• 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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Poetry Friday: For Abraham Lincoln

For Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday was on Tuesday, February 12th, because we don’t remember him, or his poets, as often as we did, as often as we should:

Abraham Lincoln
(1809-1865)
by Rosemary and Stephen Vincent Benét, from A Book of Americans

Lincoln was a long man.
He liked the out of doors.
He liked the wind blowing
And the talk in country stores.

He liked telling stories.
He liked telling jokes.
“Abe’s quite a character,”
Said quite a lot of folks.

Lots of folks in Springfield
Saw him every day,
Walking down the street
In his gaunt, long way.

Shawl around his shoulders,
Letters in his hat.
“That’s Abe Lincoln.”
They thought no more than that.

Knew that he was honest,
Guessed that he was odd,
Knew he had a cross wife
Though she was a Todd.

Knew he had three little boys
Who liked to shout and play,
Knew he had a lot of debts
It took him years to pay.

Knew his clothes and knew his house.
“That’s his office, here.
Blame good lawyer, on the whole,
Though he’s sort of queer.

“Sure he went to Congress, once.
But he didn’t stay.
Can’t expect us all to be
Smart as Henry Clay.

“Need a man for troubled times?
Well, I guess we do.
Wonder who we’ll ever find?
Yes — I wonder who.”

That is how they met and talked,
Knowing and unknowing.
Lincoln was the green pine.
Lincoln kept on growing.

O Captain! My Captain! from Leaves of Grass
by Walt Whitman

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

* * *

I was looking for some extra links to add to this post and found these, at AbrahamLincolnOnline.org:

Poems written about Abraham Lincoln

Poetry written by Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln’s favorite poem

as well as a link to this Atlantic Monthly article, “Poetry and American Memory” by then-Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, from October 1999 (part 1 and part 2)

HipWriterMama is hosting today’s Poetry Friday round-up, and she also has the perfect Hilaire Belloc poem to help keep her first grader’s classmates scared straight in line when it comes to looking after books. Thanks, HPW!

Big Birthday Bash week: February 12

Many happy returns to Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).

Dawn at By Sun and By Candlelight has a lovely list of Lincoln links.

Big bicentennial bashes are underway for Lincoln, too. Here’s the link for the Lincoln Bicentennial, 1809-2009: Live the Legacy. The “Learning about Lincoln” section, under the “Teachers” category, has two lists of books, Suggested Reading K-6 and Suggested Reading 7-12 (the latter prepared by YALSA’s 2006 Booklist Taskforce). And then there’s the Essential Lincoln Bookshelf.

You won’t be surprised to hear that not only is there the official government celebration, but Kentucky, where Lincoln was born, is hosting one party; Indiana, where he spent his youth, is throwing another; and Illinois, where he made his adult home, yet another (Lincoln200). There’s even a special Tri-State celebration.

And here’s an interesting idea — Charles and Abe together again.

Steve Jenkins, author of one of our family’s favorite children’s books about evolution, Life on Earth, has his first post up at the new Interesting Nonfiction for Kids (I.N.K.) blog, and suitably it’s about teaching (or not teaching) science in general and evolution in particular. Don’t miss it.