How to Get An Education In Spite of School 

How to Get An Education In Spite of School
by John Taylor Gatto

[Note: One of the most valuable professional voices in support of  homeschooling, Mr. Gatto taught junior high in New York City for 30 years and was awarded the NY City and NY State Teacher of the Year in his last year of teaching.]

An intelligent and sensitive woman named Mary Wallech, when asked by her grown son Martin, my good friend, to consider the possibility that America’s wars were never fought for the reasons offered by great newspapers and television stations, replied simply, “It’s better not to know.” I recall Mrs. Wallech to you not to explore any implications of her thesis or that of her son, but to underline for all of us how difficult it is to come to terms with the concept “education,” how slippery.

Was Mary Wallech content to remain ignorant, simply to be the peasant cut off from the larger world that her immigrant ancestors were, or was she wise beyond her years in understanding that the pursuit of forbidden knowledge often ruins the seeker, that the malice of the great ones who seek to fool ordinary people is unfathomable at bottom, another of the eternal deficiencies of human nature? That attending too closely to unraveling their deceits can unravel, instead, one’s faith in the ultimate goodness of the universe? That the loss of faith is a worse harm than being gulled?

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Jefferson Schoolhouse, Indian Hill, Ohio



Jefferson Schoolhouse

Indian Hill and Drake Rds.

Indian Hill, Ohio

The Jefferson Schoolhouse is a historic one-room school in the Village of Indian Hill, Ohio, United States. Built along Drake Road in 1851, it is Indian Hill’s oldest extant school. Three early schools, known as the Franklin, Jefferson, and Washington Schools, were established within the bounds of the modern community, but only the Jefferson School remains to the present day.  Built of brick on a stone foundation, the Jefferson Schoolhouse is a single-story building that was built in rectangular shape and covered with a shallow gabled roof. It was expanded circa 1900 by the addition of an ell with an additional room. Having become a two-room school, it was no longer used by all eight grades of students together: grades one through four met in one room, and grades five through eight in the other. As the area continued to grow, the two rooms again became too small, and another addition was constructed in 1926 that again doubled the building’s size. Despite this expansion, the 1940s saw the old Jefferson Schoolhouse become superfluous for educational purposes; as a result, it was closed and converted into a community center for the area.  After some years as the Armstrong Community Building, the former Jefferson Schoolhouse was purchased by the Armstrong Chapel United Methodist Church, whose original church building lies across Drake Road from the school. In 1976, the old school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one year after Armstrong Chapel received a similar distinction. It qualified for inclusion on the Register both because of its significant place in local history and because of its well-preserved historic architecture. The school is one of five Indian Hill locations on the Register, along with Armstrong Chapel Methodist church, the Elliott House, the Gordon E. Pape House, and the Washington Heights School.

Lee County Training School, Sanford, NC



Lee County Training School

806 S. Vance St.

Sanford, North Carolina

Lee County Training School, also known as the W. B. Wicker School, is a historic school building located at Sanford, Lee County, North Carolina. It is a one-story brick building dating to 1927 with additions in 1934 and 1949. The building is characterized by large windows alternating with pilasters. It served as Sanford and Lee County’s African American high school until it was decommissioned as a high school in 1969. Then the school served as one of Lee County’s middle and elementary schools after desegregation was implemented in 1969, before closing in 1990. Classes were last held at the school in the late 1980s.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.  Central Carolina College renovated the school in 2006 to use as an auxiliary campus.  In November of 2015, the Lee County Board of Education and Lee County Board of Commissioners selected W.B. Wicker School as the location for the county’s newest elementary school, to open in the fall of 2019. The school, now W.B. Wicker Elementary School, is Lee County Schools first STEAM curriculum school — STEAM being Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. The STEAM curriculum, along with support services and strong community involvement, will give students who attend Wicker a solid foundation for their education and their future.

Old District 10 Schoolhouse, Middleburg Heights, OH



Old District 10 Schoolhouse

Sheldon and Fry Roads

Middleburg Heights, Ohio  44130

Old District 10 Schoolhouse, sometimes referred to as the Little Red Schoolhouse, is a 5-room former schoolhouse located in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Built in 1912, this Little Red Schoolhouse served children from Berea, Brookpark, and Middleburg Township.  .Later, the building was the site of Middleburg’s first city hall, where town meetings were held.  The first mayor and council of Middleburg Heights were elected here. During its colorful history, the schoolhouse has also been a speak-easy during Prohibition and a railroad way station, and a private residence.  It was then bought by Harvey Cross in 1940 and was used as his home until his death in 1970.  Sitting vacant since then, the former schoolhouse has since deteriorated to the point of being listed on Preservation Ohio’s list of most endangered historic sites in 2015.  In September, 2015, the Middleburg Heights Historical Society signed an option to buy the schoolhouse, intending to make the building a museum and cultural center.

Williams Grove School, Angier, NC



Williams Grove School

E. Depot St.

Angier, North Carolina

Williams Grove School is a historic one-room school located at Angier, in Harnett County, North Carolina. It was built in 1892, and is a one-room frame front gable building, measuring 30 feet, 4 inches long, by 22 feet, 4 inches wide. The building was moved to its present site on the north side of E. Depot St. between Hickory and Willow Sts., in 1975 and subsequently restored as a museum.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.


Oakdale School in Hunlock Township,  Hunlock Creek, PA



Oakdale School in Hunlock Township

440 Pritchard’s Road

Hunlock Creek, PA 18621

The old one-room schoolhouse sits atop a hill off of Pritchard’s Road in Hunlock Township, PA — right where it’s been since the late 1800s.  It’s called Oakdale School, and it’s one of the last one-room schoolhouses still standing in Luzerne County.  Oakdale School was one of six, one-room schoolhouses that were part of the educational system in Hunlock Township in the days long before school buses, cafeterias, and indoor plumbing. Hunlock Township’s other five one-room schoolhouses are either gone, or they have been converted into homes — Van Horn School, Crooptown School, Santee School, Sorbertown School, and Rock School.  The Hunlock Creek Historical Society was created to preserve the history of Hunlock Township, and the Oakdale School is the group’s first project.

Inside the old school, the floor needs to be replaced. Parts of the original blackboard remain inside, as does the cursive alphabet that was on the front wall of the school behind the teacher’s desk. Wainscoting still runs along the interior walls.  Oakdale had no air conditioning, no electricity, or indoor bathrooms.  Outside, the foundations remain where the boys’ and girls’ outhouses stood.  For a drink of water, there was one bucket and one ladle.  People have several desks from the one-room schoolhouses that will be placed in Oakdale at the completion of the project.

According to information provided by Matthew Pugh of the Hunlock Creek Historical Society, Abram Garthwaite, a local farmer, donated part of his land to the School Board of Hunlock Township in 1886. Garthwaite was Pugh’s great-great-great-grandfather.  The Oakdale School was constructed some time after they were deeded the property. Classes were held at the Oakdale School from the late 1880s to the early 1950s, when the school houses were closed with the creation of the Northwest Area School District.

In 1956, the Hunlock Township School District began consolidating schools, and the one-room schoolhouses became obsolete. Oakdale, along with others in the area, was put up for auction.  Carol Miller, whose property was across the road from the schoolhouse, was the winning bidder. It remained in the Miller family up until 2018 when Carol’s husband, Ken Miller, passed away in. The property was later given by Carol to her son, Kevin.  Kevin and his wife, Elizabeth, gifted the property to the Hunlock Creek Historical Society.


Old Freedom Township Schoolhouse No. 2, Kent, OH



Old Freedom Township Schoolhouse No. 2

7276 State Route 303

Kent, OH

Members of the Freedom Township Historical Society in Portage County, OH, are leading a renovation and preservation project to improve a one-room schoolhouse at 7276 State Route 303 that was built in 1857.  The schoolhouse sits on an acre of land. After closing, the building housed the Drakesburg Assembly of God Church until it moved to Garrettsville.  The church bought the building in the 1930s, digging a basement and rotating the building onto it with a team of horses. The church also built additions to the front and rear.  Then the building sat empty for at least 20 years after someone tried unsuccessfully to turn it into apartments.  More recently the property fell into the hands of the Portage County Land Bank after no one bid on it at a sheriff’s auction. In January, 2018, the Freedom Township Board of Trustees took ownership of the property and in April the Freedom Township Historical Society signed a 99-year lease agreement with trustees for $1 per year.  The historical society plans to use the building to house a museum, hold meetings, and host community events.  How long the project will take has not been estimated and depends on the number of grants.

The structure is in need of some TLC, but overall is sound. The cost of the project is estimated at $60,000.  A $1,000 grant was received from Home Depot in Streetsboro, as well as a $6,900 energy grant from NOPEC secured by the township to go toward a new furnace, wiring and energy-efficient windows. The county has also helped by providing laborers.  The Portage County jail inmates actually cleaned out 40 cubic yards of accumulated trash that was inside the schoolhouse within the last year.   Then they stripped off all the paneling and the top layer of flooring to reveal the building’s original 2-by-8 rafters, wood framing, 70-inch window frames and tongue-and-groove flooring.  In the 1800s one-room schoolhouse teachers didn’t make a lot of money and typically took up residence in the home of one of the families in the district. In rural areas like Freedom, the teacher had to report to work early to start a fire in the wood-burning stove that heated the schoolhouse.  The teacher had all of her students from age 5 to 18 together in one room from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Late 19th century teachers had to be young, unmarried females, and if they got married they had to quit teaching.  There was a real moralistic culture back then. Teachers were judged how they presented themselves in society. People watched them very carefully.

Kentucky Family Investigated for Failing to Social Distance

Kentucky Family Investigated for Failing to Social Distance
in Education Reporter, June 2020

[Note: Some of the stupidity that goes on in the name of “protecting the lil chilluns.” WSW.]

After relocating from New York, the Sabbatino family of Kentucky is being investigated for failing to “social distance” during a visit to a local bank in March. Following their move, the Sabbatinos needed to open a joint account in person, and brought five of their seven children inside the bank branch because they were too young to be left outside or in the car alone, even with older siblings.

The teller immediately reacted, interrogating the parents as to why they had brought the children inside. She said they could not come within six feet of her due to social distancing guidelines, and to take them out. So one parent at a time completed the necessary paperwork while the other remained at a distance with the children.

After leaving the bank, the couple joked about the teller’s overreaction, even given the mounting COVID-19 scare, only to discover a state trooper and a Child Protective Services caseworker waiting to investigate them for potential child abuse when they arrived at home. The trooper explained they had received an anonymous hotline tip that “a mother of five had taken her children out with a man who wasn’t their dad, and they had bruises on their arms that indicated grabbing.” After Mr. Sabbatino handed the trooper his driver’s license, Mrs. Sabbatino provided the children’s birth certificates as proof that her husband was indeed their father. She pointed out that the children had all been wearing jackets during the outing since it was a cold day, and therefore it would have been impossible for anyone to have seen bruises on their upper arms.

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Liberia School, Warrenton, NC



Liberia School

NC 58 South

Warrenton, North Carolina

Liberia School is a historic Rosenwald School located near Warrenton, Warren County, North Carolina. It was built in 1921–1922, and is a one-teacher frame school building which measures approximately 20 feet by 32 feet, having a hipped roof and small porch with a gable roof. The school remained open until the early 1950s. The Liberia School is one of 25 schools that were constructed using Rosenwald funds in Warren County. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Character Development

Character Development
The Teaching Home, Newsletter #362

[Note: The home is the ideal place for character training. It should be a part of every day’s lessons.]

Character development is a process of training outward actions and encouraging spiritual growth resulting in the fruits of the spirit.

The goal is to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ and to be used to draw others to Him, not to earn praise for ourselves.

A child’s character is being formed all day, every day, whether or not we notice it.

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