There were two kinds of "city" schools. The schools for the regular, public-school children, were pretty much like those of any public school. Some were divided into grades. Some were small and one-room, like country schools. Here is the post about school rules in a one-room schoolhouse.
For this post, I thought I would focus on the schools for the "rich," like the one Andi went to in the city of San Francisco. I hope it answers your question, Bethann.
Often, a well-to-do person opened their home and turned it into a school for young ladies. In San Francisco Smugglers, this is what Mrs. Edith Whitaker did. A young ladies' academy might be in a mansion, like the one shown here. A city school for rich young ladies might be a "day" school (Which I was hoping to attend and spend the nights at Aunt Rebecca's) or a "boarding" school, where students spend the entire term and only return home on holidays, and where I ended up "stuck."
|Sit up straight! No slouching!|
Speaking of horsemanship lessons, it's "sidesaddle" riding lessons. Very tricky. I finally figured it out after Juan Carlos gave me some tips, but let me tell you! It is no fun! And take a look at that riding habit! By the way, I found out later that Aunt Rebecca had to pay extra for me to take those riding lessons. She was probably glad to do it, seeing as she has never approved of me riding astride.
Miss Whitaker's Academy for Young Ladies wasn't cheap, that's for sure. Oh, how I wish Mother would have invested the money in more practical things for me . . . like a new saddle blanket. My old one is getting worn. Do you know how many saddle blankets Mother could buy for the price of a year at a rich city school?
It was $100 to enroll me for just one term. One hundred dollars! I think Aunt Rebecca paid the money, because Mother thought I was a day student, which is only about $10 a term. And that is only the base price--food and basic subjects. Of course, Aunt Rebecca wanted me to be instructed in other subjects too, and each "extra" subject cost money.
-- French class cost $25, and so did Latin, so that's $50 right there!
--Music cost $50, but that only lasted a couple of weeks. The piano and I do not get along.
--Drawing and painting, $50. I needn't say much about that. I spilled the yellow and red paint the second day, and I was withdrawn from the class.
Washing cost extra (Lin Mei probably got stuck with the laundry, and it's a good bet she didn't get to see any of the money).
Miss Whitaker's Academy began the year on October 15 (fall term) and went through July 15 (a summer term). I only attended most of the winter term and the spring term. That was plenty of school for me!
In PART 2, you can read about the subjects I had to take, plus a special set of "rules" for young ladies. They are nothing like Mr. Foster's rules at the Fresno Grammar School.