There is not a mother who does not either dread or look forward to school starting! Actually, how you feel can vary from day to day or morning to evening. So I thought I would take a little jog back to the 1950’s and tell you about school starting then!
First of all, our calendar was different than calendar’s today. We started after Labor Day and had no holidays until Thanksgiving and then again at Christmas. There was NO Fall break! We started again in January and went until Easter when we had Good Friday off. We finished up right smack dab before Memorial Day. That’s it. What a change from calendars today!
My Mom always took me shopping for school clothes in August. That was exciting! We looked for dresses that would do well for everyday wear. Yes, you heard me right–dresses! Girls were not allowed to wear pants to school. Never. Ever. Even when it snowed. Never. Ever. And the dresses were knee length. We did not have any kind of sneakers in those days. Surprise! Girls and boys wore leather shoes to school. So you looked for some sturdy shoes that would do well for school and playing outside. Flip flops had not been invented! And anyway, they would not have been allowed at school. Socks were a necessity. I can remember being excited when my foot reached the size that would fit knee socks! That meant that my legs would be partially covered up and a lot warmer! We didn’t have tights to wear. One time my Mom bought me a corduroy skirt and vest that had matching knee shorts. So when it was really cold, I would wear the knee shorts under my skirt to school. Was that classy or what??? I looked like a fat tub of corduroy. But I was warmer!
As far as any embellishment goes, girls didn’t have pierced ears in those elementary days. I was nearly 16 before the pierced ear fads began. Girls wore their hair in pony tails if it was long or it was pulled back and held by a barrette. We didn’t have scrunchies to hold our pony tail-we had rubber bands and they hurt when you took them out!
When preparing for a new school year, you generally purchased a new lunch box. They were metal and are collector’s editions now! Why didn’t I keep them!?!
School supplies were easy. You needed pencils and a Blue Horse 3 ring notebook with paper. If you were in seventh grade, you needed an ink pen with extra cartridges for penmanship class. You also needed 50 cents for your year long subscription to Weekly Reader. That’s it. My Mother would have had a heart attack if she had been presented with the supply list that students receive today!
Hey! And you know what? We did just fine.