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The Country School an era mostly gone today!


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I had the luck back in Switzerland still to be able to go to a country school which finally closet its doors forever in 2009. I reckon some of the folks here still went to a country school or had a family member that went to one. In Switzerland one would go grade 9 then would go off to a trade school with apprenticeships like for agriculture, mechanic, baker, carpenter, miller and etc. The School I went to had two teachers one was for grades one to three and the other one was from grades four to 6 however ours school didn't have the last three years so folks had to go to a different town for does in the same school district.

My class room was the top floor of the lower section of this building that has those huge window wall thing almost like in a factory lol

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I was always intrigued by some of Europe's education systems where whatever you chose to do you had multiple years of training to be the best at it, worked with older European craftsmen when I was a much younger lad and their skill and talents were second to none, strangely now they seem the last choice on immigration policy 

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Believe it or not, I live in the 'Chirnside School', in operation from 1873-1965. Kinda neat...our basement walls are clay tile on the inside PLUS red brick on the outside (roughly 18" thick) and you can still see the floor drains in the basement where the old bathrooms were (plumbing and water must have been added at some point). Was talking to a neighbor several years ago, and he said he was one of the last classes to attend school there. Some big beautiful oaks around the house...I can only imagine that they were saplings when the school was in operation. 

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My dad attended the Duvall Graded School 1-6. He only spoke Belgian when he started and would get "the ruler" for not speaking in English. One day the old farmer from up the road ran in and blurted something in Belgian that the teacher didn't understand. Dad jumped up and grabbed three other boys and ran out with the farmer. They returned in a bit to receive "the ruler". Later the farmer and his wife came in with fresh bread and fixings to say thank you to the boys. Farmer had said his cows were out and needed help chasing. Nobody else had understood him. 🤣 Pa is still miffed he got the ruler and the teacher never apologized.

School is gone now but stood one road over for many years.

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My older sister and brother went to the country school just north of my place. Then they went into town for junior high. My dad bought the 1 or 1/2 acres that used to be owned by the school years ago. 

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There were 3 still going in my county in the late 80's.  I went to one through the third grade.  One teacher and a choir instructor that came a couple times a week.  Oh, and a teacher that was scared to death of mice in an old building that had it's fair share of the critters.  It was entertaining when a mouse would run across the floor and she would scream and jump on top of her desk lol

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Sheridan #3 sat on the southeast corner of our farm on a plot of land my Great Grandfather loaned for the school.  My Dad went K-5 and my Uncle K-3 until it merged with Grinnell and they rode the bus to town.  Great Grandpa purchased it for a dollar and moved it to our farmstead onto a concrete block foundation. It was a granary, chicken house and a home for bottle calves over the years. The bell was last rang in 1976.  A few years ago, the bell and cupola were removed and stored in the machine shed.  The day the pandemic started, Dad burnt the rest of the building down. The north wall had fallen in and it was going down.

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I went from grades 1 to 7 in the same school 1948 - 1955 as my Dad, My first grade teacher was also his first grade teacher years before.  4 room school with multiple grades in each room. Heated by a coal burning pot belly heater, Over the years they added hot lunches in a separate building, in 51 they put in flush toilets. The school was abandoned in 58 in favor of more consolidated system . The local Church started using it as meeting rooms. About 1970 the buildings were removed and the area became an outdoor recreation area. I was by the area in 2009, it was a wooded area, with large Southern Pines.

 

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There are still 5 going in Hiron County Michigan and doing fairly well. My wife is a 1 of 2 teachers at one of them and has been there for 19 years. They also have two aides. I hope to see all 5 of them continue. I think there might be around 10 in the state left. 

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13 hours ago, Diesel Doctor said:

I went to my 1st grade in a one room country school.

I turned out somewhat normal!

That's one guy's opinion...........😆

Mike

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I attended a one room country school thru fourth grade until it closed in about 1965. Grades one thru eight in one room, one teacher. Best years of learning ever. My grandfather purchased the land and building and then to my father. The school house was mostly used for storage for years and when I moved to the property it became my garage for a few years. A few years ago it was beginning to need a lot of work so I either had to tear it down or fix it and tearing it down was never really an option.

I put a lot of time into rebuilding it and added an addition to it, new concrete floors and car hoist so it is now part of 32 by 50 heated shop with 12 foot walls. The original "woodshed" was also redone years before with a concrete floor and insulation and is also part of the shop. My two sons got there repair skills in the building and now my grand kids have a good place to learn some skills so I am glad I kept it in use. Some of the former student coloring pictures were still on the walls from nearly 60 years ago.

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My first house was a former one room schoolhouse. It originally started across the street from where it now sits. About 1920 for whatever reason they moved it across the street. In 1939 the school district consolidated and it was closed in 1940. For the next ten years it was sold to 5 different owners. I bought it around 2000 from the family that bought it in 1950. Unfortunately after living there for a few years I gave up on it and moved out in 2013. It currently sits abandoned. I still own it. The biggest problem with it is when they moved it in the 1920s I think it was looked at as ‘just a schoolhouse’ and there was never a good foundation under it. A rock here maybe one over there, good enough. It out lived it’s life expectancy by a lot. When I moved out the newer part of the foundation started to heave and most of the floor joists in the old had rot too bad to fix. I wish I could save it but it would take winning the lottery to do that. 

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I went to two one room schools with box stoves in the middle of the room for heat in the winter. 16 students = 4 grades (1-4), one teacher. Second school Grs. 5-6 before they closed them all down and moved us into one central primary school. Got hot lunches in the winter- usually soup or hot dogs.

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/21/2023 at 3:42 PM, tperson said:

Believe it or not, I live in the 'Chirnside School', in operation from 1873-1965. Kinda neat...our basement walls are clay tile on the inside PLUS red brick on the outside (roughly 18" thick) and you can still see the floor drains in the basement where the old bathrooms were (plumbing and water must have been added at some point). Was talking to a neighbor several years ago, and he said he was one of the last classes to attend school there. Some big beautiful oaks around the house...I can only imagine that they were saplings when the school was in operation. 
I heard a lot of stories from my grandfather about schools in those days. It was not an easy time, but everyone liked what was happening. They taught very differently, and now I write in college about why i want to be a nurse, I use  https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-i-want-to-be-a-nurse/ for this. I would really like to experience for myself how they taught before. Those schools are a real rarity and they need to be protected in photographs, and preferably also live so that you can see them.

This is hard to believe. Incredibly simple.

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in this wide spot in the road where i live there were school buildings that were considered one room schools, one was for grades 1-6 ("lower school") and the other was for 7-12 ("high school"). i went to the "lower school" for 3 years then a lot of one room schools were consolidated into the big city and were closed.

as i type this i'm sitting just 200 ft. from where the lower school was.

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I think my dad just missed one room school house by a year or two. He went to the same k-3 school building I did (pretty sure is was k-8 when he went) Same high school too.  He had the same 2nd grade teacher as his 3 kids. He is 82 I'm the youngest at 44. It was her first year back then lol

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Went to this school my first 6 grades of school and it was closed in the spring of 1965. A year ago July we had tornados out in thearea and it blew lots of the bricks off the top rim. The rise in the center is no longer there as is the top 2 ft of the west side. The school was built in 1925 and i think the cement mortor that held the bricks together is just wearing out. Hate to say but it will not stand another bad wind like that one a year ago

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They're not all gone even not to far from the coast. Our town's school is K-6 with fewer than 40 kids. K stands alone and 1-2; 3-4; 5-6 share the room and teacher. The beauty of it is kids can learn and advance if they're able. My daughter was a math wiz so they just moved her math classes up as she took it in. Town has fewer than 900 people although it looks like ever last available space will be built on.

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I attended a one room school K til 6th grade a mile from home. My brother and sister and I walked home quite often but truthfully not every day. In 1962, District 68 was consolidated with the neighboring towns which meant that some kids went to 2 different schools.  Over the years I was able to buy the ground as part of a land trade. The school ground was adjacent to my farm and a neighbor wanted some poorer ground that was across a set of railroad tracks. That gave his center pivot room to make a complete circle but I got the better land. The school house and all playground equipment was sold off.

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On 8/31/2023 at 10:57 PM, New Englander said:

The beauty of it is kids can learn and advance if they're able. 

Absolutely.  When us third graders (both of us) got done with our homework we would sit and listen to the eighth grade lessons being taught.  Talk about a huge head start on the bigger school classes.

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On 9/2/2023 at 7:25 AM, Littlefeller said:

Absolutely.  When us third graders (both of us) got done with our homework we would sit and listen to the eighth grade lessons being taught.  Talk about a huge head start on the bigger school classes.

The small parochial school that our kids go to have combined classrooms, K/1, 2/3, 4/5, 6/7/8. While I wouldn't change anything about the school, I have noticed an ever-other year trend in our kids' report cards. When they're the big kids in the classroom, grades go up; when they're little kids in the classrooms, grades go down because they're trying to see what the big kids are doing and not paying attention to their work. 

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