For Kids - Kids had to go to school in Colonial Times, but school was a bit different in each of the colonies.
New England Colonies, Public Schools: In the New England colonies, since most people lived in the towns, there were enough people to support a public school. Families helped to support the schools with firewood, money, food, produce, and fish. The children of families who could not afford to give firewood or something else to support the school and its teachers had to sit in the back of the room,as far away from heat as you could get. Kids were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic.
The Middle Colonies, Church Schools: The Middle Colonies enjoyed religious tolerance. But, children went to church schools rather than public schools, so they were also taught religion based on the church school they attended. If you couldn't afford to pay for your child's education, then you couldn't. Children were not treated any differently whether their parents paid for their education or not. The Middle Colonies were known as the bread basket. They grew a great deal of wheat and corn. Kids were often needed to help with the crops. So school was out during planting and harvest cycles.
In the Southern Colonies, Home Schooled: In the south, there were very few towns, so there were not many schools. Some kids were sent back to England to attend school. Some had private teachers hired by their family. The big plantations had dancing masters and music teachers for the planters children. Most kids in the south were home schooled.