• 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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Thinking, thanking, rocking, and procrastinating

Now that we’re into the second half of the year and school is looming (I’m fairly certain the next month will zip by, especially with the kids at performing arts day camp and Laura’s birthday celebrations this week, not to mention the ongoing garden harvest, and farm harvest in the forseeable future), I think I had better acknowledge all of the tags and incredibly kind words of the last while. I think it was Lissa in her Lilting House, Karen Edmisten, and Red Molly at The Picayune-Democrat — thank you, each of you, very kindly — who each tapped me as a Thinking Blogger, though I think Procrastinating Blogger is more apt. And part of that procrastination, I think, has been because I find the TB logo just a wee bit creepy (is it just me?).

And thanks to Rebecca at IPSA DIXIT who tagged me as a blogger girl who rocks, and now, after you’ve all made me blush deeply with your very kind words, it’s my turn to return the favor.

I’m not going to tag so much as list (in part because at least one of these women has no idea who I am). So, aside from the entire blogroll at right, all of whom rock, swing, bop, and make me think, here are some blogging, thoughtful hepcats I’ve discovered recently, all of whom are clever, creative, warm, giving, funny, sensible:

Reluctant Memsahib

Carol at You’re Not Lost, You’re Here

Miranda at Nurtured by Love

Red Molly at the Picayune-Democrat

Rebecca at IPSA DIXIT

as well as two old blogging friends, each on a hiatus of sorts:

La Maitresse, whose blog came to an end as the home school journey did; she promises a new blog next month, so stay tuned

and Karen at lightingthefires, whose blog is private at the moment.

I’ve got brass in pocket and will be walking on sunshine for the rest of the summer — thanks to everyone!

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Earlier in the week, Susan at Chicken Spaghetti had a great Wish List post, a round-up of fun books, movies, and CDs from other blogs. I’m pleased that Susan likes the sound (no pun intended) of the audio CD of The Little History of the World and the Building Big DVD I wrote about recently, and I think that she and Junior would be pretty pleased with them, too.

And then wisteria at Twice Bloomed Wisteria took the Wish List idea and ran with it, “without limiting myself to books” to include “resources and personalities” from the blogging community, as she wrote. I was surprised this morning, not to mention honored and embarrassed, to find myself included on wisteria’s Wish List, especially because she cited my “calm assuredness in schooling, farm, and life choices.” To which I say “Ha!” a heartfelt thank you, wisteria, while simultaneously looking over my shoulder to see if you might really be talking about someone else.

In part because what might sometimes come across this here blog as “calm assuredness” is mostly good lighting, smoke, and some well-placed mirrors. In other words, if you haven’t yet noticed, I’m a pretty cautious and private blogger. Part of it is is just in the genes, part of it is concern about this whole public internets bidness, and then too I remember those reruns of the old PBS series “An American Family,” where I got an eyeful of what happens when people like the Loud family let it all hang out for the rest of the world to see. Not pretty, and edifying only as a sociological experiment.

The other reason is that when things aren’t all that calm or assured around here — when we’re too busy running around like chickens with our heads cut off after chickens with their heads cut off; tracking down the neighbors before breakfast because their bull, snorting and stamping in a rather alarming manner, is my garden, to which I sent a small unarmed unaware child for strawberries; or spending an extra hour I didn’t have at music lessons rather than at the supermarket — I’m usually too busy to blog about it, and by tomorrow I’ll have moved on to being busy with something else. So the more exciting, moving target things don’t tend to make it to the blog.

I also have to give some credit to being 42 — old enough to know better about some things and to know what I don’t know about others; as well as my husband, whose stability, hard work, creativity, and reassurance allows me to concentrate on the kids, the schooling, and the house; and life on a farm, where it tends to be Mother Nature and not me who calls the shots, which has been rather freeing. Besides which, between three kids under age 10 and the farm, I’ve learned that life is short, the days are even shorter, and I need to have my priorities straight to get through them. Thanks again, wisteria, for the kind words and vote of confidence.