• 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.


This past week they built the front porch roof and shingled it, and finished the roofs (building and shingling) on the dining room and adjacent back porch. In fact, they’ve already moved to installing windows, but I didn’t get any pictures of the windows in today since I was busy fetching a child from camp and getting stung by wasps.

It really does seem to be taking shape, and after so many years of seeing the house only on paper, it’s all very exciting.



Windows arriving for installation,




The back of the house, with the porch on the left and dining room on the right,



2 Responses

  1. This is very exciting! I’ve been watching / lurking quietly since you began building and it has been very impressive watching things coming together. We’re onto another stage with our home and kids … our four are now 12-21 so we’re looking at ways to simplify and downsize as they move on. Fifteen years ago the kind of square-footage you’re building would have had me in raptures! Congrats on all the progress.

    • It’s funny, we had very different plans for a much smaller house earlier on, when the kids and my inlaws were younger! But now that the kids, who are almost 15-18, are all interested in farming with us, we know that one of them will likely take over the house with a family of his/her own sometime in the future, and then my husband and I will likely be back in our present, smaller house. This seems to be the way most farmsteads around here have evolved, with a smaller older house and a larger newer one on the same property (sometimes even in the same yard — I think we’re lucky to have a bit of distance between the two!), with the generations switching houses depending on ages and stages of life.

      And earlier on, we hadn’t made any provisions for my inlaws, though now it looks as if we may have my mil living with us in a suite over the garage; if she ends up needing more assistance as she ages, the office/home school room can be converted to a bedroom, and the bathroom next door is a full bath with walk-in shower, rather than a half bath.

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