Were you a fan of the show Little House on the Prairie?  If you were, then you enjoyed watching the Ingalls family who led a simple life on their farm.  They worked very hard and lived off the land.  As well as having faith in the Lord, they also had old fashioned values.  There were many breathtaking scenes of the countryside in that show.  In fact, the entire town was so charming that it seemed that it came from a postcard.  Of all the delightful sites of Little House on the Prairie, one of the most lovely was the one room schoolhouse that Laura Ingalls and Mary Ingalls attended.  If you ever want to see a real one room schoolhouse, similar to the one on Little House on the Prairie, all you have to do is visit the Newark Museum, and you will see the 1784 Old Stone School House.

Located in the Newark Museum Garden, the 1784 Old Stone School House is a wonder to behold.  This bricked marvel even has a bell tower.  As you already know, the bell was rung to announce the start of class.  Inside the school house, the original wooden furniture still remains.  There is a 1777 Betsy Ross Flag and a blackboard.  In those colonial days, students learned by repetition and writing.  There were no computers or other technological aids to assist in the learning process.  Students would write their lessons on their slates

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This is an inside look at the 1784 Old Stone School House at the Newark Museum Garden. [Image by Lucy Santos]
This is an inside look at the 1784 Old Stone School House at the Newark Museum Garden. [Image by Lucy Santos]

After school was finished, children would be responsible for doing their homework as well as chores around the house.  Since there was no television, they had to be more creative to be entertained.  Youngsters would spend more time playing outside.  Families spent more quality time together.

This is a side view of the 1784 Old Stone School House at the Newark Museum Garden. [Image by Lucy Santos]
This is a side view of the 1784 Old Stone School House at the Newark Museum Garden. [Image by Lucy Santos]

One day even President George Washington came to visit the students at the 1784 Old Stone School House.  You can imagine how well the pupils must have behaved.  After they heard one of the greatest founding father’s speak, they were probably very inspired.

Across America, children will begin classes in huge educational institutions with every technological advantage that children in colonial times did not have.  Even though the schools of today are very different from the one room school house, there is still a connection between the two.   The blackboard is still an invaluable as a teaching tool.  Repetition and memorization are still essential in the learning process, for they help students develop an analytical mind.  There are still many lessons that we can learn from the 1784 Old Stone School House.