• 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 hub for home schoolers

As many of us are starting to think about getting back to school and the return of formal studies, here’s a handy article by Lora Shinn, “A Home Away from Home: Libraries & Homeschoolers”, in the August 1 issue of School Library Journal:

Homeschooling families are everywhere these days. They’re on television, giving interviews after winning national spelling bees. They’re in the paper, profiled after making Olympic trials. They’re on the radio, talking about the growing popularity of homeschooling as an educational choice.

And they’re definitely in your library.

According to a 2003 study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), when homeschoolers were asked about their primary source of books and/or curriculum, 78 percent named their public library. Leah Langby, the library development and youth services coordinator at Indianhead Federated Library System in Eau Claire, WI, says her husband homeschools their two children. “It is nearly impossible to homeschool without that amazing resource unless you have a ton of money for materials,” adds Langby, referring to her local public library.

Consider passing along a copy of the article, with its suggestions for “programming, resources, and specialized services”, to your librarian, and if your librarian is the helpful and supportive type, a thank you note and a plate of homemade cookies (or flowers from the summer garden) might be a dandy way to start off the new learning year. If your librarian hasn’t always been helpful and supportive and your library isn’t the sort of home schooling haven described, well, the article just might be helpful in changing a mind or two.

Hat tip to Adrienne at the Homeschooling and Libraries blog; Adrienne is children’s librarian of most home schoolers dreams, and her first book is the recent Helping Homeschoolers in the Library.  Thanks, Adrienne!

3 Responses

  1. This is a great link. I will offer it to my librarians. Maybe they will cut me some slack on the fines.

  2. Becky, Thanks for the kind words and the link! I was really glad to see that article, too. When I go out to talk to librarians about homeschooling, they are really interested–most are just looking for direction.

    Mrs. G., It never hurts to ask. :) When our families (homeschooling and non) get stuck with fines that have added up (which is SO EASY if you take out a lot of materials at once), I almost always take off some of the fines. I figure the point is to get the materials back, not to punish people–and most especially not the people who are some of our heaviest borrowers.

  3. Mrs. G, it can’t hurt and just might help!

    Adrienne, you’re very welcome. You are a home schooling family’s dream!

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