George Washington was born on his father's plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on February 22, 1732. His father, Augustine Washington was not only the leading planter in the area, but he also served as a justice of the county court. Austine already had two sons and a daughter from his previous marriage, which ended when his wife died.
He married Mary Ball, and George was her first born. She later had five more children. Very little is known about the kind of childhood George Washington had, and we know very little about the George Washington education. Most children in Virginia were taught at home by private tutors, or in local private schools.
Boys usually stated formal education at the age of seven. They would start with lessons in reading, writing, and basic arithmetic. Boys would later learn classic languages, Greek and Latin. They also were taught bookkeeping, geometry, and surveying. If their fathers were wealthy, they would be sent to England to complete their education. George might have gone to England to further his education like his two older half brothers did, but he wasn't able to after his father died.
The George Washington education may have began with school near his home for a few years. He possibly went to another school later. We do know that he excelled in mathematics and learned surveying. He didn't learn Latin and Greek like many of the other gentlemen's sons in the area. He never learned a foreign language or went to college. It is estimated that the George Washington education ended around the age of 15.
To the gentry class, social skills were one of the most important components in a young man's or woman's education. After George's father passed away, he began spending more time in Mount Vernon with his older half brother Lawrence. Lawrence helped in many ways, such as: mentoring and tutoring him in his studies, teaching him social graces, and introducing him into society. The George Washington education was incomplete, and he saw it as defective. He did what he could to make up for what he didn't learn in school by learning from the people he looked up and by reading books.
Through the years of his personal studying, he built up an enormous library. He also subscribed to many newspapers. He also wrote a lot. It is thought that his lack of formal education made him put a value on education. He left money in his will for establishing a school in Alexandria, Virginia, in addition to a national university.
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