• 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."

    "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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My father’s latest addiction…

Laura is very lucky to have a very attentive Grandpapa. All she asked for was a videotape of the latest American Girl movie (which aired on Tuesday, about Colonial Girl Felicity and her Loyalist Friend Elizabeth), because she knows, especially after our NYC trip last year, not to ask anyone remotely related to her for a doll that costs around $100 US.

All of a sudden, Grandpapa asked Mommy what AG doll Laura might prefer to find under the Christmas tree. Well, of course she has a preference. She sleeps with the catalogue (and I’m still trying to find out how they found me on the prairie) under her pillow, and dreams of Elizabeth.

Then Grandpapa asked what size nightgown Laura might wear, so that she and the doll of her dreams might be similarly attired for evening. And then he discovered that the doll has a doll of its own.

Now he’s talking about getting her a second doll, for her birthday. In August. The argument being that it would be twice as fun.

I’ve had to train myself (and I’m still working on it) to let my parents spoil the kids with gifts. First, they aren’t spoiled, and second, they get it from just one side of the family. My parents, who are still fortunate to enjoy good health and are still working, have a grand total of four grandchildren, while Tom’s parents, who’ve been retired for a while, have 12. And we don’t get to see, or spend as much time with, my parents as we would wish. Tom’s parents live down the road. My parents live on the Upper West Side, and we’re lucky if we get to see them once a year, though when we do we try to make it for an extended time.

The other thing that dawned on me the other day is that I didn’t have a grandfather when I was growing up. By the time I was born, only one grandparent, my mother’s mother, who would come to live with us, was still alive. And I’m beginning to see how magical the bond between grandfather and granddaughter is. My fondest memory of our last visit is petite Laura sitting in a newly-bearded Grandpapa’s lap, reciting her latest bit of poetry to him, and him beaming. I’m glad they’re having so much fun together.


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