Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Bittersweet Magazine and the One Room School

Bittersweet Magazine began in 1973 as a class assignment.  An English teacher found a great way to get her students to write.  They began a project "dedicated to preserving the crafts, lore, legends and personalities of the Ozarks."  And so the students began documenting the culture of the area around Lebanon, MO.

This project is near and dear to my heart because it just so happens that I am originally from very close to the same area.  Several generations of my family lived in this area.  And this same culture is a part of my heritage.

One particular article struck me as I was reading tonight.  This article is an interview with a woman named Lois and she tells about what it was like when she was going to school back in the early 1900s.  I was struck by how very different the school experience is today.  From something as simple as having an hour for lunch and playing to the orderliness of lining up outside according to where you were seated and marching inside.

Morgan School from Bittersweet Magazine

I really found this article in the same issue fascinating.  While the previous article I mentioned is from the point of view of a student in a one room school in the early 1900s, this article is from the point of view of a teacher in a similar school in the 1970's.  He has some really interesting points that I think home educators will be interested in reading.  I was sad to read his hopefulness at the end that perhaps the one room school approach was coming back in vogue.

Another article shows what a day is like for one teacher in a one room school house.  Her lesson plan is shown and her thoughts on how to get eight grades through one day in one room.  Her organization style will be so familiar to any home educator.  Especially one in a large family.  I'd love to pick her brain!

I hope you'll enjoy reading through the issues of Bittersweet Magazine and learning a bit about the Ozark culture.  Tales of a hardworking, industrious people from a time long gone.