Relief with a scene from a Roman School
In the early Roman society, before the 6th century BC, children were taught by their parents. The mothers taught their daughters to do housework and anything else the mothers thought might be useful for their daughters to know. The mothers also taught their sons before the age of seven.
After the age of seven, boys moved under the control of their fathers. The father would decide what his son needed to know in order to succeed in life, and would give his son lessons. Learning by following examples was considered important, so the son accompanied his father on all important occasions.
Later in the history, Romans adopted Greek educations principals. By then, Greek was the international language spoken by many Roman neighbors. From the 2nd century BC a Roman was considered fully educated only if he received the same education as a native Greek in parallel with instructions in Latin.
Only the children from the wealthiest families would receive a fully bi-lingual education. A very young boy or girl from a wealthy family would spend a lot of time with a Greek servant or slave and therefore would learn Greek before Latin. This private tutoring available only to rich people gave the highest result. The child also learned to read and write, again with Greek coming before Latin.
From the 3rd century BC Greek education was available to less privileged children in public schools, where the results were not as impressive. It took several years to teach the children to read. First the alphabet was taught from A to Z then backwards and next from both ends at once (A-Z, B-Y, ...M-N) (Do you think you would be able to recite that by heart?). After that, kids were taught simple syllables then simple words followed by more difficult words and phrases. This method was borrowed from the Greeks.
At school kids used to wright on wooden tablets coated with wax. A sharp stick made of iron or bronze was used to incise letters into the soft wax of a writing tablet. The stick was called a stylus. The broad flat end of the stylus was used for erasing. You can see four leaves of a wooden writing tablet in the picture on the left and three Roman styli on the left.
Roman children didn't do much math. Kids were taught numbers, fractions, notations and finger countings. To simplify counting they used abacus. In parallel with Greek studies children had all the same subjects in Latin, so they had to learn everything twice.