• 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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Book Smart

On the trip I collected the recent issue of my high school alumni magazine, which my parents saved for me.  I’m not usually around to collect and read it, and my patience tends to be limited for a magazine for a school where the tuition nowadays averages $30,000 US a year a student.  Toss in books, blazers, and bagels from H & H, and we’re probably talking a cool $100,000 to educate my three darlings each year.  At least one of whom probably wouldn’t exist, for reasons of both space and finance, if Tom and I had chosen to settle in NYC rather than on the prairie (where they spent this morning skating on Wollman Rink North).

But in the pages I did find mention of an intriguing, fairly new book (October 2007) written by one of my favorite teachers, who made English class come alive: Book Smart: Your Essential Reading List for Becoming a Literary Genius in 365 Days by Jane Mallison.  At $10.17, that’s as close as my kids are going to get to a private NYC prep school education, aside from the gems from Miz Mallison and the many others I still recall and impart.

Here are a few online reviews I came across:

Elizabeth Bachner’s review at Bookslut

Bethanne Patrick at Publishers Weekly’s Book Maven blog

Sharon Goforth’s review at Ex Libris

Mary Lancaster’s article for The Nantucket Independent

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4 Responses

  1. Your blog is indeed cool.

  2. And my library even has a copy! As always, thank you, Becky. Thank you for the very kind shout-out below, too.

  3. Thank you, Mrs. G. High praise coming for the beyond cool Manor!

    Susan, you’re very welcome, and enjoy the book. I’ll have to read it aloud in Miz Mallison’s drawl to make it seem as if I’m back in her class…

  4. Thanks for this recommendation Becky. My daughter (14) and I have decided to use it next year. Most months we’ll read the same book and discuss it. Some months we can’t agree (often she wants to read something I’ve already read and I want to try something new) so we’ll have to discuss commonalities and difference ..or soemthing. It’s given us just the push we needed to get a good reading plan going.

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