• 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

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    "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"

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    Clarence Day

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    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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A new home education adventure

I just read over at the I.N.K. blog — Interesting Nonfiction for Kids — that one of our family’s favorite nonfiction authors, Steve Jenkins and his family has plans to travel and begin home schooling. (This week, Steve’s Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution has pride of place on our coffee table along with some other favorite titles to help us celebrate Darwin 200.)  As he writes in his latest post [the added link is mine],

After school is out this June, my wife (and co-author) Robin and I, along with our 10-year-old son, are planning to travel for a year, mostly in a VW camper we recently acquired. This is a trip we’ve been planning for a long time. It began as a sort of escapist fantasy, then, after our two oldest kids left home for college, it began to seem increasingly feasible.  …

What does this have to do with a nonfiction writers’ blog? A couple of things. The trip presents an opportunity to create some sort of record (a book?), perhaps exploring the same experience or place or encounter from three different perspectives. With that in mind, we’ll try to make lots of notes and photos and sketches — book fodder.

Another, more pressing concern (still tangentially related to I.N.K) is the home-schooling component of the trip. Robin and I have settled, for the moment, on a kind of free-form curriculum. At its core is lots of reading — books of Jamie’s choice, which will be mostly fiction, and books we add to the mix, including non-fiction relevant to the places we are visiting.

And just when I’m hoping that Steve and his wife (and co-author) Robin Page will be sharing their adventures by blog, he makes a request or two,

Seriously, I’m guessing lots of you have great ideas and information about home-schooling — or, in this case, road-schooling. Or books we should take along. Or ideas about helping a child with a year’s worth of reading and writing.

So, if you don’t mind, let me know what you think. Feel free to be critical of our educational plans. And if you have links or other resources shoot them over. If I get good stuff, I’ll share it with everyone in a future blog.

You can read the rest of the post, share your thoughts, and learn about Steve’s recommendation for a digital microscope hereJoVE‘s already there…

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3 Responses

  1. Steve Jenkins is living my dream! Though I’m not entirely sure that Robin will be living Casey’s…

  2. Becky, would you be willing to share the other titles that cohabitate with Steve’s book on your coffee table?

    :) R

  3. Chris, it would be my dream as long as the travelling had a definite end. I *would* miss my garden and the pleasures of a fixed home though — especially because I didn’t start driving regularly until I was 30 years old!

    Rebecca, it’s my “strewing center”, where I put books on seasonal/timely subjects for all of us to pick up, and also some current magazines. I’ll write a more detailed post after the weekend, but I will say quickly now that we have a selection of evolution, Lincoln, and Washington books!

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