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

Poetry Friday: A unicorn for spring

Laura, the one child who isn’t reciting anything in the speech arts part of the arts festival next week (because she’s up to her eyeballs in 4H public speaking), selected this because “it makes me think of Spring”:

Unicorn
by Anne Corkett

Unicorn, Unicorn,
where have you gone?
I’ve brought you some silver dew
out of the dawn.
I’ve put it in buttercups
for you to drink
and brought you some daisies
to wear round your neck.

Silver and gold
and petals so white,
these are the colours
saved from the night.

Unicorn, Unicorn,
where have you gone?
I’ve brought you nine sunbeams
to wear for a crown
and made you a blanket
of new thistledown
embroidered with lilies —
O where have you gone?
Unicorn, Unicorn,
I can’t stay long.

Petals so white
and silver and gold,
these are the colours
that never grow old.

From Til All the Stars Have Fallen: Canadian Poems for Children, selected by David Booth (author of Even Hockey Players Read) and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton, recently available in paperback as a Scholastic school book club edition, perfect for handing out to your nieces, nephews, and children’s friends who need some more Canadian children’s poetry in their lives.

***

My own kids have had a bit more trauma than poetry in their lives this past week. First, Laura’s voice teacher almost ended her festival season before it started, thinking to yank her because, having left it too long, he couldn’t find an accompanist for her. Tuesday evening, after class, after had he told her (in costume as mini Maria in “The Sound of Music”) that he’d be making the call in the morning to pull her out, her face quivered and her shoulders sagged but she was stoic, I made phone calls as I made supper, and finally located an acquaintance who agreed to give it a try. They rehearse together this afternoon before art class. “I Have Confidence”, indeed.

Daniel’s trauma involved a trip to the hospital the other afternoon for a stitch near his right eye, and I was as surprised as anyone to learn that it didn’t happen during the boys’ two-hour outdoor hockey game on ice and concrete. The doctor on call at the emergency room, a genial and capable young man, a locum on loan to our little hospital from Edmonton, in turn was surprised to learn he didn’t need to talk me into a suture. I explained that this was the fifth occasion for stitches between the three kids (though two of the three occasions never received them — one incident overseas with a very small nose was treated by Tom with tape to avoid a larger scar, and a two-year-old’s thumb, the one that was nearly cut off, was neatly mended with magic purple glue at the doctor’s suggestion) — and I don’t drive into town just before suppertime (especially when there’s a roast in the oven) unless it’s for something I can’t manage on my own. And I draw the line, for now at least, at stitching up my own kids.

But all trauma has been forgotten while enjoying the first DVD in The Mr. Wizard’s World collection from Zip.ca. The kids are entranced with Mr. Wizard’s version of a volcano, which involves not namby-pamby vinegar and baking soda but a match and a fuse. Which I suppose sounds like a recipe for some more home doctoring.

***

Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy has the Poetry Friday/Saturday roundup, not to mention a passionate Celtic love story, for the week — thanks, Liz!

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