• 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, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)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"

    "‘Never look at an ugly thing twice. It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."
    English architect CFA Voysey (1857-1941)

    "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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Lions and tigers and mother bears, oh my

One of our neighbors, from the acreages just south of our farm, sped up our driveway after supper tonight. Especially because of the kids, he wanted to warn us about a mother black bear and cub he had just seen ambling around their property headed in our direction.

Right away, new rules, wide eyes, somber nodding heads:

  • No kids allowed the run of the farm or allowed unchaperoned on bikes to their friends at the acreages, especially not by way of the through-the-woods shortcut.
  • Stay by the house.
  • No more walking to the mailboxes for any of us; Laura and I went this afternoon, just a few hours before finding about our new furry neighbors (yikes).
  • If there’s a bear in the yard, 1) do not get between her and the cub, 2) get into the truck (or garage) as quickly as possible if you’re closer to the truck (or garage) than the house.
  • The garage door must stay closed at all times.
  • Oh, and if you hear bear noises, especially the bear cub crying for its mother, get in the house as soon as possible. And if you see the cub and the mother is nowhere in sight, do not even think of playing with it. GET IN THE HOUSE NOW.
  • Do not touch Daddy’s gun, especially if you see it outside of the locked gun closet where it usually lives. There was a reason Charles Ingalls kept his gun on hooks over the front door, for handy access. We haven’t told the kids the part about Daddy making sure it was loaded tonight, and that he’s going to keep it with him when he’s in the truck, especially with harvest upon us, which means late nights, in the dark, and walking around fields from tractor to truck. It’s 10:45 pm and I’m just the teensiest bit nervous about Tom being out of doors tonight.

Am I babbling yet? Not only is this bear family much too close, but in the last week or so we’ve heard about entirely too many bear attacks, including two fatal ones (in Ontario and Manitoba), across the country. There was a rash of bear attacks, some fatal, earlier this summer too. And in June we found a three-year-old male black bear three miles north of our house in a neighbor’s field; that was a week after a black bear was discovered on the golf course in town, and subsequently shot by the local wildlife conservation officer. Remind me why I left NYC again?

PS A big thank you to our wonderful neighbor for the warning. It is much appreciated by this mama bear.

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