• 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.

Poetry Friday: Dazzling mud and dingy snow

I’ve fallen off the Poetry Friday bandwagon (and a number of other virtual bandwagons as well since real life has speeded up considerably) with rather a thud, for which, if anyone is in fact paying attention, I apologize. Last week I managed to post a poem, but didn’t realize until a few days ago that I neglected to find the roundup, send in my post, and then post the link over at Chicken Spaghetti. Oh dear. However, I did sort out the details for our attendance at both the 4H Beef clipping and grooming workshop and the Agricultural Awareness Day that fourth graders get to attend (it fell to me at the last minute to make sure that the home school contingent was invited), where my kids had a ball, especially in first 45 minutes when they had the livestock arena to themselves, before the arrival of all the school classes.

So before I forget, this week’s round up is over at Big A little a. Thanks, Kelly!

From our library discard copy (their loss is our everlasting gain), out of print, of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Poems Selected for Young People, with woodcuts by Ronald Keller, 1979:

Song of a Second April
by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

April this year, not otherwise
Than April of a year ago,
Is full of whispers, full of sighs,
Of dazzling mud and dingy snow;
Hepaticas that pleased you so
Are here again, and butterflies.

There rings a hammering all day,
And shingles lie about the doors;
In orchards near and far away
The grey wood-pecker taps and bores;
And men are merry at their chores,
And children earnest at their play.

The larger streams run still and deep,
Noisy and swift the small brooks run
Among the mullein stalks the sheep
Go up the hillside in the sun,
Pensively, — only you are gone,
You that alone I cared to keep.

Poetry Friday: Gee, this snow is a tad early edition

When the Year Grows Old
by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

I cannot but remember
When the year grows old —
October– November–
How she disliked the cold!

She used to watch the swallows
God down across the sky,
And turn from the window
With a sharp little sigh.

And often when the brown leaves
Were brittle on the ground,
And the wind in the chimney
Made a melancholy sound,

She had a look about her
That I wish I could forget —
That look of a scared thing
Sitting in a net!

Oh, beautiful at nightfall
The soft spitting snow!
And beautiful the bare boughs
Rubbing to and for!

But the roaring of the fire,
And the warmth of fur,
And the boiling of the kettle
Were beautiful to her!

I cannot but remember
When the year grows old —
October– November–
How she disliked the cold!

from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Poems Selected for Young People, with woodcuts by Ronald Keller. Since that one, published in 1979, is now out of print, I’d recommend this one, from the wonderful “Poetry for Young People” series.


I don’t dislike the cold (I’d be miserable in this part of the world if I did), but October has come in like a lion, and I can’t say I’m ready yet for temperatures around freezing during the day, all day, and the first frosted flakes. This morning our world was white, and while the kids are so delighted that I had to call a snow day, I’d prefer warmer, more colorful, more traditional autumn weather. At least until November. Please?