Year 2 Comparing life in the Victorian days to now

Why did children go to work?

Many Victorian children were poor and worked to help their families. Few people thought this strange or cruel. Families got no money unless they worked, and most people thought work was good for children. The Industrial Revolution created new jobs, in factories and mines. Many of these jobs were at first done by children, because children were cheap – a child was paid less than adults (just a few pennies for a week’s work).

Child_workers_in_Newton,_NC

When did children start work?

Many children started work at the age of 5, the same age as children start school today. They went to work as soon as they were big enough. Even a tiny child could feed chickens. Older brothers and sisters took small children to work, perhaps to a factory at the end of the street. Other children worked at home, doing jobs such as washing, sewing, sticking labels on bottles or making brushes.

victorian style chimney sweep, a child chimney sweep, hulton pic 05/09/2003

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 What was a Victorian classroom like?

There were maps and perhaps pictures on the wall. There would be a globe for geography lessons, and an abacus to help with sums. Children sat in rows and the teacher sat at a desk facing the class. At the start of the Victorian age, most teachers were men, but later many women trained as teachers.

Children wrote on slates with chalk. They wiped the slate clean, by spitting on it and rubbing with their coat sleeve or their finger! Slates could be used over and over. For writing on paper, children used a pen with a metal nib, dipped into an ink well.

raked-classroom1937

How were children punished?

Discipline in schools was often strict. Children were beaten for even minor wrongdoings, with a cane, on the hand or bottom. A teacher could also punish a child by making them stand in the corner wearing a ‘dunce’s cap’. Another, very boring, punishment was writing ‘lines’. This meant writing out the same sentence (such as ‘Schooldays are the happiest days of my life’ 100 times or more.

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Toys in poor homes

Most Victorian toys were made of wood, paper or metal. There were no plastic toys. Poor children usually played with home-made toys. A clothes peg might be turned into a doll, and a lump of wood become a toy boat. A piece of rope could be used for skipping, and rags stuffed with sawdust might become a ball or an animal to cuddle. As a treat, families sometimes bought cheap factory-made toys from a ‘penny stall’ in the market.

Victorian-toys

CHALLENGE: How is your life different to a Victorian child’s?

43 thoughts on “Year 2 Comparing life in the Victorian days to now

  1. but now school are not strict or do not boss you around in the olden days schools were strict and they boss you around but now schools are getting kinder as they can

    that, good

  2. oliver is a boy he was very poor always hungry and wanted more food.
    oliver worked in a work house it was a very hard job for him to do.

  3. some people in the old days dident have food or toy and cloths.
    in schools in the old days they had disgusting food and drink they even

  4. They are poor because they had to leave school and dont learn and things like maths all good stuff and thet had to clean chimneys a didnt wear shoes

    We all get to go school but some victoran children had to work to help their famliy to get money

  5. Victorian life

    During the Victorian ages, poor children had to go to work. Many were paid less, but had to work in dirty conditions. Rich children did not have to work, and could go to private fee paying schools and get an outstanding education.

    In victorian time school, children had to use chalk and slate to write the school work. But today we use pencil, pen or iPad to write on.

    Poor children from Victorian times had toys made from home and they were made from wood. The popular toy was a skipping rope and a wooden train. Today we have lots of colourful toys from marval character, PlayStation and remote control cars. We have lots of electronic gadgets such as iPad, laptop, TV and digital radios.

  6. the children is dirty and she need to be wash wen someone see
    she is a dirty girl we she is at home and she is been wash and
    her mum will say you look beatfull girl and she will go to school and her teacher will say you are an spakly girl her teacher say you had to be spakly every day the teacher says so she need to do that every day and she will get an sticker from her teacher the next day all of the children are spakly
    and everyone get a sticker and the all of the children like getting stickers the children get a trit at july they like their trits

  7. in Victorian days toys were made of metal wood or paper there were no plastic toys poor kids usully play with home made toys. kids were black riped clothes and they are made of cotten

  8. Many children started work at the age of 5,the same age as start school today.They went to work as soon as they were big enough.even a tiny child could feed chickens.Older brothers and sisters took small children to work,perhaps to factory at the end of the street.

  9. In the Victorian days clothes,toys,and jobs were different…you won’t believe that the jobs are in your chimney!! HOW CAN YOU SURVIVE THAT?! because I know I would not do that. My life is different because (well,our life)we have different clothing,shoes,toys,jobs and more.I don’t want to have a life like a Victorian life! I mean,CLEANING A CHIMNEY?! No thank you!

  10. We were diffrent school clothes
    People had to clean the chimneys
    In the olden days people didn’t were shoes when they were cleaning the chimney
    They were poor
    They didn’t have televisions

  11. the children did not get lots of money they might sale something they have on home they are not in home they went on an train and the children is with an teacher they are on a contry its called London then the train has gone and he is busy going and get an people abode into the train then the children went in the shops the children want to get something from the shops and they pay the money with an 1£ and they don’t got any more money and they by more money the teacher by a Christmas sweet wen its Christmas Day the children was excited for the Christmas sweet it was Christmas Day and the children like Christmas sweet then they went on a train and went on a bus a they walk to their school and it today Christmas sweets today they like it to eat at home or school

  12. Many people are poor and they were working when they were little. The child
    Were on the roof because the families were really tired. Many people were on
    The roof at age 5. The people were

  13. Many people were poor and working when they little. The child were on the roof because the families were really tired. Many people were on the roof at age 5. The people were spitting at the what bord.

    • Victorian life

      During the victor ion ages, poor children had to go work. Many were paid less, but had to work in dirty conditions. Rich children did not have to go work, and could go to private fee paying school, children had to use penci, pen or iPad to write on.

      Poor children from Victorion times had toys made from home and they were made from wood. The popular toy was a skipping rope and a wooden train. Today we have lots of colourful toys from marvel character, PlayStation and remote control’s cars. We have lots of electronic gadgets such as iPad, lo top, TV and digital radios.

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