• 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.

There’ll always be an England

Is there not something peculiar about an organization called The Happy Endings Foundation advocating book burnings? The highlight of the group’s year is the annual Bad Book Bonfire and Fun Fireworks Party on November 5th (not so coincidentally Guy Fawkes Night): “bring along an unhappy book to burn and we’ll be judging the Lemony Snicket Guy competition on the night”.

A friend in the UK sent me the link to the website of the group, whose motto is “Sad Books are Bad Books”. Under the heading “Report a Book” is the cheery suggestion, “Let us know which bad books you’d like to see burnt.” Alrighty, then!

THIEF’s aims are

* To eradicate sad thoughts from all literature
* To make people smile a little more often
* To encourage authors to write more uplifting books for children
* To highlight the dangers of reading sad books
* To unite parents of a similar thinking and create a force with which to be reckoned
* To protect the next generation of readers.
* And, above all, to ensure the longevity of HAPPY ENDINGS (that means “to make sure happy endings are around for a long time”)

The group is the, erm, brainchild of Mrs. Adrienne Small, who “has now left her career as a tax inspector to focus on THEF full-time. She plans to rewrite all 13 Lemony Snicket books to give them happy endings.” Sad and bad, indeed, but not the books.

My penpal was aghast to find that THIEF has chapters beavering away in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford, Plymouth, London, and Norwich.

Other group suggestions for bringing sunshine, lollipops, and happiness to the world at large include holding “your very own Tickle-A-Moody-Person Week”, and, for Halloween,

We shall still be having a party but instead of going ‘trick or treating’ we will be going ‘fun & greeting’. Children will be encouraged to knock on someone’s door and offer a smile as well as reciting wonderful words to uplift the soul. We will be handing out fairy cakes and other homemade sweeties and showing goodwill to all. We will be spreading happy thoughts and feelings across the country in a rebellion against the witchery and horror of Halloween.

We want to take the darkness of the night and fill it with new light

To which Farm School can say only,


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