• 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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  • Copyright © 2005-2016 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

Trip report, part 1: NYC, wet and wild

We were in NYC and Washington, DC, earlier this month, from the 9th to the 26th, visiting my parents and doing some sightseeing.  The day after we arrived in NYC, the 10th, we walked a few blocks to Riverside Park and 72nd Street, where we were able to take advantage of the last weekend of free kayaking in the Hudson River, which seemed to be a dandy way to celebrate Henry Hudson’s quadricentennial. I discovered the activity trolling through the NYC Parks Department website, which I’ve used before to find fun, free events on our trips.  And a big thank you to the members of the NYC Downtown Boathouse for making the kayaking possible.

It was a rather cool and raw day to be on the Hudson, especially because everyone exited the kayaks soaking wet, but great fun and our hotel* was just a few blocks away for a hot shower and change of clothes afterwards. Daniel, who brought his new movie camera, and I passed on the fun, opting to stay on land and photograph the others…

Laura and Tom surveying the river,


Putting on life jackets,


One of the Boathouse volunteers, cleverly wearing a wetsuit, kindly offered to take my camera to get pictures of the intrepid sailors down on the pier:




I got the camera back just in time to watch my husband and eldest child paddle off 


toward New Jersey,



While they were paddling back,


Davy got ready 


to hop in when it was his turn,



and then off they went,





And then they were back,



On the way out of the park we said goodbye to Eleanor Roosevelt and friend,


* For the second year in a row, we stayed at the Hotel Beacon on Broadway between 74th and 75th Streets, right across the street from Fairway; for the second year in a row, our suite looked out on Fairway, and the kids enjoyed watching the trucks pull up to unload their boxes of fruits and vegetables.  Reasonably priced, recently renovated, with kitchenettes (though this year’s was much teenier than last year, with room for one, if you held your breath) and a laundry room.  Clean, attractive, comfortable, conveniently located — all in all, highly recommended. (Oh, and the windows open for fresh air if such things matter to you.)

5 Responses

  1. Love the bird on her head! Too funny.

  2. Sending you a retroactive, long distance wave up the Hudson from the Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty ferry on the afternoon of October 10th! It was very windy out on the water that day.

  3. Jessica, it was just begging for a photo!

    Margaret, thanks for the wave : ). We arrived on the 9th, and left for DC on the 19th. The 10th was definitely windy and a bit raw. We made it to the Statue of Liberty that Wednesday, pictures to come I think…

  4. We crossed Fifth Avenue repeatedly on Sunday, during the parade (your part 3), but obeying the cops and their barricades. :-) I was showing my kids my old stomping grounds (I worked in Rockefeller Center) and my daughter had a lunch date at the American Girl store. We stayed in New Jersey with my brother and came into the city on the 8th, 10th, and 11th. I’m going to start saving my pocket change for Hotel Beacon for the next visit.

  5. Oh my. I wouldn’t have ventured out, and would have had a tummy ache until my boys returned. Of course had it been summer and hot out, I probably wouldn’t have worried so much! lol

    Thomas just looked at the photos and he’s green with envy!

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