There was nothing about it which gave indication of the greatness that would accrue to Augustine in his adulthood. The childhood of Augustine is known only from what he chose to reveal in the highly selective memoirs that form part of his Confessions. He depicted himself as a rather ordinary child. From his description in his "growing pale with envy" (Confessions 1, 7) when he saw a sibling feeding at the breast of his mother, it would seem he was the eldest of the offspring of his parents, Patricius and Monica.
In his childhood Augustine would have had contact with Donatism, a heresy that later as a church leader and Christian author he fought strongly. It is known from his writings that Augustine had cousins who were Donatists. They were sons and daughters of a brother or sister of Monica.
The brother of Augustine was Navigius. He was with Augustine at Ostia when their mother died, but not at that stage of mid-life a baptised Christian. Augustine did not give the name of his sister, although paradoxically she was more a part of his story than was Navigius. Without any historical foundation, the name Perpetua has often been assigned her for the sake of literary convenience. When later in life she was a widow and Augustine was Bishop of Hippo, his sister conducted a monastery for women there, apparently on his behalf. The letter that is called the Rule of Augustine was in fact written to that community in a crisis of leadership caused by her death.
Monica instructed Augustine in the Christian religion and taught him how to pray. As a child, blessed salt was placed on his tongue. He thus formally became a catechumen, i.e., he was enrolled in the process of baptismal preparation. Once while still of school age, he became dangerously ill. He desired baptism and his mother prepared everything for the ceremony. Then suddenly he grew better, and his baptism was put off.
His baptism was deferred lest he should stain his baptismal innocence by falling into sin before reaching maturity (which is exactly what happened). This was an example of the practice of that era to defer baptism for fear that the recipient would fall into sin before coming fully to realise the great importance of the Sacrament. As a bishop in his later years, Augustine denounced this custom of deferring Baptism as being very ill advised. He preached strongly against it.
The early years of Augustine were not in any way out of the ordinary. He was born in Numidia, in extraterritorial Pro-Consular Roman North Africa, on 13th November 354 into a fairly ordinary family. As a student in his home town of Thagaste in his childhood, he showed some academic ability without betraying his future brilliance.
His parents, Patricius and Monica, rated education as a priority, but were sometimes financially strained in obtaining for him a fairly good grounding in Latin literature and the rudiments of Greek - a subject to which he took a dislike and resisted learning, possibly because of a teacher of that subject who was cruel to him. In his later writing, he contrasted the difficulty and distaste he had in learning Greek in the tension and sadism of the classroom with joy and ease with which he learned Latin at home from his mother and his nurses.
He commented that "we learn better in a free spirit of curiosity than under fear and compulsion." [Confessions 1, 14] In the local school at Thagaste, Augustine received the beatings and whippings that seemed to be a routine method of instruction of the teacher. With little respect or personal affection for this teacher, Augustine wrote for posterity of the angry nature of this person. (Confessions 1, 9)
In his writings, Augustine accuses himself of often studying by constraint, not obeying his parents and masters, not writing, reading, or minding his lessons so much as was required of him. And this he did not for lack of intelligence or memory, but out of love of play. But he prayed to God with great frequency that he might escape punishment at school. Augustine was an intelligent but not a disciplined student. In his Confessions he admitted, "I did not like my lessons, and hated being forced to study." [Confessions 1, 12]
Augustine later commented that if a town were under siege requested help and was told to go away and stop being foolish it would have been equivalent to his feelings when in his childhood his parents responded likewise to his requests to be removed from the control of this teacher at Thagaste. (See Confessions 2, 5; Letters 17, 4; 222; 232) This situation also led to another one of his most celebrated later lines, "What person if offered a choice between immediate extinction and the reliving of his childhood would not immediately choose the former?!"
For a while Augustine transferred his schooling to Madura, a few miles (kilometres) south of Thagaste, when he was aged from twelve to fifteen years. This happened when apparently his parents gave way to his urgent pleas to be rescued from the teacher in Thagaste. The childhood of Augustine was to be followed by his late adolescence in Carthage.
Confessions 9, 1. His reflections of his schooling. Quoted from his Confessions. http://www.nospank.net/agstine.htm