HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: “When I Get Old, This Will Be Funny”: A Nostalgic Look at the One Room School
Author: Robert Haney
Publisher: Walsworth Pub. Co., 1979
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults but suitable for anyone
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Haney, Robert. “When I Get Old, This Will Be Funny”: A Nostalgic Look at the One Room School (published in 1979 by Walsworth Publishing Co. Inc., Marceline, MO 64659). Author Robert Haney, a retired school teacher, recently spoke to the Marion County (IL) Genealogical and Historical Society about his research into the history of one room schools, and I purchased a copy of his book at that time. It contains 23 chapters detailing nearly every aspect of life in the day of the one room school, including school names, teachers, transportation, a typical day, funny stories, neighbors, weather, social activities, academic subjects, recess, discipline, the county superintendent, and “School’s Out.” Anyone interested in the era of one room schools will find this account fascinating.
One of the stories which Haney tells is about a little boy named Harold who fell into a mud puddle one bitterly cold morning on the way to school. Luckily it was early, and nobody else was there. The teacher had the embarrassed boy remove all his clothes and placed her coat around him. As he sat by the fire and she hung his clothes up to dry, he said solemnly with a tear in his eye, “You know, teacher, when I get old, this will be funny.” I did not attend a one room school, though all my grandparents and my father did, but I did go to a four room rural school for the first six grades (no such thing then as Kindergarten there). Studying about one room schools has been a hobby of mine, and through the years we have visited many of them which have been restored and preserved as museums. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.