My poor mother-in-law has had to wait far too long for this post. She and a friend worked very hard to sew an outfit for Grace to wear on a field trip to a one room school, and I promised pictures. The trip actually took place on April 1, so I'm a little behind. Grace had been looking forward to this field trip since Christmas when we went with Grandma to pick out the fabric for her dress. Almost daily for three months she would ask me if it was almost time to visit the schoolhouse.
Ryne was less eager about the trip. He and Anna had been four years ago, so he kind of had that "been there, done that" attitude. When he developed a bad cold and fever a couple of nights before the event, I wondered if he wasn't secretly happy about missing the trip. So Ryne stayed home with Marc, while Grace and I went back in time to the year 1889.
Our day began with the children playing outside until the schoolmarm rang the bell and had them line up outside the building. The morning was spent practicing the 3 R's, including oral reading from McGuffey Readers. A geography lesson was next, using a period map of the United States. All morning I was struck by how easy it was for the schoolmarm to juggle all these different children of different ages. How can it be so simple for her when I have trouble juggling two or three children at home? : )
The teacher also explained what classroom discipline was like back then. Because none of the students would volunteer, a mom modeled a dunce cap for us. In the picture below, the girl with the pink dress was demonstrating how some disobedient students would have been required to stand with their nose pressed in a circle drawn on the blackboard!
Then it was time for lunch and recess. Grace brought a lunch of cold fried chicken, biscuit, and an apple. Children filled their enamel or tin cups from the common water bucket. For recess they played games like Red Rover or Drop the Hankie (similar to Duck, Duck Goose). Some kids also played with wooden hoops and several girls just picked flowers.
The afternoon hours included touring the cemetery and church, singing songs, poetry recitation, and a spelling bee.
I'm so thankful for places like this that let you really experience history. I'm sure this will be something Grace remembers all her life.