Writing for the Mackinac Institute of Michigan, Matthew J. Brouillette penned a short essay, in 2001, about educational choice in the colonial era. He writes, "There were common schools (often partially financed by local taxpayers, but primarily funded through private means) and specialized private schools of every sort (church schools, academies that prepared students for college, seminaries, dame schools for primary education, charity schools for the poor, and private tutors). Free schools were established by philanthropists and religious societies throughout the country to meet the educational needs of the very poor."
The first time I ever heard of a "dame" school was the one managed by Kit and Mercy in the Witch of Blackbird Pond.
Photo: A colonial-era hornbook, although it's not our idea of a book.