• 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.

Worth remembering

“The harder you work, the luckier you are.”

Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1913-2006

Celebrating the right to read and the joy of reading

Jennifer Armstrong, author of the new The American Story, was kind enough to send me an email with the artwork for this year’s Banned Books Week poster, because as it turns out it’s an illustration by Roger Roth from the new book, selected by the American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression for the official poster.

Banned Books Week this year is September 23-30. For more information on Banned Books, including lists of banned, censored, and Bowdlerized books, go to the websites of the American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression, the Online Books project at the University of Pennsylvania, and the American Library Association.

At the end of the week, on September 30th, head over (virtually or otherwise) to Washington, DC, to celebrate the National Book Festival with the likes of Douglas Brinkley, John Hope Franklin, Doris Kearns Goodwin, U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall, Elise Paschen, Louis Sachar, Alexander McCall Smith, Judith Viorst, and many, many others.

And so I leave you with these thoughts:

“I never knew a girl who was ruined by a bad book.”
New York City Mayor James J. “Jimmy” Walker (1881-1946)

“I am going to introduce a resolution to have the Postmaster General stop reading dirty books and deliver the mail.”
U.S. Senator Gale William McGee (1915-1992) of Wyoming

“The sooner we all learn to make a distinction between disapproval and censorship, the better off society will be. … Censorship cannot get at the real evil, and it is an evil in itself.”
American writer and critic Granville Hicks (1901-1982)

“If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves.”
French philolsopher Claude Adrien Helvetius (1715-1771)

“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.”
Oscar Wilde

“The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.”
Walt Whitman

“The price of freedom of religion, or of speech or of the press is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson

Timely thought for a new school year

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp
Or what’s a heaven for?”
from Andrea del Sarto, 1855, by Robert Browning

True for Renaissance masters and especially for children.

Reminded by The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by the marvellous Stephen Fry. Thanks, Pop.