Explore OK {Rose Hill School}

Recently my older two boys and I visited Rose Hill School with our homeschool group (Classical Conversations). Built in 1895, the one room school house was moved to the Cherokee Strip Museum in 1971. Since 1988 it has welcomed thousands of students each year to experience what school life was like in the early 1900s. I remember visiting back when I was in fourth grade. It is definitely one of those field trips most kids remember.

A strict school marm told the kids that as they crossed over the bridge, they would be transported back to 1910.

2.15rosehill-012.15rosehill-02Most of the school is original, including the wood stove and desks.2.15rosehill-03The students participated in various activities like penmanship, reading, spelling and math. There were several rules for the day, including absolutely no talking or giggling. Consequences for breaking those rules included standing with your nose in the center of a circle on the chalkboard.

The marm also informed my second son that using his left hand was prohibited. He would have his left hand taped behind his back and would be required to only use his right hand. A wave of panic washed over his face, then she stepped out of character and told him she would let it slide for the day. And a wave of relief washed over me!

2.15rosehill-042.15rosehill-05There were lots of “Yes, Ma’am” and “No, Ma’am”s. There was also more silence than I’ve heard in a really long time. Despite being told it was okay to take pictures, I was a little afraid my name would be called and I’d be disciplined!2.15rosehill-072.15rosehill-082.15rosehill-092.15rosehill-10It was an intimidating environment. The school marm did a wonderful job playing her role and giving the kids a real taste of what a one room schoolhouse in 1910 was like. There were also some smiles and fun too.2.15rosehill-112.15rosehill-122.15rosehill-13Thanks to the stilts my grandpa built for me as a little girl – I impressed my boys with my mad stilt walking skills.2.15rosehill-14The Cherokee Strip Museum has several different displays related to life and work in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is well worth the visit if you are in the area. I am not sure if you have to be a school group to visit the Rose Hill School. In a few years, I’ll go back with my next set of 3-5 graders…if their big brothers haven’t scared them away!

It was a great experience for all of us and made several books we’ve read from that time period really come alive. I think in the end, the boys gained a greater appreciation for me and their other teachers!

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  • Lisa - Haha, I love this. What an awesome experience for them to remember. I haven’t commented in a while, but wanted to express to you how much I enjoy reading your blog. I only follow two blogs and I follow yours yes, because of your beautiful photography, but also and most importantly because of your heart behind it all. I’m a new mama of a wild 2 year old and you’ve share with me many lessons that I have realized over time have impacted my own parenting greatly. Just wanted to thank you for all you do, and the time you put into it. I’m so glad you enjoy it so we can partake!

  • Ashley - I went there as a fourth grader! At the time I was reading through the Laura Ingalls books and had a lovely costume chest full of prairie dresses. I first heard about Rose Hill when I was in 2nd grade and COULDN’T WAIT until I finally got to go in the fourth. The experience was incredible and when I got home I rearranged my bedroom into a 1910 classroom and made my little brother my pupil. We played “old time school” for months after that.

  • Jenny B. - So fun! We had a very similar day at an old schoolhouse in Rogers, AR, a couple of years ago when my oldest was in 2nd grade (and they had just finished reading Little House in the Big Woods). It was really neat, and I could have hung out taking pictures of everything in the schoolhouse for hours. 🙂 I did a page about it for my Project Life scrapbook: Rocky Branch School

  • Jenny B. - Ashley (the commenter above), that is so fun that you played “old time school!” I used to do the same thing. One of the elementary schools in my hometown flooded, and lots of the textbooks were damaged. My mom was a teacher, and brought home several for me. I loved how wrinkly and discolored the pages were! They were perfect for playing old time school. 🙂 Also, my house had a loft/balcony with an open cedar staircase, and I would climb up it on all fours pretending to be Mary and Laura climbing up to their bedroom. Good times… 🙂

  • danielle - That looks like fun! I heard about that at the homeschool day at the history center. I think they were planning on setting up some public days so those not in a group could still do it.

  • Marsha - Oh, what sweet memories! We lived in Perry for a time, and my eldest (finally) made it with his class to Rose Hill. They were scheduled to go on what became known as 9/11. That just deepened the whole experience for him when they got to go. I tried to see in your pics who the school marm is. I’m sure they’ve changed more than once since I was asked to serve and since we moved back to BA. I don’t think I could be strict enough at all, but it didn’t matter. We had started homeschooling by the time the opportunity came along!

    Thanks for sharing your time at Rose Hill, Ashley!!!

  • Carol Van Boening - SO sad to learn recently that my Granddaughter’ s school(Union district) will not be going to Rose Hill School on a field trip this year. SO disappointed! I think it is a great lesson for kids.Thanks for the WONDERFUL photos.

  • Krystin Robertson - Ashley,
    This is just an interesting place. I bet it was a great experience for the kiddos! I’m wondering now if my city (Louisville, KY) has an old schoolhouse setup like this one…I’ll have to look into it. Anyways, I really like how you captured the details of the boys at work. I’m sure this will be a great memory that they can look back on one day!

  • amber - That is way cool. As a former homeschooler, I’m pretty sure that’s something my mom would’ve made my sister & I do. Kind of makes me a little nervous to think about…lol! Way to go to your brave boys!!

  • AshleyAnn - Thank you Lisa…I’m figuring out this parenting stuff by trial and error…but enjoying the process 🙂

  • Rikki - How fun! I did stuff like this as a kid (went to school in Missouri a few years). Always so neat, and such a great experience!