• 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.

Something new: The Cybils, the first annual children’s book awards, blog edition

Kelly at Big A little a announced earlier this week,

“This month we’ve seen a spate of book awards, some of which have left us wondering: couldn’t we, the intelligent, savvy members of the kidlitosphere do better? Or, at least, differently?

“So, we’re inaugurating our own book awards, honoring books published in English for children in 2006. Anne Boles Levy, of Book Buds, will launch a site this week and administer the awards process.”

The new awards are the Cybils, created by Kelly and Anne, and you can read all about them here. Because I’m old and crotchety, and not one of the savvier or even more frequent blogging members of the kidlitosphere, I have to admit that a) I hadn’t even realized the existence of a spate; b) I have a hard time remembering which books (and movies and music) are current and which came out a year or more ago; c) I’m not quite sure how I ended up involved in this when in 2006 the Farm Schoolers have probably read more out-of-print children’s books rather than brand spanking new offerings published this year; and d) the award name reminds me of everything from ancient oracles to a children’s book I didn’t particularly care for, an adult book that scared the pants off me more than 20 years ago, and Peter Bogdanovich’s sneaker-wearing ex. But then I’m old and crotchety.

The eight categories of children’s literature under consideration are Middle Grade (I keep thinking this should be Middle School, because Middle Grade brings to mind middling) Novels, headed up by Betsy at Fuse #8; Nonfiction Picture Books, headed up by Chris Barton at Bartography; Young Adult Novels, headed up by Jen at Jen Robinson’s Book Page; Picture Books, headed up Cybils co-creator Kelly at Big A little a; Graphic Novels, headed up by Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace, and A Tea Cozy; Middle Grade and YA Nonfiction, headed up by Mindy at Propernoun; Fantasy and Science Fiction, headed up by Sheila at Wands and Worlds; and Poetry, headed up the clever, charming, and talented Susan at Chicken Spaghetti.

I found out about the awards because Susan was kind enough to drop me a note earlier this week, before I had read even word one about the new awards, asking me to volunteer myself (I told you she’s clever, charming, and talented) for either the Poetry nominating or judging subcommittee. I chose the former, because although we read lots of children’s literature around here, I tend to get most books well after they’ve been published through interlibrary loan, and I can’t be sure I’ll be able to get my mitts on all of the finalists when the time comes.

I believe there are still some open slots on the subcommittees for each category, so step right up and volunteer, possibly before you, erm, get volunteered. For those who are committee- and commitment-shy, you can still participate by nominating your favorite 2006 titles (just one in each category, please) here, by November 20.

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