• 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

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    "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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The Water Horse

I’m sorry.

I know going to The Golden Compass is the thing to do this holiday season, but we’re not big science fiction fans and don’t go to the movies often (there’s a tiny theater in town that plays two fairly current flicks at a time) so the kids and I haven’t seen The Golden Compass yet, and aren’t even pining for the time when it arrives, if it arrives, at the tiny town theater; I’ll probably borrow it from the library when it comes out on DVD, though, more for curiosity’s sake than anything else. Neither Laura (age 10) nor I have read any of Pullman’s series, though I’ve read and heard a number of interviews with the man, especially lately, and have liked what I’ve heard.

But last night I discovered a movie I’m pretty sure I would like us to see — The Water Horse, out on Christmas Day apparently (who knew? none of us), and based on a book by the same name, originally published in 1992, by Dick “Babe” King-Smith. I haven’t yet told the kids, because I’d like us to read the book first, especially because the book seems to make the story look properly kid-sized, whereas the movie looks like a rather grandiose version. I discovered the movie because Tom and I saw Millions last night for the first time, and I was enchanted, by the movie and by young Alex Etel, whose second feature will be Water Horse. Sony’s website notes that the movie is from Walden Media, the same bunch behind Narnia, which we liked, and Charlotte’s Web, which we didn’t. But at this point we don’t have anything at all invested in the Dick King-Smith original.

I figure that part of the reason I haven’t heard about the movie version of The Water Horse is that it’s been overshadowed by all this Compass business, and we haven’t been to the movies to see trailers in ages. At any rate, I’m glad of another children’s movie that sounds more up our alley, though where the line is, for me at least, between fantasy and science fiction I’m not quite sure. But like Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it…


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