The Amish raise their children to be honest, humble and obedient. A strong community of like-minded adults and children provide the foundation for Amish life and culture.
Do Amish boys know that non-Amish boys go to baseball practice and get up on Saturday morning to watch cartoons? Do Amish girls ever dream of driving cars when they grow up? Do they ever want to stop being Amish?
What about you? Do you ever look at your family’s traditions and wish you could live your own life differently to Mark do you think when I grow up I won’t do this and instead I’ll do that? Eventually, when you leave home and become financially independent, you will be able to act on your answers to these questions. Amish teenagers get to make the same choices. Just like teenagers in mainstream Society, however, many factors influence that decision, even if the Amish teenagers do not realize it.
Amish children start school at about the same age as other children in mainstream North American society, usually at five or six years of age. That is not to say that Amish children, or any children for that matter, don’t start learning until then in fact, much of the learning that occurs in our lives take place while we are still very young.
Think about it. By the time a child is ready to start school, she can walk, talk, Run, play games with other children, and even put on their own clothes. Many children can already count, and some can even read by the time they start going to school. The brain of a young child is constantly developing, allowing children to learn things incredibly quickly.
Without even realizing, children everywhere around their own language and culture, from the rules that their parents set for them to the example set by the people around them. Even from a young age, a child mother or father probably doesn’t need to tell him that he should be nice to other people, or that he must wait until after dinner to have ice cream. People learn these things naturally, simply by growing up. It is these very sort of Unwritten rules children love that form the basis for culture. Children learn the rules of their own culture from the age. This is as true of Amish children as it is of children in other communities throughout the world.
Upbringing, or the way we learn the rules of our parents and of our culture, happens naturally in all communities. How it happens, and how it influences people as they grow up, however, varies from one place to another, and from one culture to another. Differences exist between how Amish parents raise their children and how many not Amish parents raise their children
Generally, Amish families tend to be quite large. The motivation for this is quite simple, children provide extra hands to work around the house and on the farm. In fact, before the advent of machines like automatic hay balers and corn h, farm families, in general, tended to be quite large, whether honest or not. Since 1900 alone, the average household size in the United States has fallen from 4.6 people per household to roughly 2.5 people per household.
In addition, Amish communities tend to be quite small, usually between 25 to 40 families. In many Amish communities, families live in close proximity to the aunts, uncle’s, and cousins. Both figuratively and literally, Amish people often think of their name Amish neighbors as family. These two factors, large families and tight-knit communities, provide young Amish people a very closed network of friends and family with whom they interact on a regular basis.
Amish people generally know every person in their Community very well, providing a greater degree of Social Security than what is found in many non-Amish communities. This arrangement creates a much broader concept of family that practiced in most non-Amish communities. Amish parents feel free to trust the welfare and development of their children to any of your neighbors, knowing that all the members of the community were raised in the same traditions in mindset. That’s if a child misbehaves, any at all in the community may discipline him for it.
Amish children experience firm discipline from an early age. Humility and obedience are important character traits in Amish communities, so they are instilled at a very early age.
The Amish take discipline quite seriously. Children are expected to be quiet, obedient, cooperative, and humble through the examples set by their parents and by older children around them, children learn that respect and obedience to their elders are two of the most important virtues they must practice. Failure to obey can result in a spanking or other discipline.
In many ways, the ideal Amish child is very different from mainstream society’s image of the perfect child. In American society, parents reward toddlers with toys with flashing lights and happy songs promote discovery and exploration. Toys that mimic musical instruments or that allow children to make pictures promote self-expression. Even if such toys could be made without electrical components, many Amish parents would likely never permit the children to play with such things. To Amish parents, allowing the children have such toys would detract from the social contact between parent and child, and could foster characteristics in the children that would run contrary to the ideals of the Amish Community.
Once an Amish child reaches 5 years of age, he goes off each day to school, just like children in mainstream North American society. A few Amish children are sent to rural public schools, but most attend small, one or two room schools. The Amish community usually build these schools themselves, making school as far as expensive than the large Public Schools many non-Amish children now attend. Even though most Amish children do not attend public schools, Amish parents still must pay school taxes in communities.
Children attend school in the eighth grade, mingling throughout the school day with children in all of the other grade levels. Despite the wide range of ages and grade levels in the classroom, only one teacher and perhaps a teacher’s aide or two, move around the classroom, instructing small groups of students for several minutes, giving them, and then moving on to the next. Older students often help younger students with their work. With all this activity, the classroom is General busy place. Amish education stresses cooperation, everyone working together, rather than competition, or each individual tries to do better than the other.
Nevertheless, the teachers keep the school’s well ordered. The students, brought up to respect their elders and authority figures, usually behave for their future. Still, like many larger public schools, playful pranks are common in the classroom when the teacher isn’t looking.
Amish pupils learn arithmetic, English, High German as opposed to the Pennsylvania German they speak at home, history, and a little bit of geography and science. The Amish curriculum stresses cooperation not competition. Teachers reward hard work, kindness, and an interest in the subject talk. Independent thought and critical analysis, the sort of questioning that many public school teachers try to encourage in their students, are frowned on. Such questioning is not highly regarded among the Amish, who prefer tradition to change. Nevertheless, tests taken by Amish and non-Amish students alike show that the Amish students do just as well as their Public School counterparts in those subjects they have in common.
Each school day is broken by a recess break. If the weather is nice, the students go outside to play, just as students in the public schools do. Amish games, like the Amish school curriculum, usually focus on cooperation and teamwork. Amish children play softball or volleyball during their recess break. In the winter, they may play in the snow, go sledding, or even go skating and a nearby pond
After school, children returned home to do their chores. From an early age, Amish boys and girls are expected to work around the house and the farm. Children learn how to care for the farm animals, horses. They are also expected to clean and do other chores as necessary. This sort of informal education may be more important for the Amish that the subject they learn in school, because these are the chores that repair the Amish young for the life they will likely lead in the future.
Wisconsin vs Yoder
In the 19th century, Amish children sat beside their non-Amish classmates in one room Public Schools without incident. Starting in 1925, however, several Trends in education began to worry the Amish. Many states begin to close the one-room schools in favor of larger Public Schools, often requiring students to be bused to schools miles away. Lengthening school years and Rising ages for compulsory School attendance also where the Amish. They fear the children be exposed to corrupting influences in the mainstream society and would not want to remain Farmers. Finally, in 1972, the U.S.. Supreme Court ruled that the Amish and several other religious groups were exempt from these requirement and could continue to operate little one-room schools. They ruled that attendance at public high schools would threaten Amish freedom of religion, which is protected by the Constitution.