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Victorian school days
  Stop counting on your fingers !  

The entry below was written in the diary of the Infants department of the Llanidloes National School in 1886.
It is part of a School Inspector's Report on how well the school was being run in that year, and it refers to the (very old !) Photo of old abacus habit of using your fingers to count up to ten !
They didn't have calculators in Victorian schools, but they did have the abacus !
This had sliding counters mounted on wooden rods, and it would have been brought out for arithmetic lessons.
Although the Victorians came up with lots of new inventions, this one has been around since it was first used in ancient China !

You can count on me !
22nd October
School diary entry

The report says:
"Subjects are, on the whole, well taught, but the Arithmetic should be carried further and the children should give up counting on their fingers and should be handier at finding the places in their reading books."
At least these children were lucky enough to have reading books, even if they had trouble finding the right page. Many schools had no books at all, because parents could not afford to pay for them.

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