A teacher and a student practicing flute
A teacher and a student practicing lyre
Sparta was a state in Greece. All the schools were owned by the state, they were not private. In Sparta, elementary schools were rough. Spartan boys were sent to a boarding school at the age of 6. In Spartan schools, science or math were not considered important subjects, students could hardly read even after they were out of school. Teachers mostly cared about raising good soldiers. Boys were divided into packs lead by older boys. They had to wrestle a lot and even fight with each other. They were taught to obey all orders, and to be ready to endure all kind of hardship. They had to sleep on the ground, shave their heads, and march barefoot. Boys were trained to survive without much food or clothing when it was cold, so they could become tough warriors. Since Spartan boys were not fed enough, they had to hunt for food themselves, and in order to get it they had to steal and lie. Whenever they got caught, they would be whipped. It was a disgrace to show any sign of fear or pain.
Girls in Sparta did not go to school but could participate in wrestling and gymnastics.
Ancient Greeks admired Sparta's strength, but they wouldn't want to be Spartan. During times of war, they definitely wanted Sparta on their side.
Athens was another famous state in Ancient Greece. The schools in Athens were very different from the schools in Sparta. Before the fifth century B.C. almost all the schools were private. They were very small, with no more than 10 to 15 students. Private tutors who owned the schools charged money for the teaching so only the wealthiest people could afford it. Later, in the fourth century B.C. in some cities public schools were open that were available to poor. Boys in Athens started school around the age of 7. They were taught reading and writiing, physical training, and music. These three subjects were each taught by a different teacher. .Not very much time was spent on math. Athenian boys learned letters and number by practicing them. They had to scratch them onto wax-coated wooden tablets using a pen called a stylus. After the boys learned to read and write, they had to study Greek poetry and plays, and famous historical works. Music was considered very important. Every boy was taught to play a very popular instrument, the lyre. They were also taught to play the flute. Physical exersise included wrestling and gymnastics. The main goal of Athens' teachers was to raise a wise and decent man and not just a good soldier, as in Sparta
Girls in Athens did not go to school. They were taught how to do house work by their mothers. Parents were afraid that girls would get spoiled if they learned how to read.