• 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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Advent calendar ideas

Too late for this year, unless you’re a fast crafter and don’t mind missing the first few days, but there’s more than enough time to start planning for next year.

Cami at Full House and her kids made an advent calendar with homemade paper boxes, filled with treats, including wooden paintable nutcrackers and ornaments. I like the idea of larger boxes for such reusable and crafty gifts, rather than smaller boxes with candies; I noticed last week that our local craft shop has some inexpensive cutout wooden ornaments ready for decorating. We don’t have much extra wallspace around here, but I could see affixing magnets to the back of each box and turning the front of the fridge into a giant advent calendar.

Alternately, if you have a large collection of Altoid and other such tins, you can try your hand at this advent calendar. If you don’t consume a lot of mints, those round metal spice cannisters would probably work, with the tops painted, or old Christmas cards or other decorative papers cut to fit the covers, with or without ribbon hot-glued around the edges…

And Marilyn Scott-Walter’s lovely website The Toymaker has a printable PDF advent calendar here and here, for those of you modern types with color printers. More of The Toymaker’s Christmas projects here — you could also make a nifty advent calendar with the Glad Tidings Boxes, Santa’s Heart Boxes, Elf Balls, Angel Boxes, and/or Candy Cane Bags. (There’s a Toymaker book, too, you know.)

In the meantime, we’re sticking with our (very last) Advent candle, and the 3D calendar in the shape of a house I found on sale one year. But I think later this month we just might start making our very own calendar, probably following the Full Circle model, for next year.

UPDATED to add: I forgot Dawn’s snazzy “Tags of Comfort & Joy” wreath advent calendar!


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