• 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

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    "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"

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    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."
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    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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It’s snowing books

This Cybils gig is pretty nifty. After some early research, when my other poetry nominating committee members and I discovered that we couldn’t quite come up with all of the titles through our libraries, one enterprising member began requesting review copies for all of us. I sent along my mailing address, with no great hopes that the publishers would spring for postage to Canada.

But yesterday at the post office to collect one of (shhhh…..) Davy’s birthday presents to be presented next week, I was surprised by a stack of boxes and envelopes containing several hardcover books and a couple of uncorrected proofs of

Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Poetry by Joyce Sidman, with illustrations by Michelle Berg

Rainbow Soup: Adventures in Poetry by Brian P. Cleary, with illustrations by Neal Layton

Mites to Mastodons by Maxine Kumin, with illustrations by Pam Zagarenski

Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow by Joyce Sidman, with illustrations by Beth Krommes

The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, compiled and lushly illustrated by Jackie Morris, which came with a Barefoot Books catalogue, which had us oohhing and ahhing last night accompanied by chocolate chocolate chip cookies

Hey There, Stink Bug by Leslie Bulion, with illustrations by Leslie Evans

So a big thank you to the folks at Barefoot Books, Houghton Mifflin, and Charlesbridge Books, the especially diligent members of the poetry nominating committee, and our fearless committee leader, Susan at Chicken Spaghetti.

The kids can’t believe the largesse, and have already absconded with most of the books, which is as good a recommendation as you can get for children’s poetry books — Davy the new reader with Meow Ruff, Daniel the nature nut with Stink Bug and Mites to Mastodons, and Laura with The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems (she has her mother’s weakness for gorgeous illustrations and compilation volumes) and Butterfly Eyes. I’ll be posting my thoughts (and theirs) on these books and the ones I have from the library.

If you haven’t been to the Cybils website lately, it’s definitely worth a look, for a variety of reviews of nominated titles, and lists of all the nominated books, which The Idaho Statesman recently suggested using as reading lists; and — just a thought here — possibly a holiday gift guide for your favorite young readers. My three are already trying to figure out how to properly bind Butterfly Eyes, which was one of the two uncorrected proofs, and whether to ask Santa for the hardbound edition. You can see all of the nominated poetry titles here, and if you have a favorite new poetry book that hasn’t been nominated yet, please enter the name before the November 20th deadline.

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