• 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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Poetry Friday: Fireflies and a round-up

No, not a round-up of fireflies. I’ve already learned my lesson trying to herd cats.

Welcome to Farm School and to this week’s round-up, which I’m happy (and probably long overdue) to host here at Farm School, starting off with a little Ogden Nash for a lazy summer day:

The Firefly
by Ogden Nash

The firefly’s flame
Is something for which science has no name.
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
person’s posterior.

And so to the round-up — with the help of Mr. Linky, while I’m off gathering eggs and watering flowers (today is the third day in a row of temps in the nineties and no rain).

Schelle at Brand New Ending gets an early start (from Australia) looking for Truth and Beauty, with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Each and All and an original Fib.

Alkelda at Saints and Spinners is first in the hemisphere, Putting the Good Things Away with Marge Piercy (by the way, Alkelda is hosting the next issue of the Carnival of Children’s Literature, with submissions due July 20).

Michele at Scholar’s Blog has some Shakespeare for a summer’s day, Sonnet 55 for Poetry Friday 57, and WWI

Kelly at Big A little a, our fearless Poetry Friday leader, has an original Requiem for a Laptop, which I could have used last fall. “Black Screen of Death” indeed!

Sam Riddleburger has some haikus by writer and illustrator Cece Bell, including the first ever poem I’ve read about one of my favorite childhood meals, Toad in a Hole. Read his post to find out just how much he loves her, and her poetry. Sam also asks kidlitters to send in haikus for the showcase.

David at the excelsior file, who is “exploring the recovered memories of childhood while exploring my own second act through the world of kids books”, joins the Poetry Friday fray for the first time with a bang — and a bottle — with the ripping pirate poem Derelict by Young Ewing Allison. A hearty pirate welcome, David, to the treasure chest that is Poetry Friday!

cloudscome at a wrung sponge has a poem by Rumi on one-handed basket weaving and craftsmen practicing their craft, with cloudscome’s thoughts on the creative process and the questions, how and where do you write?

Laura at Wordy Girls offers a selection of poems, all 15 Words or Less, based on this week’s photo, which is of a beatiful hydrangea growing three steps from Laura’s front door. Add your own poem to the bouquet of comments in the previous link and Laura will add it to the blog post.

Kelly Fineman has perfect timing and patriotic poetry — Emma Lazarus’s “New Colossus”.

Jules at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has a Poetry Friday post chock full goodies — lyrical song lyrics from one of her favorite bands, The Innocence Mission; and also Christopher Robin, and thoughts on the healing power of art, with a request to send along any art-as-healer stories. (Jules, I was this close to pulling Christopher Milne’s The Enchanted Places off the shelf the other day. I think I’ll have to go back and do it. Thanks.)

John Mutford at The Book Mine Set, up north in Iqaluit, Nunavut (can you see us waving from Alberta, John?!), has an original poem — Slouching Toward Nirvana in Iqaluit, inspired by Charles Bukowski.

Christine M at The Simple and the Ordinary is also still in a patriotic mood this week, with some of Katherine Lee Bates’s less familiar verses from America the Beautiful.

Energetic Elaine Magliaro, my old Cybils poetry panel pal, is already thinking about this year’s Cybils, with a round-up post of of her own, revisiting the children’s poetry books she’s read and reviewed to date at both of her blogs, Wild Rose Reader and Blue Rose Girls. Speaking of Blue Rose Girls, Elaine has a Poetry Friday post there with a poem by Linda Pastan on the joys of finding A New Poet.

Sherry at Semicolon has a riddle poem as well as a pictorial hint for the answer for Poetry and Fine Art Friday today.

Adrienne at What Adrienne Thinks About That takes a look at a picture book edition of Casey at the Bat, and finds that illustrator Christopher Bing hits it out of the park.

Gwenda at Shaken & Stirred tackles rejection in verse, with Philip Dacey‘s Form Rejection Letter, for a friend.

Nancy at Journey Woman has been thinking about CS Lewis and Joy Davidman. Nancy offers one of Joy Davidman’s poems, and some book titles and links for more on their lives, and life together.

The delightfully named Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews offers the lyrics to the Lennon and McCartney song In My Life, to celebrate both the first meeting of poets John and Paul on this date 50 years ago and Ringo Starr’s birthday tomorrow. Becky also has a link to the nifty Blog, Blog Me Do.

Eva at Digital Changeling has A Little Lovecraft with some very scary cats. No, they’re not responsible for the fish problem mentioned at the top of the post. At least I don’t think so. And I hope you’re feeling better soon, Eva.

MotherReader has a book in verse for young adults, and the good news is that it’s “funny, realistic, and completely enjoyable.”

Marcie at World of Words captures summer in 13 words, with her Blueberry Haiku, inspired by weekend berry picking. And there’s more, in Marcie’s Poetry Friday 2 post, with a look at Nikki Grimes’s poetry collection (Marcie call it “a novel in verse”), What Is Goodbye?, about the death of a sibling.

Literacy Teacher at Mentor Texts & More offers thoughts on shelter and security with Leslie Bunder’s My Homeland. LT is also hosting the Picture Book Carnival, which sounds very, very intriguing (and has a deadline of July 31st). And don’t miss LT’s links for Summer Reading for Teachers of Writing — scroll all the way down the blogroll on the right to find them.

Little Willow goes over hill, over dale, with fairy queens and elves with an excerpt from her favorite Shakespearean comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Sara Lewis Holmes at Read Write Believe enters the world of blogging, and Poetry Friday, with why she writes, and her poem (and its reply to Jules, above), The Bones of January. Welcome, Sara.

Karen E. offers one of her favorites (and mine), Emily Dickinson, listening to the murmur of a bee and seeing the red upon the hill.

TadMack at Finding Wonderland agrees, it is a firefly kind of week, with Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Are There Not Still Fireflies?, written shortly before September 11, 2001, about the flicker of possibilities.

Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect has been teaching a course on improving elementary math all week, and her mind is on numbers. She gives us a few poems about infinity. And don’t miss her post from last week on Joyful Education, about the article “The Neuroscience of Joyful Education”. We can usually add more joy to our studies around here by adding more poetry to our days. Or fireflies.

Jennie at Biblio File offers a stormy summer poem from Emily Dickinson. My favorite line — “The lightning skipped like mice”.

Rebecca at Ipsa Dixit, a terrific new-to-me blog I discovered just this week when Rebecca left a comment here, says goodbye to the long, long Spring with Mary Oliver’s Such Singing in the Wild Branches.

Katie at Pixiepalace is celebrating Kissing Day today, with the help of Robert Burns and a merry tune.

Charlotte at Charlotte’s Library spends Poetry Friday travelling the globe with A World of Wonders by J. Patrick Lewis.

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti, who I think is still enjoy lazy days on vacation, went looking for dragonflies and found ethereal Waterwings.

Suzanne at Adventures in Daily Living has a lovely July poem by Elsa Beskow — and wouldn’t you know, we just started making hay today. Thanks again for my lovely button, Suzanne. I’ll wear it proudly!

Melissa Wiley at Here in the Bonny Glen offers an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and notes, “The older my children get, the more children I have, the more Whitman means to me. He understands about wonder.”

Thank goodness for Google Alerts, which I just checked. Kimberley at lectitans leaves tomorrow for Florida, but not before posting her entry for Poetry Friday, the lyrics of the state song, Swanee River. Enjoy the magic and the Yoohoo, Kimberley.

Hornblower at HMS Indefatigable, in Beautiful British Columbia, slides in on the tail of timezones with two Leonard Cohen poems, including the timely Democracy.

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