• 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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Yet another reason to home school

After Wal-Mart, [Ms. Perry] was off to Meijer’s to look for an Xbox 360 for her son, and for gifts inspired by the film ‘Twilight’ for her 12-year-old daughter.

” ‘She’s got to have the Twilight lip gloss,’ Ms. Perry said. ‘Every girl at her school has it, so she’s got to have it, too’.”

from yesterday’s New York Times account of Black Friday 2009

*  *  *  *

As I was reminded while poking around the Whole Foods store on Amsterdam and 97th yesterday ($9.99 for 30 ounces of mashed potatoes, and organic, naturally colored sprinkles for baking, neither of which exists at my Co-op supermarket in Alberta), my husband, children, and I live in a very, very different world.

When I headed out here last week, my 12-year-old daughter, who is more or less unaware of the phenomenon that is Twilight (until she reads this blog post maybe) was reading Anne of Green Gables, rereading The Penderwicks, working on her quilling cards to sell at the Christmas Farmer’s Market on Tuesday, using Blistex Medicated Berry Lip Balm, and doesn’t really have to have anything for this Christmas…

8 Responses

  1. “and doesn’t really have to have anything for this Christmas…”

    Music to a mother’s ears! My (almost 4) year old, when asked what she wants for her birthday (which is this coming Tuesday) said, “I would like a dolly and a baby teddy bear and that’s all.” When her brothers and sisters grilled her for more gift ideas she replied, “I SAID a DOLLY and a baby teddy bear and that’s ALL! Nuffin’ else! “

  2. You know, I think that line about kids having to have stuff because all the kids at school have it is balderdash.

    Seriously, when F. was 1, I overheard moms at her day care saying that about Teletubbies stuffies. And as we all know, 1 year olds (even the ones that go to day care) care not one whit about having what their friends have in some abstract sense. They certainly don’t know anything about “cool”.

    And thinking about that particular example led me to the conclusion that it isn’t the kids that will feel left out. It is the parents. This is just the latest version of “keeping up with the Jones’s”.

    Because there are people whose kids go to school who have the spine to teach their kids about consumerism and fads and the importance of making your own decisions.

    And I suspect there are homeschoolers who worry about their kids being “weird” and make sure they are well versed in the latest fads and have all the right “stuff”.

  3. Sing it, Sister. I hope I can raise my baby to be as level-headed as your daughter.

  4. <>

    Perhaps she’d like a warm hug if she’s ever in California? :) Just wanted to say that I’m very happy for her.

    We tend to be nerdy (i.e. bookish) or practical or both when it comes to gift choices. More from necessity than anything else. Even before our new home caused the dent it did in the bank account (despite being in the lowest-priced boundaries of the SF Bay Area).

  5. I heard an interview/call in show with Mary Piper, who wrote Reviving Ophelia many years ago. She spoke of some neighbor girls who were being home schooled. She said they have the relaxed open face a child should have, instead of the guarded fearful look so many teens have. (Or words to that effect) Interesting show, but can’t remember what it was on, some public radio show, I’m sure. And I certainly agree with the comment that much of the have to have can be parentally generated. Let’s not underestimate the system,however.

  6. My 11yr son would like to read Twilight. I have told him no, that I did not think that it was appropriate for him and that I would have to read it first. My children have never been very greedy when it comes to Christmas. We have always tried to keep it just a few gifts from us and a couple from Santa.

  7. Greetings,

    Free Software like Linux is a powerful tool for homeschoolers.
    Here is an interview to an homeschool parent proving how useful
    and easy Linux and Free Software can be:


    Best Regards,
    Marco Fioretti

  8. Anne of Green Gables is way better than Twilight anyhow! Glad to read this and see that there are still many huge benefits to home school. Thanks for sharing!


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