• 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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The most amazing thing happened last week, on Tuesday at the library while I was checking my email (and mourning my poor computer, which as of today has finally made it to the Apple doctor, though I don’t think the news will be good, or cheap). I had told the kids I needed them to behave and be good (and quiet) at the library for an hour while we were there, and Laura rolled her eyes and pouted and snarked, “WHAT am I going to do at the library for a whole hour?” (this is my daughter? The result of our family’s “literacy rich environment”, as the public school experts would put it?). She was even contemplating staying in the truck and listening to an audio cd for the entire time. But I told her that wasn’t an option.

Well, we turned up at the library after piano and found some home schooling friends with an almost 9 year-old-daughter. For some reason, Laura grabbed a new Magic Tree House book off the shelf, and she and the other sat together in one chair and after about 50 minutes Laura raced up to me at the computer and delightedly told me that she had read the whole book.

Bingo. Ever since, my formerly reluctant reader has been an avid bookworm and has been gulping down at least a book a day. This, after I considered everything from eye doctors, bribing her with money and treats (which didn’t appeal to either of us, though for different reasons), plying her with books on all of her favorite subjects and interests (horses, princesses, history, etc.). She’d read when she had to, but not on her own time. Now I have to pull her out of bed in the morning, where she’s hunkered down with her bedside lamp and another book. She’s rereading — her own idea — a lot of things she read before when she wasn’t particularly interested in the reading process, which is a rather interesting development.

I’m dizzy and delighted at the change, especially so soon after the unsuccessful visit to the optometrist. I don’t know what happened — if there was any physical change (the letters not looking so small) or if she just needed the confidence to see that she could read a book on her own (and then realize that it was fun). Laura is busy making piles of books in her room — what to tackle when the Magic Tree House stream dries up — and lists of possibilities for me to order for her via interlibrary loan. And books she wants for Christmas. And supplementary SOTW3 books she wants to read on her on. The only thing I’m not too crazy about is her self-imposed absences from our family absences so she can read on her own. But I can’t really complain about that too much, can I?

Another thing to be thankful for this coming weekend. Happy Thanksgiving, eh?

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