Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One-Room Schoolhouses

I've developed a growing curiosity in one-room schoolhouses lately.  I've always thought they were interesting. A while ago I became determined to take a photo that might be used on the front of my favorite homeschooling magazine, "The Old Schoolhouse Magazine".  They feature a one-room schoolhouse on the cover of each magazine, and take submissions from readers.

After doing some research for schools in my area and the state of MI, I've decided to merge my schoolhouse interest with my photography, and begin taking pictures of as many one-room schoolhouses as I can.  I hope to gather dozens over the years, and will try to search them out if we travel anywhere.

Today, I found a list of rule for teachers in 1872. This list was for Illinois teachers, but was similar throughout the U.S.  Interesting!

Each school district set up rules for the teacher to follow. Some of them were very strict, but they were important to the farmers in the district and made sense to them. Following is a list of rules for a teacher in 1872:
  1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
  2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.
  3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
  4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church.
  5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
  6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
  7. Every good teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not be a burden on society.
  8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity, and honesty.
  9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.
Here's my first photos taken in our area recently.  I don't know it's history, but the outside appears to have been neglected for quite some time. A peek in the windows however gave me the impression that it's being used as some type of office/storage area.  There's also a small, modern one room addition on the back side of the schoolhouse that may serve as someone's office. Love the little outhouse on the back, right side!

It's hard to see, but I believe the sign in front says "Dist. No. 5, 1887"

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I love September! My birthday, our wedding anniversary, start of school, and cooler temps with Fall on the horizon. Fall is my favorite season; well, maybe tied with Spring; but I'm very ready to say goodbye to Summer.  As we've moved into September, my depression has also calmed down, for which I'm very thankful.

And good thing, because although I'm glad to get back into a scheduled routine, our school start-up has not been smooth this year.  Besides doing more work with Aaron as he's in 1st grade this year (and still not reading), I've added some new subjects and curriculum, one of which I'm throwing together myself from several different sources, and have classes on Mondays and Thursdays, and every-other Wednesday. Last year we took a break from any outside classes, so that's one more adjustment for this school year. We're fortunate to have a large homeschooling community where we live, with plenty of class options to choose from. They're a great supplement to our learning at home, but it sure adds up to more running around. I'm still trying to catch my breath after the first two weeks!

The temperatures have cooled down rather quickly after a very warm summer, so it feels even more like Fall.

Welcome Fall!