• 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.
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February has opened with a bit of warmer (again, relatively speaking) weather — though not surprisingly, the radio is burbling about more winter storm watch for tonight and tomorrow — and a new family schedule.

Tom’s helper asked for the month off, so Tom is going to be spending more time around the house and farm, instead of building for clients. I’m glad to have the extra help with chores during the week, as the snow just seems to be getting deeper; Tom is much better at muscling a big round bale of hay or straw than I am. And he lets the kids do fun things, like letting them ride on the bale as he pulls it slowly with the truck. I have a sneaking suspicion that the kids will be doing less formal schoolwork this month and spending more time outdoors with Dad. In fact, the boys told me this morning that their workbench is finished, and they’ve been busy adding to it with gleanings from their father and grandfathers,

I couldn’t help notice the pile on top, where I’m assuming the boys will get their ideas and instructions,

Though Laura is memorizing her 4H speech (subject: “My favorite vacation”) to deliver on the weekend, and all three kids have started learning by heart their poems for the arts festival in early April. Laura is also hoping to get Tom to teach her to build some tiny dollhouse furniture.

The trucker just arrived to haul away the last of the organic wheat, so to prepare, Tom moved 200 tonnes of snow away from the grainaries and to clear the roads. He cleared a bunch of snow around the house too, so the kids have three new sledding hills.

Supervising all of the activity this morning from atop the power pole, I discovered, was an old friend, the snowy owl. My inlaws told us yesterday they had just seen a great horned owl snatch a sharp- tailed grouse in midair.

Not only is today Super Tuesday, but in our part of Canada we learned yesterday, officially at least, that we have a provincial election next month. Hard to believe, but just mere hours from the US border, you can have a 27-day election campaign for an office equivalent to governor; that said, I still get queasy at the idea of having to pay, however little, to join a political party. I tend to follow my own “throw the bums out” school of selecting candidates, and since the bums in question have been in charge for 37 years, notwithstanding the environmental and social disaster that is the Tar Sands, it’s probably safe to assume that I won’t be voting for the Progressive Conservatives; even the Scud Stud couldn’t change my mind (if we lived in Calgary). Unlike his predecessor, the current Premier isn’t even entertaining. Or, as a caller to the local CBC radio show this afternoon put it, “I’d sooner vote for a baloney sandwich.” He had a point.

Baloney or not, though, I’ll be making some poster charts so the kids can follow along, here in Alberta and in the US, with this year’s elections. They’ve been seeing and hearing ads already and are quite interested in the proceedings.

Back to work, to sort out the truck driver.


3 Responses

  1. That is a beautiful owl. Personally, I think the vast sums of money spent on campaigning in the US are kind of obscene. A 27 day election campaign seems to be about what one needs. I can see throwing the bums out. The only problem is that sometimes you only have different bums to replace them with. I hope something useful comes of it, though.

  2. I love your boys work tabke! That’s so cute.

    BTW, I’d love to have you add your blog link to my Canadian homeschool bloggers Mr. Blinkie. http://jacquelinesjabberings.blogspot.com/2008/02/canadian-homeschool-bloggers.html

  3. JoVE, after 37 years, I’ll take new bums over old bums, especially when one of the latter was Ralph Klein. I tend to think there’s nowhere to go but up at this point. I think the mess in the Tar Sands is beginning to filter its way into the thinking of the general populace.

    Jacqueline, thanks, they’re pretty pleased with it themselves.

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