|(formerly) a small school, often in a village, usually run by an elderly woman in her own home to teach young children to read and write|
small private school for young children run by women; such schools were the precursors of nursery, or infant, schools in England and colonial America. They existed in England possibly before the 16th century in both towns and rural areas and survived into the 19th century. The school was frequently the teacher's home, in which the children were taught the alphabet and some reading from the New Testament and given household chores.
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