Even now, with my own kids either in college or out, I think I’ll always see September as “back to school” month in my head. So with just a few days left in the month, I thought it might be fun to share ten things I’ve learned over the years about Amish schooling.
Amish children only go to school until the eighth grade. It is felt that they learn everything they need to learn during those years.
The teacher is often between the age of 17 and 22. Unmarried.
The subjects that are taught include: phonics, vocabulary, spelling, reading, writing, math, English, history (a little bit of American, but mostly as it pertains to the Amish), geography, German, Bible.
All grades are taught in a single room, sometimes divided in two if there is a second teacher. In Shipshewana, some of the buildings have an upstairs to house the teacher during the school week.
The room is decorated cheerfully and often centers around a theme. A new teacher I met in Holmes County this past summer was decorating her classroom around a butterfly theme.
Students bring their lunch from home.
Students arrive at school via foot, scooter bikes (in Lancaster County), regular bikes (Holmes County and Shipshewana) and, sometimes, by a buggy driven by a parent or older sibling.
During the Christmas holiday, the students in a school often put on a program for parents to include recitations, and fun skits. It is a highlight of the year for people that normally shun such spotlight.
In Shipshewana, in particular, Amish boys with just an eighth grade education can go on to earn 50-60 K in the RV industry.
That’s my ten for today. Have you learned anything not on my list?
Laura Bradford is the author of more than 30 books, including her Amish-based women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister. The next book in her popular Amish Mysteries series, Just Plain Murder, will release on November 27th. The digital version of the first book in the series, Hearse and Buggy, is on sale from now until October 6th wherever you buy your e-books. For more information about Laura, visit her website: laurabradford.com or hang out with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurabradfordauthor/