The Good Ol’ Days? (A Visit to the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse)

Last weekend, my wife and kids (along with other adventurous homeschool families) visited Sutter’s Mill and experienced the lifestyle of early California gold-miners.  After a few days of panning for gold-flakes, they packed up their gear and explored Old Town Sacramento.  The girls’ favorite stop was the Schoolhouse Museum.  Here are a few photos:

Check out the inside… they’ve got a storm for those frosty school mornings:

Museum volunteers invited the children to participate in a mock classroom environment.  They wrote on chalk slates.  The boys and the grils were separated to different sides of the classroom.  and they were given an extensive list of rules and punishments (which all involve a lashing from the teacher!)

Here are a few highlights from the list:

Wearing Long Fingernails — 2 lashes

Telling Lies — 7 lashes

Giving Each other Ill Names — 3 lashes

Drinking Spiritous Liqous at School — 8 lashes

Boys and Girls Playing Together — 4 lashes

and my personal favorite:

Climbing Over Three Feet Up a Tree — 1 Lash for each extra foot.  (So do not climb a thirty foot tree!)

The kids had a great time.  But what was fascinating is that my younger daughter was really getting into the structure of the classroom.  She enjoyed sitting right in front row, raising her hand, eager to participate.  My older girl prefered to stay in the back of the classroom, reluctant to participate, content with listening to others.  What’s most interesting about that, is that in our homeschooling life, my daughters are not brownie-point earners or wallflowers.   My wife and I gained a glimpse of how their personalities might be shaped if they were in a public school system.  (Or perhaps I should say a public school system in 1848!)