• 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.

Hi honey, we’re home

We arrived home on Sunday evening, and Monday was spent unpacking, doing laundry, moving the mounds of extra snow that arrived in our absence, much to the kids’ delight, especially since a family friend had dropped off a snow saucer as a Valentine’s present.

Yesterday we all jumped back with both feet into our usual routines (though I saved the return to home schooling for today): grocery shopping, music lessons and “Fiddler on the Roof” rehearsals for the kids, a lunch meeting for Tom with the town’s Main Street rejuvenation program, and an after-dinner meeting for me, the Ag Society’s annual budget meeting for the country fair. Tom was supposed to come to the latter as well, but I promised to take good notes and not volunteer him for anything else so he could stay home with the kids and get them in bed early. Tonight I have a library board meeting, and then we should have clear sailing until we go listen to the 4H district public speaking event on Sunday.

I’ll post some photos from our trip shortly, and then I have to switch over to my new Mac Mini.

Aww, nuts

Apparently, librarians around the US and folks around the kidlitosphere are all atwitter over the “scrotum” kerfuffle surrounding the newest Newbery winner, “The Higher Power of Lucky” by children’s author (and librarian), and The New York Times article about the kerfuffle. Lissa has the rundown here.

Since the farm kids in our Farm School have known the word since they were knee high to a, well, scrotum — we spend part of every spring turning little bulls into steers (in other words, separating each from his scrotum) — the librarians’ objection reminds me of one of my favorite books when I was in high school, Cluny Brown, wherein can be found this advice: Nuts to the squirrels.

Charlotte’s cousin

Our friend, the donkey spider (since removed to a safe place, for all concerned, in the garden away from the house)

A late winter Field Day

Here, with great thanks to Dawn!

And the Cybils winners are…


The winners include Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow by Joyce Sidman with illustrations by Beth Krommes (Poetry category — hurray, hurray, hurray!); An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Aston with illustrations by Sylvia Long (Non-Fiction Picture Books); and Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman (Non-Fiction, Middle Grade and Young Adult category). For all the rest click the link above.

Many, many thanks to our fearless leaders, Anne and Kelly, and poetry wrangler Susan at Chicken Spaghetti. Being part of the Cybils, especially in this very first year, was great good fun!

By the way, I was quite thrilled to see the Cybils mentioned in an email announcement from the folks at Chronicle Books announcing their Best Chronicle Children’s Books of the Year Contest. Two of the books — Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow and Tour America — are listed as “Cybils finalists” and in fact made it to our Poetry short list. Hop over to the contest and enter your name, or your child’s, for a chance to win a gift basket of books. Besides the two mentioned, other titles include Ivy and Bean, Mom and Dad Are Palindromes, Emily’s Balloon, and, especially some of my kids’ especial library favorites last year — Ton and Tools, both by Taro Miura, and Masterpieces Up Close: Western Painting from the 14th to 20th Centuries by Claire d’Harcourt (Art Up Close).

Lafayette, we are here

We left the little house on the prairie at 4 pm Thursday, and after 75 hours of travel finally arrived at the little island of waving palms, lurking donkey spiders, and plentiful rum. Tom and I still feel rather stunned from the ordeal, but the kids, untouched by any travel trauma, have been frollicking in the pool and enjoying themselves.

More later, possibly with photos (including the lurking donkey spider).

Ciao to the Chick

I get kind of nervous when military family types say things like “I hate to drop a bomb like this…but…”.

Jill, aka The Crib Chick, has decided to stop posting to both of her blogs (here and here),

When I started this blog, almost two years ago, it was a sort of extension of our circumstances; new location, new place in life.

Now, the ending of it is much the same. Different time in life, different commitments, different needs.

I understand completely, but I still feel all sniffly. The Crib Chick has been on the blogroll at right since I started blogging, and on my list of favorite reads even longer. I don’t know whether she plans to zap the blogs or just discontinue posting, so you might want to sashay over and catch up if you’re not already a fan, before any possible zapping. Breezy, wisecracking, homeschooling, hip, and always full of heart, she — and her adventures with her family — will be missed. Thank you for sharing your family, your friendship, and the books and movies in your life (and my boys will thank you forever for The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library).

Great good luck, CC, to you, Mr. Crib Chick, and the Peeps in your new place in life…