On Sunday, children marked the beginning of another school year by taking a trip back to the 1800s in a one-room schoolhouse with their lunch pails, quill pens and slates.
“Good Old School Days,” the theme for this month’s Family Sunday series at the Northeast Georgia History Center in Gainesville, taught families just what school was like during that century. Each month has a different theme and features activities and crafts for the whole family designed to teach about typical family life during a particular era or historical event.
“This is a real experience comparing and contrasting school in the past with school today,” said Julie Carson, the administrative coordinator of the History Center.
The educational activities included a word search and a scavenger hunt bingo. Using a tin punch to create different designs, kids also got to create a lunch pail much like those used by schoolchildren in the 1800s.
And what would a re-creation of school life in the 1800s be without a glimpse into a typical classroom. Chief White Path’s Cabin, located next to the history center, was set up as a schoolroom and featured classes that were taught in the 1800s. Kids got to write their lessons and practice sums on slate and practice their penmanship with an actual quill pen. They also learned about the different types of punishment used at schools during that era. At the end, the kids were given a cookie to put in their lunch pail.
But it wasn’t all school work for Sunday’s visitors; kids also got to play some of the games enjoyed by children during the era.
Mike and Diane Williams of Gainesville and their three children, Michael, 10, Emily, 8, and Will, 6, were among the families taking part in Sunday’s school days fun.
“We got a sheet that had all of the different events and thought it would be a good family event,” said Diane Williams. “It is just a good opportunity to experience history first-hand.”
The Williamses, who have attended a previous Family Sunday event, said they plan to return to future events. “I like the crafts that they do and the costumes,” said Diane Williams.
Next month’s Family Sunday theme is “Civil War Encampment” and features live re-enactments of the Civil War, including games and activities typically enjoyed by families during the era.