The One-Room Schoolhouse

By: Meghan Judd

Where was it?

  • Set up where people were settled.
  • Took place in mostly open country areas.
  • In states such as Kansas, Iowa, Georgia, etc.
  • Kids could walk to school every day, no more than two miles.

Exteriors and Interiors of the Schoolhouses

  • Simple building structure.
  • They built it solely off of materials that they had available to them at the time, which in most cases was wood or brick.
  • They chose to build it as a one story rather than two because the people were afraid that the schoolhouse would not be able to hold up through strong winds and storms.
  • They had big school bells outside that the teacher rang starting and dismissing school.


  • Pictures of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington
  • Blackboards and chalk
  • Single wooden desks
  • Furnace
  • Flags
  • Maps
  • Piano
  • Globe
  • Inspirational quotes listed around the room


  • Teachers had no training, started as early as 17.
  • Outhouses were expensive to maintain.
  • Not many books available in the library.
  • The schools were unsanitary.
  • If your teacher was ineffective you lost a year of education.


  • Reading, writing, arithmetic
  • Learned to sing songs
  • The teacher taught students good morals such as responsibility and respect
  • Kids were whipped with a paddle for discipline
  • Had time for recess and lunch
  • Said the pledge of allegiance and prayed every day

More Facts

  • In most cases the oldest child of a family won't attend school because they have other duties to maintain the farm
  • There were at the least 6-7 and at most 12-15 kids in each schoolhouse
  • Days were grey for kids
  • By 1900, there were 50 different ethnic groups who attended One-Room Schoolhouses in Wisconsin
  • Students never took standardized tests
  • They celebrated holidays in schools such as Halloween and Christmas
  • Students looked forward to end of the year graduation

Would I have like to attend this school?

No, I would not have liked to attend this school. One-Room Schoolhouses had many problems and I don't think I'd be able to learn very well from it. The One-Room Schoolhouses don't use technology and I would not be able to learn as well without it.


Country School: One Room, One Nation. Dir. Kelly Rundle. Perf. Kelly Rundle. Passion River, 0. DVD.

"Histories/Records - One-Room Schoolhouse Center." One-Room Schoolhouse Center - Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2012. <>.

"One Room Schools - The Teachers." Clarke Historical Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2012. <>.

"One-room Schoolhouse: General Information - NIU - Blackwell Museum." Home Page - NIU - College of Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2012. <>.