11 responses to When was school ever this much fun?
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    Comment on When was school ever this much fun? (February 20th, 2008 at 09:55)

    I think I want to go back to school! Sounds like fun!

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    Dave Carrig
    Comment on When was school ever this much fun? (February 20th, 2008 at 11:42)

    I was having a discussion with a guy at work about how the Amish schooling usually ends at the 8th grade. We both agreed that the Amish kids probably come out of school better educated than kids graduating from 12th grade in the public school system.

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    Comment on When was school ever this much fun? (February 20th, 2008 at 17:37)

    Found your blog via another, and what a lovely blog it is.

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    Comment on Do Amish children like school? (February 20th, 2008 at 14:34)

    Do Amish children like school?

    The Amish kids I talk to, on the whole, seem to really like school. Despite the way the post may sound, a good deal of learning goes on as well! Lizzie was hard at work on some homework when I got in the first night–though her mom told me that she’d ‘forgotten’ to mention she’d had any when it was time to play earlier. I remember that tactic.

    Dave, in a way I’d probably agree–especially when you consider what they do and the roles they take in life.

    I just got finished listening to an interview I did on Monday with a metal shop owner. He talked about starting to learn the trade at age 16. You could tell by his tone of voice that it was a no-brainer to start that early. In fact, I am continually amazed to talk to 30-year old business owners with up to even 15 years experience in their trade. No wonder these guys do pretty well (though that’s not the whole story of course).

    At the dinner table the other day at Abe’s, Abe relayed some info he’d heard from a relative, I believe it was his sister, who lives next to a non-Amish teacher. The teacher had told the relative that some of the kids in the Lancaster public school system graduated eighth grade not knowing how to read. Often these were athletes, she said.

    The Amish in the room, meaning everybody but me, just could not fathom the idea. I tried to explain that it’s probably not as uncommon as it seems, unfortunate as it may be. The kids that did not know how to read apparently feigned illness or asked to be excused or something like that whenever the subject came up.

    Stories like that remind me to give thanks that I was given a chance to have the educational foundation that I do–ie, that the teachers I had probably wouldn’t have ever let me get away with that sort of stuff, had I tried.

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    Comment on When was school ever this much fun? (February 20th, 2008 at 19:43)

    “I was having a discussion with a guy at work about how the Amish schooling usually ends at the 8th grade. We both agreed that the Amish kids probably come out of school better educated than kids graduating from 12th grade in the public school system.”

    Where are the Amish docters? Scientists? Writers? Physicists? Engineers?

    What is the level of your education? Would you gush like this if your child ended their formal education at the eighth grade level?

    Do you have any idea what it is that you are romanticizing?

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    Comment on When was school ever this much fun? (February 21st, 2008 at 04:45)

    Hi msdramateacherlady, very nice to hear! I hope you enjoy what you find here!

    Erik

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    Comment on Amish expansion through Lancaster County (February 21st, 2008 at 04:43)

    Amish expansion through Lancaster County

    Not to change the subject, but as someone who is formerly Amish I would also be curious to hear your opinion on what you feel will be the biggest challenges for the Lancaster Amish as they continue to grow and expand in an already highly populated county. I recently had an interesting chat with a local about this topic and with the Amish population doubling every 20 years and land becoming so expensive, as you know the Lancaster Amish have had to take measures to deal with the situation, particularly migration/founding of new settlements and shifting from agriculture to business. We can’t predict the future but I’m curious how you think the county/settlement will look in 20 years time, if you don’t mind sharing your thoughts.

    And easy, I won’t speak for Dave here, but in my opinion to me it sounds like you might be placing your own personal system of values on a culture that does not necessarily appreciate the same things you do.

    By that I don’t mean that the Amish do not appreciate and take advantage of the services of the professionals you listed, but rather that they don’t place a high value on having such individuals within their own culture.

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    Comment on When was school ever this much fun? (February 21st, 2008 at 17:09)

    “Easy, I won’t speak for Dave here, but in my opinion to me it sounds like you might be placing your own personal system of values on a culture that does not necessarily appreciate the same things you do.”

    If Dave wants to criticize public schools, he can have at it. Suggesting that Amish eighth graders are better educated than non-Amish 12th graders is ignorant.
    If he wants to talk about whether Amish kids seem better prepared for their future than non-Amish kids, he may have a point. But if he’s going to pretend that this point can be used to make a legitamate critique of public education, he also needs to denounce the benifits of higher education if his arguement is to have any merit.

    Otherwise he’s just exploiting my peeps to make his cheap shot.

    And you know we just can’t have that. Not on a nice blog like this.

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    Comment on When was school ever this much fun? (February 21st, 2008 at 18:18)

    The biggest challenge the lancaster county Amish face is their unity, or the lack of it. Can they sort through their issues with out spiritual fratricide? If there are going to be schisms, will one solve it, or will one just be the fodder that ignites twenty more.

    They are a parallel microcosm of the larger society in that there constantly exists a struggle over identity and who gets to determine it. You know, conservative versus liberal.
    They may avoid the mayhem, cheers for them if they do. But an authoritarian society dosen’t foster the requisite skill set.

    Here’s one of their sticklers, sorry don’t know how to provide link

    RNS Article of the Week

    September 13, 2007

    Growth of Evangelicals Has Some Amish Leaders Worried
    By DANIEL BURKE

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    Comment on When was school ever this much fun? (February 22nd, 2008 at 08:46)

    The other issue that’s a ticking time bomb for the lancaster county Amish is economic disparity. The rise of a business class and the impact that will have on unity amoung the congregants.

    When I was a kid, my older brothers told of an Amish horse trader who had not recieved payment on a pair of mules he sold to another Amish man. The narrative of this story focused on the response of the horse trader when he was asked if he wanted the church to intervene in this situation. He uniquivically rejected the idea that the church should get involved. This incident happened over thirty years ago, but I believe it’s representative of the path that business owners have chosen, ie (what happens at work is separate from what happens on sunday). At the same time these wealthy entrepreneurs have ingratiated themselves with the general Amish population by investing in farmland and other “pillar of the community” type activities. This has the effect of making them “untouchable”. Oligarchy comes to mind. The challenge for them is, can their communal values system process and deal with the issues brought on by this wildly different social structure?

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    Liz
    Comment on When was school ever this much fun? (January 1st, 2013 at 11:49)

    I think that not sending their kids to public high schools is the biggest favor that Amish parents can do for their kids. Our public high schools are messed up, confusing, and demoralizing places. Even though I got good grades in high school I don’t feel like I actually learned anything – except how to feel stressed out about peer pressure and what its like to be surrounded by lost and confused, immature teenagers who have no parental guidance for most of the day. Teenagers influencing teenagers creates standards of behavior that are low.

    I understand that some people would like the option of furthering their formal educations after the 8th grade but I would’ve preferred learning a trade over going to university (which is what my parents wanted).

    From what you’ve described above, Amish one-room schools sound like a good balance between serious learning and having fun.

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