• 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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The Crimea, then and now

We’ve just finished a terrific biography, Heart and Soul: The Story of Florence Nightingale by Gena K. Gorrell (Tundra Books, 2000; still in paperback in Canada). Very well written, thorough, and also a good overview of medicine and hygiene through the mid-19th century, and the Crimean War. As a bonus, author and publisher are Canadian; Ms. Gorrell is also an editor, a first aid instructor, and an auxiliary officer with Toronto’s Police Marine Unit, and she wrote the excellent North Star to Freedom about the Underground Railroad.

I picked up the book at the library as a supplemental title for Chapter 2 of Story of the World, Volume 4, “The Modern Age”. If you’re reading the book, too, and Aunt Suzy happens to ask what’s the use of knowing about that musty old Crimean War, you might want to remind her about current events.

Other resources we’ve used for the chapter:

The Crimean War by Deborah Bachrach (Lucent Books, 1998); one of those typical library titles, checked out only when kids need to write reports (do they do it without Wikipedia nowadays?), but atypically clearly and engagingly written and good explanations of the battles, with useful maps and charts, especially the Battle of the Heavy Brigade and the ill-fated Battle of the Light Brigade. Ignore the ugly pastel pink cover. This title is one of the recommendations for the chapter in the accompanying SOTW activity guide.

Tennyson’s poem, The Battle of the Light Brigade; especially thrilling to hear the man himself recite the poem, though the level of thrill depends on the patience your children have with less modern technology. Mine now have a much better appreciation for both modern medical and sound recording practices.

Laura remembered that Florence Nightingale is included in the Naxos audiobook, Famous People in History,” Volume I

If you too are working through Volume 4 and your neighbors or Aunt Suzy are wondering why the kids bother with all that musty old history, you might want to remind them that everything old is new again


2 Responses

  1. I’d like to read this book. I recently started reading your blog, and I am loving it.

  2. Thanks, mom : )

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