What Amish Schools Are Like

Sep 14, 2021 681.2K Views 1.7K Comments

What are Amish schools like? Join me as we enter this one-roomed Amish schoolhouse and learn how the Amish do things differently. It’s quite unbelievable that this exists in the USA. I enjoyed this adventure and I think you will too!

All right.
[gate opening]
All right, so what’s going on here, Dennis?
So this is an Amish school though?
-Okay.
-And
The horses the lawnmowers?
-They’re basically the lawnmowers, yeah.
-Okay.
Can we go inside?
-Yeah.
-So in Amish country you
have one room schoolhouses
or how does this work?
And then what grades?
Okay.
All right.
So how does that work when
you have such different age…
Age levels and grades?
Oh this is interesting, wow.
-You basically have to learn
everything.
-Okay so walk me through.
A first grader could be sitting here and
a sixth grader could be sitting up there?
-Yes.
Last term this was my side.
We close the curtains up
-Oh okay, so you section it off.
-Yeah, we section it off.
-Yeah, we section it off.
-Gotcha.
And my first graders
they get the smaller desks.
There were three little girls
one, two, there’s another one somewhere
and then I have fourth grade.
They were probably
in the little bit bigger ones
and seventh and eighth
are the older students.
-Okay.
Okay, so how does it work?
This is outside the federal school system
or how does it work?
-Everything is…
We’re completely free from government.
We don’t receive any funding.
Everything is
out of our own pockets.
-Wow.
-I mean we pay a lot to the
public schools through real estate taxes
but we kind of
we wanted to stay separate.
-Okay.
So you’re still paying taxes
to the federal government?
-We do.
-Okay, but that’s by choice?
Can we walk over here?
-Yes.
-So what’s different about
the Amish curriculum?
I’m sure there’s a lot
of religion in it obviously.
Are you familiar with the US curriculum?
The state curriculum?
-Not
where it is now.
I went four years to public school
-Okay.
-So there are Amish students
that go to public school.
-Okay.
But we have the basic math
vocabulary, English
spelling.
We teach some German.
But everything is Christian based.
-Okay.
-We start the day off in the
morning with the Lord’s prayer.
-Okay.
-Then a Bible story.
Then we file into the entrance
line up and sing three songs.
-Can we go over there?
-Can we go over there?
-Yep.
-No American flag?
-No American flag.
No pledge of allegiance.
-Oh interesting, why is that?
-We probably…
It’s based on
God and Christ.
-Okay.
-And that’s our focus
what we try to keep it on.
-So this is the new section?
-Yeah, this is the new section.
We have our
coat racks
cubbies and then we line up in here.
-Get your books.
-Got our books, song books.
-And so you’ve been a
teacher here for how long?
-Six years.
-Six years, okay.
In let’s say the last 10 years
and I’m guessing some of those
that are in power
want to really buckle down
and it’s…
It will cause some problems
-How have they drifted?
-Probably technology-wise.
-Okay.
Kids want to get on phones,
devices, social media?
-Yeah, mm-hmm.
-It will, has it come in now
to this point
it’s starting to trickle in
or it’s coming quickly?
-And Brian’s the most
wonderful guy on the planet
but he doesn’t want to be on camera
so I’m not gonna turn the camera.
But Brian brought us in here.
So that’s interesting.
So you’re dealing…
Though you’re in your
own bubble to some degree
there’s no way you can keep out the force
of the way the world is going around you?
-Not really.
What I’ve seen
in my lifespan is you
basically everybody has to decide
among themselves.
I mean the church is the church.
We have our guidelines
but everybody has to decide,
“Where am I gonna be?”
What I see is my children
coming after me.
Where do I want them to be
in 30 years from now?
20 or 30 years…
How will this progress?
What am I…
They’re all following my steps.
-Where do you want them to be?
That’s a good question.
I want them to be a follower of Jesus.
-Okay.
-And
that’s the most important
thing that I have a concern in.
Is them to really be a follower of Jesus
and God.
Be respectful of building
members of the community.
I see dangers with technology
and so far I’ve really
tried to shun away from it.
-Okay, okay.
So you guys having more kids right now?
-We are not.
-No, not you personally.
I’m sorry.
The Amish people
are having more, right?
-Right.
-So are these schools filling up?
You’re creating more schools?
-Yes.
Yes, about every year…
An average of five new
school houses are built
through all of the community.
-In Holmes County?
-Holmes, Wayne, and surrounding counties
but they are expanding out into
other counties too.
-And do most of them do it this style?
One room style?
-Basically, yes.
-Why is that?
Why do you want to keep
everyone in the same room?
-That’s a good question.
History tells us and
they’ve tried it already
once you get
bigger schools you need more parents
and more teachers.
It’s just harder to keep everything
peaceable.
That’s what I’m seeing.
-So this is way more manageable
just having everyone under one roof
and the jurisdiction
is not far around here.
How far can kids come to this school?
-Most of them are a mile away.
-Are they walking?
-Walking or some use bicycles.
-No school bus?
-No school bus.
-So what’s the story with the lights?
-That’s a natural gas light.
-Okay, so all the lights are natural gas?
-Yes, we started out as that but
last year we put on a solar panel
and we have
one, two three battery lights in here.
-Okay, so
through religion
it says you can’t use any power
wired power in but you can use solar power?
-Yes.
That’s the church guideline
-Okay, that’s a church guideline.
-We’ve always shunned away from
the electric from the lines.
-Okay, why is that?
Do you know?
-Probably started out away from
television
electric appliances
and we believe in really having
a home body.
Everybody’s home.
-You’re fantastic, this
is probably really boring
questions for you but it’s…
It’s interesting for me.
Don’t look this way, Brian.
-No, you’re fine.
-Oh, Brian’s in.
Let’s go out here
is this the playground?
-This is the playground.
Normally this is all mowed
and we have our bases set up out here.
This is one of the worst
school playgrounds in the area.
A lot of them are flat, open…
-You got a basketball hoop court here.
-Yep.
They do know some…
LeBron James
that name pops up.
It comes in the paper.
[chuckles]
None of them can jump so high.
Swigsets down there.
School bell.
Classic school bell.
-Every morning at 8:00
we ring it a couple times
and that’s an old tradition.
We have this cute little outhouse.
Well
it’s not so cute
especially not in the winter time when it’s
10 degrees.
You have to go.
Snowy, we’ll just put it very simply
It doesn’t take long.
-Okay, so no one’s
holding up the bathroom.
What’s the…
What are the rules behind
this having an outhouse
at school?
It’s an Amish thing obviously.
-It is.
It’s an old thing.
They started out
years ago with outhouses
and the school room.
But now the new ones
most of them have indoor plumbing
and have them in the basement.
So these are kind of gradually
going out.
There are different churches through here
and some of them are lower than others
and some
they all send to the same school.
So it’s basically we keep them
so everybody’s happy.
-Okay, so you think this
is phasing out in 10 years?
This won’t be here, there
will be a toilet inside?
-There’s a good chance.
-Okay.
But then correct me if I’m wrong here
but the very religious Amish
some of the old order will say,
“No, this is our tradition.
We need to keep it this way.”?
-There will be some, yes.
-Okay.
-But
they’re changing some.
I mean
every home has them
indoor plumbing.
So it’s just a matter of time
before the schools have.
On the outside.
The inside, summertimes
it can get a little smelly.
-Yeah.
-But it does the job.
It’s not one of our
highest points of interest
[laughter]
-Okay, gotcha.
Baseball field.
Is that baseball?
-Yep, softball.
Okay.
So you’re saying the
longer your marriage has gone on
the deeper the love gets?
Getting relationship advice out here too.
Good advice and teeter totters.
These are pretty
aggressive teeter totters.
You could do damage with these.
Cherry bump is when you slam down
and the other person flies, right?
[laughter]
Brian was banned from the playground?
-Yeah.
Just hanging around
him today can already
get that vibe from him.
Troublemaker.
-There, I let it out.
Brian, get away from the camera.
Get away, Brian
He’s getting closer and closer.
We work with the government.
Every month we have to fill out
not attendance forms.
Mark everything
we have to do safety drills.
We have to do fire drills.
And we have state guidelines to go by.
The feedback that we’ve gotten from them
they have told us
don’t change anything
we’re happy with what you’re doing.
So
they’re happy, we’re happy.
So we’ll try and be respectful and
do what we can.
-All right, thank you.
-All right.
-Do you left-hand shake?
Is that a negative thing?
Some cultures it is.
-Some people say,
“Left handed for crooks.”
That’s a joke.
Oh, okay.
So there you go guys little
insight to what Amish schools are like
here in Holmes County Ohio.
What are we doing?
Okay.
-Left hand.
-All right, left hand.
Okay, until the next one.

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