• 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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What we’ve been up to

I feel as though I’ve been missing in action so here’s a general overview of what’s been happening around here:

Calving season started on Friday, with the arrival of a little bull calf Davy has named Frank. Frank was joined Saturday by Ricky. Right now (just before 11 pm), another heifer is calving, and Tom and three little helpers are standing by to see if she can manage on her own.

The weather has been lovely, sunny and warm enough (high 30s, low 40s F) for much of the snow to melt considerably. Still quite a few huge drifts, but a fair amount of grass — some trying its damndest to look vaguely green — and bare ground showing. We’re in the west, so we didn’t get any of the recordbreaking snowfall that eastern Canada did over the weekend. The kids were able to ride their bikes the mile and a half to the corrals the other day, for the first time this year, to do chores, but it’s so muddy it’s a good thing they wore their coveralls. Then again, this is March and it is Alberta, so we could get another huge dump of snow any day between now and mid-May. And unlike most of our neighbors, the kids and I are delighted with the annual rejiggering of the clock, which gives us more daylight now at the end of the day, just when we seem to need it.

Davy is now on the same Singapore math level as Daniel, though Daniel is finishing the second of the two workbooks in the set, and Davy just started the first. The kids have started learning German a bit more formally, to prepare for the arrival of distant cousins, some of whom speak no English, visiting this summer. I might have a post with more of our resources later on.  All three are working on their poems to be recited at next month’s Arts Festival.  I’ll have some of the poems for my Poetry Friday post.

Laura had her first paying job on the weekend, helping a local caterer. The caterer is pleased that Laura is so hardworking, enthusiastic, and cheerful, so Laura has a job whenever she wants (and more importantly, whenever she can be driven to the job). One of the benefits is that Laura has recently been considering catering as a career, so she can get a feel for the work now.

I’ve been sorting out clothes for the kids. Almost daily someone comes to me with shoes, shirts, pants that no longer fit. Most things seem to be headed in Davy’s direction.

What We’re Reading, Watching, and Listening to:

Reading: The Return of the Indian and My Side of the Mountain (the latter is rather slow going since the kids insist on taking notes in preparation for their own running away as soon as the weather warms up).

Singing: “Wand’rin Star”, Lee Marvin style. The kids’ new favorite song. Not necessarily mine, though it’s kind of cute the first few hundred times.

Listening to: Corb Lund‘s new “Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier” (though no one around here can say that three times fast).

Watching: Darn. I wasn’t able to find Rebecca’s recommended Forest Rangers for some retro Canadiana viewing, but we do have Paul Gross (and Sandra Oh) in Wilby Wonderful and in Getting Married in Buffalo Jump (featuring KD Lang on the soundtrack).  Just delicious.  And the kids are up early every Saturday morning to catch The Littlest Hobo. Next on my list to track down at the library or Zip.ca: Acorn the Nature Nut.

5 Responses

  1. Congrats on the calf! It’s officially spring when the babies are born, right?

  2. Becky,
    I found you through my favorite Ant on the Internet, Lynn at Bore Me to Tears. In one of those lattice of coincidence moments, my kids and I were talking about Acorn, The Nature Nut and thinking we’d ask our librarian to look out the DVDs for us. Thanks for the link to the site so I can give her the names of the DVDs.

    I’d also like to offer my sympathy on the death of your friend. Donald Hall’s poem speaks to the hearts of everyone who has lost someone and found that life goes on interminably, when it’s obvious that it should just stop with the last breath of the loved one who’s left us.

    Shine On,

  3. Thanks, Mrs. G., and yes, it it, or at least it should be! Though we did see some geese the other day, which is another good sign.

    Lill, glad to meet another Nature Nut nut! And thanks for your sympathies and kind thoughts.

  4. I love it – kids who don’t appreciate Diana Krall but dig Lee Marvin singing (if it can be called that0 wanderin star –

  5. ml, it’s a nutty house, what can I say. I certainly can’t be accused of foisting my own preferences on my kids!

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