What Was Robert Frost Childhood Like

Robert Frost was an American poet who wrote some of the most iconic poems of the 20th century. But what was his early life like?

Robert Frost was born in 1874 in San Francisco, California to journalist William Prescott Frost Jr. and Isabelle Moodie Frost. His father, a former Congregationalist, willingly changed his religion to Presbyterianism when Frost was a toddler. Growing up, Robert was an incredibly determined and enthusiastic learner from a young age. His father, a lay teacher, taught him in a room of the family’s home.

At the tender age of eleven, Robert was already an avid reader of the classics. He read authors such as Homer, Dante, Horace, and Shakespeare, and he was able to recite their works from memory. His father recognized Robert’s genius and took him to lectures and part-time teaching positions.

When he was not in school, Robert spent a lot of time playing outdoors. He loved fishing, climbing trees and exploring the countryside around his hometown. Although Robert was creative and hardworking, he did not have a particularly good academic record. He was known for being disruptive in class and often creating a raucous atmosphere.

Robert was also known for his love of debating and storytelling. He could often be found sharing his views and ideas with his friends. His outgoing nature served him well when he became a schoolteacher. During this period of his life, he was determined to make a living from his writing.

Robert Frost was not afforded the luxury of a typical childhood, but it is clear that he made the most of the opportunities available to him. His work as a schoolteacher enabled him to pursue his passion for writing, which ultimately led to him becoming one of the most renowned American poets of all time.


As a child, Robert Frost was innovative and eager to learn. His father recognized his son’s genius and enrolled him into a variety of schools, including Harvard and Dartmouth. Frost was a great admirer of the classics, such as Homer, Dante and Horace, and he was able to recite these works from memory. Despite not being particularly academically gifted, Frost was a brilliant storyteller and enjoyed debating and discussing his views with his peers.

Frost was keen to make a living from his writing and so he took a job as a schoolteacher. Here, he was able to hone his skills as a poet, eventually leading to his becoming renowned for this talent.

Influence of Home Life

Frost had a happy and supportive childhood home life. His father was a journalist and lay teacher, and was aware of Robert’s creative inclination. He took Frost to lectures and part-time teaching positions, allowing him to gain valuable experience in understanding stories and communicating ideas. His mother Isabelle Moodie Frost, an American-Scottish immigrant, was an experimenter in home economics. She was an enthusiastic teacher, devoting most of her time to the education of her sons.

Throughout his childhood, Robert was exposed to a wide range of ideas and opinions. This greatest influence of his childhood home life was fostering a creative and enquiring mindset. His determined attitude, striving for educational and professional mastery were largely rooted in his early home life.

Free Spirit

Outside of the classroom and home, Robert Frost was free spirit. He was fond of the outdoors, taking part in activities such as fishing, climbing and exploring the countryside. His passion for outdoor activities seemed to embody the American spirit, and would later be recaptured in a number of his poems. Additionally, Frost was a great admirer of nature and the beauty of the natural environment.

Frost was also renowned for his storytelling capabilities, and he was often found sharing stories and tales with his peers. This eloquence, combined with his inquisitive and daring nature, would serve him later in life when it came to capturing the essence of his poems.

Encouraging Others

Though Frost valued education, he was also known for his mischievous behavior. He was known to be disruptive in class, creating raucous atmosphere, and although this could be seen as a hindrance to some, it showed how determined he was to find his own education in life. Frost’s rebellious nature is evident in some of his essays and his later poems, which often discussed complex ideas in relation to daily life.

Frost was also renowned for his friendliness and willingness to share his ideas and opinions. This oftentimes encouraged his peers to question the conventional and strive to achieve academic successes in their own right. His outgoing nature, combined with his ability to recognize and encourage the talents in others, may have been the driving force behind his own greatness.

Frost’s Most Valuable Lesson

Robert Frost’s childhood was characterized by an eagerness to learn, explore and tell stories. Despite his disruptive classroom behavior, he was able to make the most of the opportunities available to him and eventually become renowned for his poetic works. His love for the outdoors and exploration, combined with an inquisitive and determined mindset, is what enabled him to achieve such greatness.

Above all, however, Frost’s greatest lesson from his childhood may have been his talent for recognizing and appreciating the potential of others. His ability to recognize and encourage the talent in others, alongside his natural talent for inspiring and educating, made him one of the most renowned American poets of all time.

Robert Frost’s Legacy

Robert Frost is one of the most renowned American poets of all time, and his legacy continues to provide readers with a unique insight into his life, creative works and invaluable lessons. His early life, characterized by enthusiastic learning and exploration, is something we can all strive to emulate in our own journeys of education, creativity and drive.

Frost’s legacy serves as an encouragement to pursue our ambitions, recognize and appreciate the talent of others, and to make the most of the opportunities available to us. Despite not having a typical childhood, Robert Frost’s life proved that determination and drive can take you on the paths least expected.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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