classroom NewsFirst & Second ClassNews Archive

When my grandparents were young

By November 28, 2013July 19th, 2021No Comments

Today two grandparents visited our classroom to tell us about what it was like when they were children.


John Mooney and Mary Smyth told us lots of things about their childhood.


We interviewed them about their homes, school, chores and jobs, toys , games and clothes. We learned lots of interesting things.

  • Houses were old and small
  • They had no electricity when they were young and used lanterns and candles. They were often dangerous and Mary told us a story about her sister setting fire to a mattress!
  • Boys usually worked on the farm and outside. Girls did the housework
  • Houses and schools were always cold.
  • They walked to school. School started later to give them a chance to walk there. Parents didn’t bring them -they went with older brothers or sisters or a neighbour.
  • If you were bold you got smacked with a cane.
  • They only did 3 subjects- Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. There was no Art, Music, Science or P.E.!!
  • They didn’t wear a school uniform.
  • They didn’t like school because they were always afraid of getting slapped.
  • Most children didn’t have very many clothes. John told us all about boys wearing only short pants! Boys didn’t wear long trousers until they were 11 or 12. He told about the parcels from America and how he hated having to wear the bright different clothes!
  • Girls only wore skirts
  • They wore their best clothes on Sundays
  • They only had a bath once a week on Saturdays. It was in front of the fire in the kitchen and everyone went in together!

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Now we are going to ask our own grandparents some of our questions and learn about their childhood.