Wooing the Schoolmarm and Giveaway

Today, three-quarters of teachers in primary schools are women.  It wasn’t always that way.  Prior to 1850, teaching was primarily a male occupation.  Men received an education, and women were taught how to run a household. 

Industrialization changed all that.  The new economy led men into business and better wages, creating a teacher shortage. This left the door open for women to step in.   

It was a tough job.  Teachers taught in one-room schools with as many as sixty pupils.  Female teachers commanded less pay than their male counterparts, but the job did give women more independence. 

In my book, Wooing the Schoolmarm, Miss Maddie Percy has come all the way from Washington D.C. to teach school in Colton Kansas.   Instead, the feisty red-haired schoolmarm finds the town burned to the ground and her only shelter an isolated sod house belonging to widower Luke Tyler and his young son, Matthew. Never one to be deterred by setbacks, Maddie is soon making friends with the local Indians, setting up a tepee to live in, and finding her blood racing every time Luke comes near.

Luke Tyler has no room in his life for a woman—especially one as eccentric, spunky, and smart as Maddie Percy.  His prairie farm life is too harsh, his memories too painful and his secrets too dark to give in to the feelings she has awakened in him.  She might be stealing his son’s heart, but he is keeping his own out of reach. If only he could keep the sparks between them from igniting something as dangerous as lo

For a chance to win a copy of Wooing the Schoolmarm, tell us the challenges you’ve had with homeschooling during the pandemic or share a favorite memory of your early school years.  



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69 thoughts on “Wooing the Schoolmarm and Giveaway”

  1. My first grade class was in a huge room with the second grade class!! Our teacher was very strict and used a wooden stick about the size of a pool cue to get her point across!!

    • Hi Teresa, oh, my. How things have changed. My teacher friends tell me they can no longer discipline. They aren’t even allowed to keep a child after school. So glad my teaching days are over. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I have taught public school and was often assigned the biggest discipline problem because I “could handle them.” What did I do? I let every day be a new one and a chance to make better choices. I never held anything a student did against him or her. We talked about it when it happened, and I acted as if I expected better of them. It worked well for me, not 100%, but better than anything else I tried.

  3. My children are grown now. But I did home school my children until my oldest was in 6th grade. I learned just how much more they are taught than when I was in school. That was 20 years ago and I felt overwhelmed then, I can’t imagine teaching during the pandemic. My hats off to parents and teachers.

  4. My grandchildren are being home schooled. The life experiences they meet on a day basis plus the choices of different ways of learning…. they are really benefiting from it.

  5. My one child is all grown now so didn’t have to home school him during the pandemic but I remember when he was young trying to teach him the Multiplication Tables. I spent days with this. I kept telling him if he would learn them that it would help so much with his math skills.

    • Your post brought back some not-so-good memories. I was made to stay in my room and couldn’t come out until I knew my Multiplication tables. I benefited greatly in the long run, but still resent the way I was made to learn them.

  6. I remember taking naps in kindergarten and breaks with milk and a snack made by the lunch ladies.. The milk would come from a machine where you lifted the handle and milk came out from a tube into paper cones fitted into a metal base. It felt like home.

  7. Welcome today. I dont have school age children anymore. They are now 36 and 34. But I have some nieces and nephews whos children have been home schooled because of not being able to go to the school building. They have set up schedules and each child has a desk in his/her room, so they have a place to learn. Mom/Dad make sure that they are doing their work and paying attention to the teacher. My nieces and nephews have quite the system down and the children are doing fantastic. Incentives have been put in place and all the children have excelled and are doing their individual incentives. Kinda like extra curricular activities. When I was younger it was a passion of mine to teach. Preferable in a one room school house. As I got into my teens, that disappeared. I still love teaching

  8. I attended a one room school house in Haven, Iowa. Mrs G taught all twelve grades. We had an outdoor outhouse. I remember jumping over snakes to get to the outhouse. She was a great teacher. Your book cover is adorable. Thank you for telling us about your new book.

    • Hi Kathy, your snake story reminds me of the time I was held captive in the outhouse by a hedgehog. It sat outside the door and I wasn’t about to mess with it. So I stayed inside the outhouse until someone finally came looking for me.
      Jumping over snakes? You’re a lot braver than me! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Last year we did the online school from home that the public school did and we did not like it at all. This year we are officially homeschooling and we love it! It has its challenges and it’s hard that we can’t go to things and do things like normal, so that’s probably the biggest challenge.

  10. Hello I can remember my school days and I always Loved reading class I had such a great teacher! My daughter done the remote learning for her 2 children at the beginning of the school year and My grandchildren missed their class mates and I think that was their biggest think about being homeschooled! Have a Blessed Day!

  11. I homeschool all the time. I enjoy it and love the setting of a small classroom for my kids. They love having mom as their teacher. I love it as well. It is a challenge at times but we work through it.

  12. Homeschooling during the pandemic is far from actual homeschooling, actually, it is virtual learning in home. As a homeschool graduate (last year, in fact.) it is quite upsetting that virtual leaning is being considered homeschooling. In truth, homeschooling is far different from virtual learning under a pandemic.

  13. I have no children, so no home schooling for me, but I do have a lot of memories from school, especially elementary. I think my favorites were recess and getting to spend time in the Library.

  14. Good morning! This sounds like such a good story. Those teachers who went out West certainly were brave and adventurous. As for the pandemic, whoever thought I would be so glad to be old and retired, ha ha? My daughter has been called on to help care for and homeschool four of my great-grandchildren because my single-mother granddaughter has to work. Not only is teaching much harder than it looks, there are been so many schedule changes: total homeschooling, virtual classes, combination of virtual and in-class, and then sometimes the children are abruptly sent home because there has been possible exposure. And with four of them creating a separate environment for each of them to learn and keeping them focused isn’t easy. All those one-room schoolhouses in movies, TV and books seemed so orderly! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Never home schooled and didn’t stay in the same school till Junior high and High school. Our high school was out in the middle of what was farm land then. All but 2 students had to take the bus to get to school. The 2 that didn’t lived across the street at the farm house. Most interesting was the little cemetery was right next to the high school many just had stones with initials which were used as head stones. Track would run right through the area.

  16. I’m not a teacher but my two daughters are and they have had plenty of challenges this past year! They are wonderful teachers and have tried so hard to deal with all the changes! It’s been extremely hard on their mental and emotional psyche! Going from online to in-person back to online and back to in-person! I feel so sorry for the kids and all they have to deal with! I have two granddaughters in school and they have struggled too but my son & his wife try to do the best they can! It helps that one of my daughter lives close and can be “teacher” for them!

  17. I remember when I was little, the gym teacher used a record player to play a few upbeat songs for us to run around the gym to… I find it funny thinking back on it… the memory pops up every time I hear Eye Of The Tiger, Hey Mickey, etc. LOL

    • Hi Colleen, what fun! When I first came to this country, I was in first grade. I was always puzzled as to why we had to make a circle before recess and sing “skip to my Lou.” In England, the loo was the bathroom and I couldn’t understand why we had to sing about it.

  18. I am a retired kindergarten and first grade teacher. I honestly cannot imagine how I would have taught my students remotely. So much instruction for young children is through hands-on learning. The school system where I taught is completely online now, and I think the children are really being cheated out of proper instruction.

  19. I do not homeschool now. But I did homeschool my daughter several years ago. I am gratefully for the time we spent together all those years. Homeschooling for us was fun and enjoyable.

  20. Our oldest daughter teaches third grade and says she has worked harder since March, 2020, than anytime when students were in the classroom every day. Our youngest daughter has twins in first grade and this year opted for the state sponsored homeschool program rather than the inconsistency of the local school district. It is a difficult situation for everyone.

    In my family history project I have found letters written by my husband’s aunts when they were teaching at a one room school. They have been fun to read and a look at early 1900’s one room schools.

  21. I went to a three room schoolhouse near my house when I was in third grade.
    I homeschooled my four kids way back. They will be 30-49 this year. It was hard because hubby was getting two masters and a PHD and working. The last 10 years, I also held down a full time job. Glad I had the answer key. I had to change jobs to prevent a nervous breakdown…. no more fast food jobs for me! Now I am retired and love reading Christian fiction.

  22. Your book sounds like a Great read and I love, love the book cover! When I started school, our elementary school was Kindergarten to 6th grade, and I believe there were 2 classes for each grade, we lived in a small town in NM. Our Junior High school were grades 7th and 8th grade and then our HS was 9th grade to 10th grade. We had to travel about 45 minutes on the bus from our small town when we went to Jr. High and High School, our small town only had elementary school. Have a Great rest of the week and stay safe.

  23. I remember when I was in second grade we all got a piece of tile, the type of tiles on bathrooms and we got to paint something for our moms for Mother’s Day and I painted a Texas bluebonnet but she still has it in her bathroom.,

  24. I do not have little ones at home anymore, but our daughter has had her hands full. She was in her last semester of law school when COVID hit and schools shut down. She was also working at the college law school so was having to do her classes and her job remotely. As a student, she was Director of Foreign Students, so she had the major problem of trying to get those scattered around the country or overseas on break back to class and help them make arrangements to stay where they were or go home. She had to pack up many of their rooms and apartments to ship stuff to their homes or put in storage. In the meantime, she had a daughter in third, now fourth, grade whose school went virtual. She had to balance all this while having a husband dealing with an illness and often working out of town. She wasn’t able to take the Bar Exam right after graduation, and just finished it yesterday. She wasn’t much more ready and it was done virtually. She has since summer also become the Dean of the Law School’s executive assistance due to retirement of the woman who held the position for 35 years or so. She is still Director of Foreign Students are full time jobs, but due to a hiring freeze, she is still only a part time employee and being paid accordingly. At least they were able to shift her pay from student status to regular employee. It has been rough on her. She is 47 years old, the same age as the parents of most of her classmates. I know she is looking forward to when things go back to normal, whatever that is. My husband went down this week to babysit while she tried to do some cramming and take the exam. She worked 55 hours the week before locking herself in a hotel room to study a few days and take the exam uninterrupted.

  25. Good morning,
    My sons are both grown now, but we homeschooled both. What a fun, challenging, exasperating adventure that was. They both grew into very strong, independent thinking, smart young men, even through their challenges of having teachers who often weren’t sure which end was up. As intimidating as it was when we started, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. They were able to explore all sorts of things that struck their fancy and learned so much at their own pace.

    My granddaughter was homeschooled for a short time due to covid and we just tried to keep her structure the same so when she returned to class it would be an easier transition.

    Margaret, I discovered your books a few months back and have been working my way through the series. I’m loving them! The research you’ve done for the time period is great. I feel like I’ve traveled back in time. I appreciate your stories.

    Have a wonderful weekend


  26. One of my early memories was of attending a rural school in the part of Colorado where I lived. Town was very far away and with no school buses we went to a one room school house in our community. I remember I was envious of the older students because they got to go outside to get the wood for the wood burning stove.

  27. My 8 year old has zoom classes a few times a week and also some in-school classes. He attends a small private school. It’s been draining for everyone to keep switching all the time but we are powering through!

  28. I remember attending a one room country school in Southeastern Colorado when I was six. It was a fun time. Then my parents moved the family to Arizona where I went to more modern schools….or so I thought…as a young girl. Funny, the things we remember.

  29. Thank you for sharing. I do not have any children. I enjoyed my elementary school years. I really loved my teachers. Thank you for sharing.

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