Mt. Horeb: The Little White Schoolhouse on Little Deer Creek


James Charnock grew up in Street, Maryland, and walked the dirt road to the little one-room schoolhouse called Mt. Horeb from 1946 to 1948. Later, he attended college, obtaining both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. After thirty years of teaching elementary and junior high, he is now actively retired.

In addition to creating educationally oriented market products, Charnock has written and co-written articles that have appeared in teacher magazines and professional journals. For several years, he was a feature writer for a national reading journal and has served on the editorial board of a national English journal. The recipient of many honors, he has been listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. James Charnock is the author of one other book: The Creative Teacher: Activities for Language Arts (Grades 4 through 8 and Up).

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Is your public school too large and distant (both physically and socially) for you and your children, too impersonal (take a number, please), and too bureaucratic (with layers and layers of officials)?

Though one-room and small schools are sometimes seen through rose-colored glasses, they made parents and students feel more welcomed, more interactive, more intimate with each other and the school’s programs, and—even today where they still exist in the United States (the mid- and far-West)—academically superior.

Today, with electronic advancements available—computers, videos, distance libraries and learning for research—there is no reason to crowd students like a herd of cattle into schools and classrooms. Research has proven that a smaller economy of scale is not more expensive. Some have recently started talking about scaling down the size of schools (not those, of course, with a vested interest in the large school “plant”), but it has been mostly talk. When will the real community school return?

This volume has three focuses: 1) the nostalgic remembrances of an early Maryland one-room school by those who attended and taught there (with interesting data and old-timey pictures),  2) a brief, succinct, and eye-opening history of small schools in America, and 3) easy-to-read research briefs that support returning to smaller, local community schools today.


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