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

Here’s the thing…

It’s not a debate, great or otherwise, just because Phil McGraw says it is — or allegedly says it is, because while the show has been taped, it hasn’t aired yet and for some no doubt very interesting reason isn’t scheduled to air tomorrow as originally planned — especially with no proper rulebook for arguments, just a one-sided tease of a Texas playbook.

Home education, like the public, private, or parochial school system, is not a debate but a choice, a great choice for many of us. And I refuse to debate our family’s choice with anyone, not bushwhacking, ambushing doctors and behavioral psychologists, the neighbor down the road, or the nosy lady in the supermarket.

For those interested in proper debating skills, unlike what passes for debate in the rarely edifying and not always entertaining entertainment industry, here are some resources:

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, edited by Harold Holzer

Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student by Edward P.J. Corbett and Robert J. Connors

A Rulebook for Arguments by Anthony Weston

Basic Debate by Leslie Phillips, William S. Hicks, and Douglas R. Springer

Forensics: The Winner’s Guide to Speech Contests by Brent C. Oberg

Pros and Cons: A Debater’s Handbook by Trevor Sather

Speak Out! Debate and Public Speaking in the Middle Grades by John Meany and Kate Shuster, published by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA)

And last but certainly not least, the aforementioned International Debate Education Association

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