• 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.

Musical accompaniments for Ben and Me (and Davy Crockett, too)

I was at Amazon looking for a CD version of the old LP Davy Crockett — Western Adventures with Fess Parker, Buddy Ebsen, and Gene Autry when I chanced upon Davy Crockett’s Fiddle, music from Crockett’s time performed on Crockett’s own fiddle by Dean Shostak, who began playing violin at Colonial Williamsburg at age of 14. About 15 years ago, Mr. Shostak

became involved in the revival of the rare and beautiful glass armonica, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761. Today, there are only eight glass armonica players in the world. Dean is credited with bringing the glass armonica to Williamsburg, where it was performed on many occasions over 200 years ago. Instead of using an electric motor to spin the glasses, Dean is the only glass armonica player since the 18th century to use a flywheel and foot treadle as Franklin originally designed.

Which made me think of JoVE and of my own Davy, and while he’s a banjo fan, I think this would be mighty appealing for him.

And that led me to Mr. Shostak and friends performing Colonial Fair: Songs, Stories, and Riddles. From the Amazon website: “Humor, history and music come together on this new 55-minute recording as kids get a chance to hear unusual instruments like Ben Franklin’s glass armonica, hurdy-gurdy, fife and drum and harpsichord, as well as sing along to favorites such as ‘Yankee Doodle’, ‘Old King Cole’, and ‘Simple Simon’. Among the colorful characters kids will meet are merchants singing street cries, fortune tellers, and even fiddlers in a contest. Kids also get to test their wits by solving riddles taken from the 18th century.”

And finally, for a Ben Franklin Christmas (no, not now — save it for next Christmas), Mr. Shostak’s Crystal Carols, traditional Christmas carols arranged for the glass armonica, with violin, piano and harp accompaniment.

Though, drat it all, can’t seem to find any of them at either Amazon.ca or Chapters.ca. Will have to contact Mr. Shostak directly to inquire about Canadian distributors, or shipping to the north*.

* Thanks all for your kind (and warm) blizzard wishes. The kids and I are safe and indoors, though the wind is still blowing and the snow swirling around. It’s all supposed to be over by the end of the day.

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