• 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.

If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium

The dishwasher broke down several days ago but was a replaced by a shiny new model when the VP of appliances around here decided that after six-and-a-half years of heroic service a repair probably wouldn’t cut it. Very kind and coincidental of Sears to be holding a clearance sale of this year’s already outdated models (none had the child-lock which is apparently de rigueur now — that’s what I get for letting my toddlers unload the pointy cutlery a few years ago). Much as I appreciate the machine and the fact that he installed it the day after bringing it home, I’m hoping Tom is not counting this toward an anniversary present when the big day rolls around next month.

My truck broke down on Saturday night, spewing oil everywhere and frightening Tom into thinking that serious and hugely expensive engine repair bills were in our future. But it was only a tiny plug in an O-ring (thank goodness we’re talking about trucks and not shuttles) and should be fixed cheaply tomorrow. Until then Tom is the the official chauffeur to Swim Club, and I’ll just have to force myself to enjoy the break from my appointed rounds.

Oh, when we went back to town yesterday morning — and it was so very much not in my plans to wake up bright and early on a Sunday morning and spend the time looking into the hood of an ailing truck — we ended up bringing back our friends’ two kids while the friends’ went househunting. Good news though. Not only did all the kids have fun together yesterday (and honestly, at this point I don’t even notice the addition of another two kids) but our friends have decided to postpone the househunting (scary house prices in Edmonton among other things) and think about staying here. A very very big hurray from all of us.

The last heifer calved and we have nine babies, the last one last night a little bull calf (for a total of two males, seven females, and one open heifer who will, sadly, be sold) appropriately named Rainey.

It’s still raining. That makes seven days and counting. Farming neighbors and friends are starting to tear their hair out and mutter weirdly, especially since Crop Insurance requires that all crops be seeded by May 31st, which would be…tomorrow. Good luck, even with pontoons on the tractor. Tom has decided we have so little land left to seed that if necessary he’ll summerfallow it. But the weather hasn’t kept the kids from roaming around outside, on bike and on foot, or from building and outfitting a “fort” under some bushes outside near the side of the road. So much for my hope that this was good stay-indoors-and-get-the-schooling-done weather.

Homeschool funding paperwork due Wednesday.

Last official day of piano lessons is tomorrow (unofficially Laura has one lesson to make up next week) and piano recital is Friday evening. And I’m trying to decide what to do about music lessons because this year was decidedly uninspiring, especially for Laura. Learned on the weekend about the hint of a possibility of voice lessons, guitar lessons (classical), and another piano teacher (offering classical or jazz) in town next year. If so, may trade Laura’s piano lessons for voice, and trade Daniel’s piano teacher in for a more inspiring model. Davy still holding out for banjo lessons though. By the way, have not put nearly as much thought into curriculum plans as I have for extracurriculars. If this concerns you more than it does me, drop by Lynx and be comforted and amazed. I am, knowing that she has Grades 5 through 12 already sorted out for me. Thank you, my dear…

Wednesday is the last day of Brownies and Friday one of the girls in the troop is having a big party at her house since the troop isn’t making it to the big Revel (think Jamboree for Girl Guides) up in Cold Lake on Saturday, a schlep of about three hours by car or truck, and they’re supposed to be there at 9 a.m. No wonder all the parents said no thanks.

Local production of “The Pied Piper,” modernized and musicalized and starring some friends (mother and two kids) terrific. Quickly reread Browning’s poem to the kids last week because I figured Davy wouldn’t remember much from last year. Definitely helped, even though the golf-playing, secretary-chasing mayor wasn’t in the original.

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