• 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."
    Cicero

    "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.

I.N.K.’s Spectacular Fifteen Book Blast Giveaway

The bloggers at I.N.K. — Interesting Nonfiction for Kids — who also happen to be the authors of some of the most interesting nonfiction for kids nowadays* have come up with a dandy way to begin the school year in the autumn. The group at I.N.K. is giving away 15 autographed illustrated nonfiction books to one lucky winner. The titles include a variety of subjects, from sports, science, natural history, biography, math, history, geography, and poetry. All of the details are here at this post, and I confirmed with I.N.K. founder and contest organizer Linda Salzman that Canadians are indeed eligible (thank you, Linda and I.N.K. for your generous rules!).

An overview of the rules:

We’d love to hear from teachers, librarians, homeschoolers, writers, or anyone else from across the country [U.S. and Canada] who is promoting nonfiction.

Here are the rules. Each entry must consist of two parts:

1. In one sentence or less, tell us why you read the I.N.K. blog.

2. In as much space as you need, describe what you’ve done to support and encourage nonfiction in your classroom, library, home, or community. Photos are a plus.

We will select the winner based on the strongest, most original and all encompassing approach to getting nonfiction noticed.

All entries should be submitted by email to: interestingnonfictionforkids at gmail dot com. We will send you an email letting you know we’ve received your entry.

Entering the contest implies your consent to use the contents of your entry on our blog for promotional purposes.

The deadline to enter is Friday, September 5th. The winner will be announced on the I.N.K. blog.

Talk about starting the school year off with a bang! And here are the 15 books to be won:

Jennifer Armstrong‘s title of the winner’s choice

Don Brown‘s title of the winner’s choice

Vicki Cobb‘s We Dare You! Hundreds of Science Bets, Challenges, and Experiments You Can Do at Home, with Kathy Darling (Skyhorse Publishing, 2008)

Sneed Collard‘s title of the winner’s choice; his Pocket Babies and Other Amazing Marsupials was a 2007 Cybils nominee for middle grade/young adult nonfiction

Susan E. Goodman‘s See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House (Bloomsbury, 2008)

Jan Greenberg’s Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World (Abrams, 2008)

Steve Jenkins’s Sisters and Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World, written with Robin Page (Houghton Mifflin, 2008)

Kathleen Krull‘s The Road to Oz: Twists, Turns, Bumps, and Triumphs in the Life of L. Frank Baum (Knopf, 2008) or any other title of the winner’s choice

Loreen Leedy‘s Missing Math: A Number Mystery (Marshall Cavendish, 2008)

Sue Macy‘s Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics (National Geographic, 2008 Edition)

April Pulley Sayre‘s Trout Are Made of Trees (Charlesbridge, 2008)

David M. Schwartz‘s Where in the Wild?: Camouflaged Creatures Concealed … and Revealed with Yael Schy and Dwight Kuhn (Tricycle Press, 2007); a 2007 Cybils nonfiction picture book finalist.

Tanya Lee Stone‘s Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote (Henry Holt, 2008)

Gretchen Woelfle‘s Jeannette Rankin: Political Pioneer (Calkins Creek, 2007); also a 2007 Cybils nominee for middle grade/young adult nonfiction

Karen Romano Young‘s Across the Wide Ocean: The Why, How, and Where of Navigation for Humans and Animals at Sea (Harpercollins, 2007); another 2007 Cybils nominee for middle grade/young adult nonfiction

In our home, and especially because we home educate, we rely tremendously on high quality children’s nonfiction books.  We use textbooks mainly as a last resort, and when we do they certainly can’t convey the thoughts, ideas, information, and knowledge that a well-written, often beautifully illustrated children’s trade book can.  What continues to astound me monthly as new titles come out is the nearly endless list of subjects covered by children’s nonfiction books.

* The I.N.K.lings include Susan E. Goodman, Jan Greenberg, Don Brown, April Pulley Sayre, David Schwartz, Sneed B. Collard III, Sue Macy, Anna M. Lewis, Tanya Lee Stone, Steve Jenkins, Loreen Leedy, Kelly Fineman, Dorothy Patent, Kathleen Krull, Karen Romano Young, Jennifer Armstrong, Vicki Cobb, Linda Salzman, and Gretchen Woelfle.

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