• 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.

Children’s history book bonanza

I’ve been behind in my blog reading as well as posting about the good tidbits I’ve come across, so I’ll start now. Consider it my belated Canadian Thanksgiving gift or early Halloween treat.

Chris Barton at Bartography has a post, U.S. History is for the birds, where Chris explains why he and his kids are going to continue their picture book study of American history but change from a chronological approach to a more thematic one. And the current theme is birds (something I can appreciate, with three kids who wanted to have “Bird School” all summer), with some terrific titles, including The Bald Eagle’s View of American History by first-time children’s author and stamp collector C.H. Colman and illustrated by Joanne Friar.

Karen at lightingthefires has a post stuffed with suggested Canadian historical fiction picture books, and if the books in that list aren’t enough, she closes with a few other lists for good measure. I see some old favorites on Karen’s list, and some exciting new prospects.

Then, there’s the unflagging Fuse #8, in a category all by herself, who’s been on a historical fiction roll that I hope isn’t coming to an end anytime soon. These are all new titles, brand new for 2006. For each title, listed in no particular order, I’ve put the link to Fuse #8’s review first, followed by a link to the book itself:

Review of Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Lawson, about Hattie, age sixteen in 1917 and an orphan with her own Montana homestead.

Review of Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium by Carla Killough McClafferty

Review of Escaping into the Night by D. Dina Friedman, about a young Jewish girl’s escape from the Warsaw Ghetto.

Review of A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant, set in Restoration England

Review of Desperate Journey by Jim Murphy, set in the early days along the Erie Canal.

Review of Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and Other Wily Characters by Patricia McKissack; not exactly historical fiction, but sounds like a dandy yarn with good pictures to boot.

Review of Hero of the High Seas: John Paul Jones and the American Revolution by Michael L. Cooper; from National Geographic Children’s Books.

Review of Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson, inspired by the 1912 “Bread and Roses strike” in the textile mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Review of The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages, set in 1943, about young Dewey Kerrigan whose father has been working in Los Alamos on a top secret and mysterious “gadget” that will help America win the war.

Review of The Wonder Kid by George Harrar, set in the 1950’s and touching on the golden era of comic books, polio, and fallout shelters.

Review of Homefront by Doris Gwaltney; life for 12-year-old Margaret Ann, who lives in a small southern town during WWII, is difficult enough even before the arrival of her pretty but scheming English cousin.

Thanks, all!

Eminently suitable

I don’t know what JoVE thinks yet about The Voice since she’s still travelling, but our complete unabridged audio CD edition of Sir Ernst Gombrich’s Little History of the World just arrived, and I’m thrilled to find that The Voice of Ralph Cosham is just right, which isn’t always the case with audio versions of beloved books. My reservations have been dispelled after listening to the first two discs. Well done, Blackstone.

A wonderful addition — dare I say a must-read and must-listen — for any home’s world history shelf.