Amish Schools

Anon wrote:  Would you please describe Amish elementary schools.

My Amish School

I cannot describe elementary schools in general, but I can describe the one I attended as a student, and I later taught in that same school for two years.

Ours was a little brick, one-room school built in 1965. It had a canvas curtain that was pulled and snapped together during class time. In the mornings and at recess, the curtain would get pulled back, so that all the students could participate in singing in the mornings and then have lunch at our desks at noon, followed by a one-hour recess.

We had two teachers — one for grades 1 through 4 and the other usually taught 5 through 8. Each teacher would teach all the subjects to all four grades. Normally arithmetic would be the first subject in the morning. Our teacher would start with the eighth graders and have the students exchange papers to correct and grade them. Then he’d assign a lesson to the eighth graders and move on to the seventh grade and do the same with them… then the sixth, followed by the fifth. 

After arithmetic there would be grammar, spelling, and reading. In the afternoon there were geography and history lessons. Sometimes there would be German lessons or German spelling words. Once a week we read and did lessons from our health books. 

While the older students were doing all their work each day, the lower grade students were doing the same. 

We had three recesses each day — a fifteen-minute one in the mornings and afternoons, and an hour during lunch. The students played a variety of games on the playground. The boys’ favorite was usually softball.

The eighth graders have much to accomplish. They have to prepare for the eighth grade achievement exams, and they had to prepare for the eighth-grade spelldown, in which all the Amish schools in the community got together for a big spelling bee. At the end of eighth grade, the students are handed their report cards and their diplomas, which marks the end of school for them for the rest of their lives. This part was really hard for me… I wanted so badly  to continue school, but it just wasn’t done. 

So, this gives you an overview. For another post about my elementary school days, you can click here.


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7 thoughts on “Amish Schools”

  1. Hi Saloma,

    I have a surprise for you on my blog. :-)

    I don’t review any more on the public sites, but this is as close as I come to reviewing.

  2. Saloma, it’s nice to have a look into a way of life that most of us would never get a chance to be privvy too,and so I say thank you! I am enjoying this part of your blog very much. blessings jane

  3. Saloma, it’s nice to have a look into a way of life that most of us would never get a chance to be privvy too,and so I say thank you! I am enjoying this part of your blog very much. blessings jane

  4. Rossyln, thank you so much for such a moving review. It is the kind that makes me realize that the core message of the book is being understood.

    Thank you, Rossyln.


  5. This is interesting; thanks for sharing with us. Always enjoy your posts.

    My Mom used to tell us stories about the one room schoolhouse she attended near Middletown, PA. She wasn’t Amish, but grew up through the 40’s and 50’s and attended the one room schoolhouse until she went to high school. That must have been a contrast…

    Glad you got the education you always desired! :)


  6. Wow, I can’t imagine all those different grades in one room. The teachers would have to be very organized I would think. I have never understood why The Amish stop going to school in grade eight. I can’t imagine your yerning to go further in your studies and not be able to.

  7. I didn’t go to a one-room school but I have gone to a very small elementary school for a period of time. It was grades 1 – 6 but with 4 classrooms. Grades 2 & 3 were in one class and also grades 4 & 5. We didn’t have a cafeteria but there was a kitchen for hot lunch where you lined up in the hallway to pick it up from the window and eat in your classroom. I remember one time lining up in the hallway for exercises with the principal (who was also the 6th grade teacher) for recess (or gym?) since it was raining outside. That was back in the early 80’s and they’ve since added onto the school.

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