• 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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  • Copyright © 2005-2016 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

Old friends

I’ve learned from Susan’s Chicken Spaghetti weekend reading list that Beverly Cleary, the eternal Ramona, is alive and well and will be celebrating her 90th birthday on April 12th; just as remarkable an achievement, all 39 books she has written since 1950 have remained in print. But her last, Ramona’s World from 1999, marks the end of the line and, according to the Newsweek interview, though Mrs. Cleary “admits she’s made ‘notes on another book,’ she doesn’t plan to write it. ‘It’s important to know when to stop,’ she says.”

Stopping by Mrs. Cleary’s own website, though, I learned that Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy will live forever in bronze at the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children in Portland, Oregon.

And from Kelly at Big A little I learned that Mike Mulligan’s and Mary Anne’s friend Dickie Berkenbush (misspelled in 70 million copies as Birkenbush) is alive and well at 81, and was recently profiled by The Boston Globe. My kids were thrilled to learn that little Dickie, who in real life as in print came up with the idea of using Mary Anne to provide steam heat for the new town hall, grew up to serve as both the fire chief (for 37 years) and police chief (for 10) of Popperville, er, West Newbury, Massachusetts. The interview came about to publicize the special display mounted by Mr. Berkenbush’s wife Sue at the GAR Memorial Library in West Newbury, celebrating the life and work of author and illustrator Virginia Lee Burton, a close friend of the Berkenbush family. The exhibit runs through next month.

I’m such a big fan of Burton’s, with clear memories of borrowing Katy and the Big Snow and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel from the library week after week during my own childhood, and a newfound adult appreciation for her lyrical The Little House and Life Story, that the other year I bought a copy of Virginia Lee Burton: A Life in Art for myself, from BookCloseouts. Highly recommended, for her own life story and her beautiful art.

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