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

Le chapeau, or, living geometry

What the boys did for their summer vacation: help build the roof for the tower. I don’t think they’ll complain as much about there being no real life, practical applications for the math they’re learning.

I’ve started researching steel roofing because it will take about two weeks to arrive. About 10-15 years ago, when we first needed to reshingle our current house, I said no to steel roofing because it looked too commercial and industrial. Now the industrial look has grown on me, as well as the desire to spare my husband and kids the need to reshingle a two-story house with tower sooner rather than later . It’s a Goldilocks process, with black and dark brown too dark and hot, gray too cool-toned, white and ivory too light. So we’ve been weighing the lighter browns, which should go with what will ideally be a mossy green siding.

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The “gap” or hole you can see toward the top, under the peak, is to allow for a handhold in

 

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Wall week

The crew began the week building walls for the second story.

The telehandler is invaluable for getting the lumber up there,

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Before the walls were erected,

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One of the completed walls,

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Shop class,

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The rough window assemblies to make up the tower,

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And up they go,

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The telehandler is even more useful for lifting/standing up walls; this is the back of the house, with the dining room nearest the telehandler,

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The dining room from the other side,

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The 16-year-old running the telehandler,

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Finally on to the fourth side,

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The 14-year-old securing the temporary brace (until the interior walls go up),

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The white painted piece of lumber is salvage, when the grandstand at the fairgrounds was replaced years ago,

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Moving the top plate/cap plate assembly out of the tower to erect the wall pieces,

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I got distracted by a tiger swallowtail on the lilacs,

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Putting the top plate/cap plate in place,

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Removing the GoPro from the GoPro pole,

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A productive afternoon!

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Math milestones

As I just wrote over at Melissa Wiley‘s blog, Here in the Bonny Glen, I can’t keep up with with Boing Boing no matter how hard I try, so I’m glad she picked a few to highlight, including Mark Frauenfelder’s recent brief review of the latest Clifford Pickover book, The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics. As Mark writes, “I have to get rid of most of the books that come in my door (I get several a day sent to me). This is one I plan to keep.”

I’m a big fan of Clifford Pickover, whom I last mentioned here, with his 2008 title,  Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of Science and the Great Minds Behind Them (Oxford University Press).

If you hop over to Dr. Pickover’s website page for the new book, you’ll see that he has an autographed book giveway on Twitter.  And also this blurb for the new book from the great Martin Gardner,

Clifford Pickover, prolific writer and undisputed polymath, has put together a marvelous reference work. Its 250 short entries provide a veritable history of mathematics by focusing on its greatest theorems and the geniuses who discovered them. Topics are chronological, starting with the calculating abilities of ants 150 million years B.C. and ending with Max Tegmark’s recent conjecture that our universe is not just described by math, it is mathematics. Dr. Pickover’s vast love of math, and his awe before its mysteries, permeates every page of this beautiful volume. The illustrations alone are worth the book’s price.

Holiday discount for Farm School readers

I thought I’d better move up and out Kathy Ceceri’s kind offer from the comments in yesterday’s Butterfly post, for any Farm School reader wishing to take her up on it:

As a special holiday thanks, I’d like to offer Farm School fans $5 off my book Around the World Crafts. Go to https://www.createspace.com/3349559 and type in the discount code A6HDVH92.

Kathy’s new book, Around the World Crafts: Great Activities for Kids who Like History, Math, Art, Science and More!, strikes me as a great holiday gift or a wonderful way to begin your studies again in the New Year.  By the way, Kathy writes the “Hands-on Learning” column for Home Education Magazine.

Many thanks for the generous offer, Kathy.

Multiplying with wood

New from Instructables is a series of instructions to make your own set of Napier’s Bones to help with multiplying and dividing.

And more on the inventive Scottish mathematician John Napier and his Bones here, here, here, here, and here.

Speaking of new books…

Kathy Ceceri, who blogs at Home Chemistry and writes for a variety of magazine, including the “Hands-on Learning” column for Home Education Magazine, announces the publication of her new book, Around the World Crafts: Great Activities for Kids who Like History, Math, Art, Science and More!

As Kathy writes on the website:

Learn about different times and places as you make authentic-looking reproductions that really work!

Over 15 projects for home, school or youth groups using everyday, kid-safe materials.

Basic concepts in science

John Wilkins at Evolving Thoughts, part of the ScienceBlogs group, is putting together a handy dandy list of blog posts on basic science concepts, including mathematics, philosophy, logic, and computer science. You can suggest posts, too. Stay tuned for the possibility of a dedicated wiki or blog.

Via GeekDad