What Was a Typical Day Like in Colonial Life?

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On a typical day in American Colonial life, the man of the house worked outside while his wife performed household duties. Children either did chores or received an education. Daily life varied based on the area, the time of the year and the family.

Most colonists lived on a farm, so they woke up at sunrise to take advantage of the daylight. They ate a quick breakfast together, then began their duties.

The man’s usual job was managing the farm and fields. During the spring, he’d plant, and in the fall, he’d harvest. He did most work by hand, although he also may have used oxen or horses. If he had slaves, he’d manage them. The woman’s jobs included making meals, preparing clothes and storing food for winter. They also took care of any young children the couple had.

Boys helped their father, while girls helped their mother, so they could learn the appropriate skills for adulthood. Public schools weren’t available in many areas, but in areas where they were, children went to be educated. Education was considered more important for boys than girls, because boys would have to manage their own farms as adults. Therefore, boys usually attended school longer than girls. If school wasn’t available, the father or a local minister would teach the boys.