Before the advent of the Hasidic Yeshiva in the late 1800s, what was the traditional method of education for Hasidic youth? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that many young Hasids began their formal education with a Melamed, who typically only taught a handful of students at time.
1) At what age did Hasidic boys begin studying with a Melamed, and what age did they usually stop? (After marriage?)
2) Did the Melamed typically teach students reading, writing and arithmetic, or only expressly religious subjects?
3) Was the Melamed typically paid by the parents of his students or by the community?
4) Was it typical for children of impoverished families to study with a Melamed? If not, how did the poorest families provide a Hasidic education for their children? (What was the nature of the education they received?)
5) What were the quaifications and the educational background of a typical Melamed who taught in small towns?
6) In lieu of Yeshiva, how did older (teen) Hasids engage in study of Torah and Talmud? (Did they usually study in groups, with adults in shul, or alone?)
Any answers you can help me with will be appreciated. Thanks!