School in the Kentucky hills goes from August to the last Friday before Christmas. After that the snows are too high, and later, the thawing rivers too full, for the Fairchild children, and their neighbors—the Wattersons, the Sawyers, and the Huffs—to make it safely to the little school house in the woods. Now that Althy is fourteen, Mr. Fairchild has other plans for the long winter months. Learn, along with Bonnie, Debbie, Chris and Emmy, what it is like to have school at home in the early 1900's.
"Know what I'm going to do, Althy?" Bonnie asked as she swept the hearth a third time, just to be sure it was clean. "I'm going to call you Miss Althy.
"I am too," said Debby.
"I think I will, too" said Emmy as she laid an arm-load of wood in the box beside the fireplace. "That makes it seem more like real school."
"I'm not," said Chris as he dropped his armload of wood into the box.
"You needn't call me Miss Althy," said Althy, to Chris, "but you must learn your lessons."
"We are going to start each school day this month, said Althy, as the clock finished striking, "by learning a great thought."
"What's a great thought, Miss Althy?" asked Debby.
"A great thought is something a wise man has thought," explained Althy. "Whenever you learn a great thought, you can think it too. A great thought is something nobody can take from you."
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