• 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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A monthlong celebration of delight and glory and oddity and light

April is National Poetry Month, brought to you for the 13th year by the Academy of American Poets.

Why poetry? Because, as Dylan Thomas wrote in

Notes on the Art of Poetry

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

New to me, Poetry Web Resources. Something for everyone.

Coming Tuesday, April 1st, and just in time for the big monthly shindig, is PBS’ new website, Poetry Everywhere (not yet working at this typing but my fingers are crossed). Also from PBS in April, on the 14th, is the new “American Experience” biography of Walt Whitman

Harcourt Children’s Books is generously offering an assortment of goodies “Free for Teachers” (and Harcourt has a wide definition of teachers, for which I’m grateful):

The items on this page are available free to teachers, school and public librarians, reading specialists, PTA members, homeschoolers — anyone involved in the educational needs of children. You’ll find a variety of materials suitable for classroom or library use for children in grades Pre-K through 12.

Materials are available while supplies last, and only one request for each kit will be honored per user. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. New items will be made available on a regular basis, so be sure to check back with us periodically. We also make available downloadable versions of materials in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF) wherever possible. …

You can also visit our Teacher Tools page for more downloadable items such as teacher guides, activity kits, sticker sheets, and more.

Among the goodies:

New! Celebrate National Poetry Month and Young People’s Poetry Week 2008!
Welcome, teachers and librarians! We’re delighted you’re interested in celebrating National Poetry Month and Young People’s Poetry Week (April 14-20, 2008) with our free classroom kit. …

More free poetry curriculum for your classroom! Our kits from 2007 [featuring Douglas Florian] and 2006 [featuring Mary Ann Hoberman] are still available …

The Academy of American Poets, also known as Poets.org, is taking a leaf from New York City’s poetry book and celebrating the first national Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 17th; the Big Apple has been at it, inspired by the poem below I’ve loved for many years, since 2002:

Keep a Poem in your Pocket
by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (1914-2000)

Keep a poem in your pocket
and a picture in your head
and you’ll never feel lonely
at night when you’re in bed.

The little poem will sing to you
the little picture bring to you
a dozen dreams to dance to you
at night when you’re in bed.

So —
Keep a picture in your pocket
and poem in your head
and you’ll never feel lonely
at night when you’re in bed.

You’re supposed to pull the poem out to share it with others. If you’re up for newfangled poetry in your pocket, try Poets.org’s MobilePoets.org: “The entire collection of over 2,500 poems on Poets.org, as well as hundreds of biographies and essays, is also available in a mobile format which provides free and direct access to poetry in the palm of a hand”.

Luddite that I am, I rather like this more old-fashioned method — free printable stationery from Scholastic so you and your child can copy out a favorite poem to keep in your pocket. Or order some bookmarks to share from Owl Square Press, such as “Rise Up Reading”, with a poem by Pam Muñoz Ryan and artwork by Jim Ishikawa,

My old Cybils friend, Sylvia Vardell, has the wonderful resource, the Poetry for Children blog

Speaking of the Cybils awards, the recent lists of 2007 Cybils poetry nominees and finalists are handy for library browsing and bookstore shopping.

The Poetry Foundation has a nifty children’s page, full of kidlit names you will likely know

The folks at Crayola are celebrating, and have some projects for your children, from Langston Hughes and Edgar Allan Poe coloring pages (I kid you not), to Crayola poetry (a version of the Magnetic type), and lesson plans (25 of them).

April is Poetry Month in Canada, too, and includes Young Poets as well, who get their own week April 7-13.

The Children’s Book Council has a PDF of 2007-2008 Poetry Books for Young People. One of the few things at the CBC I don’t like is the suggestion to “Host a Bad Poetry Reading“. If there’s a worse way to inspire a love of poetry, especially good poetry, in children, I can’t think of it.

If you look at the very top of this blog, you’ll see a green tab labeled “Poetry”. Most of my general poetry posts (not the Poetry Friday ones, though) are there, including

Adding even more poetry to your life, just in time for National Poetry Month (March 2006)

How I got my kids to like poetry and broccoli (aka “Poetry as broccoli, and a wrap-up for National Poetry Month”, March 2006)

Something different, a list of poetry books and other poetic resources (April 2006)

Poetry sings (February 2006)

4 Responses

  1. It’s an embarassment of riches- all these resources!! Thank you. Gotta run and go order some kits.

  2. And doesn’t Edgar look cheery? A new facet in his personality, perhaps, or just an April Fool’s Edgar? Just think if the Raven had been the sort to see life as a glass half full…

    I’m off to write a poem about our local cheese makers, who just won a medal for their Brie. It’s so good it deserves a poem of its own. (“Shall I compare thee to my Comox Brie?”)

    Happy April Fool’s Becky! Hope someone glues your toast to the plate!

  3. Thank you, these are excellent links!

  4. Tara and JSM, you’re welcome and have fun!

    Sheila, nobody touches my toast. I have to admit I find the idea of EAP combined with a coloring page a bit odd but intriguing too. Maybe the raven would have been more colorful with Crayola crayons… Are you going to post your cheesy poem (sorry, couldn’t help myself!)?

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