Spring - School
School was important in the life of kids during the spring-- at least until May when school let out. A typical day would begin early in the morning when children did their
chores before school. Then they walked or rode horses or bicycles
to school. Norma Ehlers said her country school teacher was
only 16 years old, just out of high school herself.
went to first grade when I was four years old…Most
schools were about four or five miles apart… everyone
would be within walking distance of that school. And we
had a bench up front, and first and second graders learned
together. When you were a first grader, you had second
grade work, and when you were a second grader you reviewed
with the first graders…She'd call us up to the front…for…
our reading lessons, our math lessons…I liked to
read and I liked history… I read the encyclopedias;
that was the only really good set of books we had."
-- Norma Ehlers (Quicktime required)
Norma spent eight years in the country school and then went
to high school in town. She said it seemed like a long ways
from home and was not an easy adjustment.
Children often memorized poems and recited them
for school programs. Look up some of these favorite school
poems from the 1920s and see if you can memorize the first
"The Barefoot Boy" by John Greenleaf
"The Blacksmith," "Hiawatha," "The
Arrow and the Song" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The Wind," "The Cow" by Robert Louis
"The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear
"The Elf and the Doormouse" by Oliver Herford
"What do we Plant when we Plant a Tree" by Henry
Written by Claudia Reinhardt.