• 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 17/Grade 12, 15/Grade 10, and 13/Grade 9.

    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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Picturing America

The National Endowment for the Humanities has a new project, Picturing America, in co-operation with the American Library Association.  From the NEH website:

Great art speaks powerfully, inspires fresh thinking, and connects us to our past.

Picturing America, an exciting new initiative from the National Endowment for the Humanities, brings masterpieces of American art into classrooms and libraries nationwide. Through this innovative program, students and citizens will gain a deeper appreciation of our country’s history and character through the study and understanding of its art. …

Because “democracy demands wisdom,” NEH serves and strengthens our Republic through promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans.

As part of the program, more than 26,000 American schools and public libraries will receive “40 large, high-quality reproductions of great American art and a comprehensive teachers resource book to facilitate the use of the works of art in core subjects”, around August 2008.

This project appeals to me in so many ways, as a home educating mother, as the daughter of parents who established (and still run) on of the top commercial historical picture libraries, as a once and always student of history, and as someone interested in North American education who has been sad to see subjects such as history and arts get left behind as part of NCLB.

Last month, John Updike gave the NEH’s 37th annual Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, and his subject was the Picturing America initiative, “The Clarity of Things: What Is American About American Art?”.  “It was my idea,” he said in the lecture, “invited to give the 2008 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, to use some of these forty works, with others, to pose the question, ‘What is American about American art?’ ”.

Picturing America Picture Gallery

Picturing America Educators Resources page, where you can download for free the full pilot version of the Resource Book (all 118 pages)

Additional resource page, with links to the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art “Exploring Themes in America Art” website

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2 Responses

  1. Very cool project indeed. And it is nice to know that American tax dollars fund at least one useful project. (or is that too snarky)

  2. No, not too snarky at all, considering that back in 1995 the NEH, along with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, were *this close* to getting the axe. And before that, in the early eighties, Ronald Reagan appointed Bill Bennett as head of the NEH. Bennett was followed by Lynne Cheney, wife of Dick Cheney, Dubya’s VP; LC jumped ship a few years ago before the axe threatened to fall, and she and Bennett were in favor of said axe…

    And I was reminded of it all when Bill C-10 was introduced. Very much the same “culture wars” discussion.

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