• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming and home schooling. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 16/Grade 11, 14/Grade 9, and 13/Grade 8.

    Contact me at becky.farmschool@gmail.com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."
    Cicero

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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More summer beach reading and avoiding eyestrain

Made a fun discovery the other day — David M. Bader’s latest, Haiku U.: From Aristotle to Zola, Great Books in 17 Syllables. Bader is very silly, very funny, and a smart aleck, to boot.

As he writes in his website, “Why spend weeks slogging through The Iliad when you can just read the haiku? From Homer to Milton to Lao Tzu, the great books are finally within reach of even the shortest attention spans. Avoid eyestrain and show off your literary prowess at cocktail parties with minimal prep time!”

I can’t help thinking it would make a perfect stocking stuffer for any high school student working through The Great Books, especially if he or she is finding it a tough slog. Or tuck it into the suitcase of your favorite high school grad, off to college soon.

Here are a few tasty tidbits:

Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past
Tea-soaked madeleine –
a childhood recalled. I had
brownies like that once.

St. Augustine, The Confessions
This is just to say
I screwed around. Forgive me.
I enjoyed it so.

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
O woe! His mad wife –
in the attic! Had they but
lived together first.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Lecherous linguist –
he lays low and is laid low
after laying Lo.

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
What I learned at court:
Being more feared than loved – good.
Getting poisoned – bad.

And my favorite (thanks to AustenBlog, because it’s not included on the Haiku U. list of excerpts),

Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
Single white lass seeks
landed gent for marriage, whist.
No parsons, thank you.

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