Quick Freshes are our regular Sunday notes on the homeschool week ahead. Pick one or two (or more) of the items below each week and use them to enrich your homeschooling schedule! Print your own River Houses Calendar for the whole year at riverhouses.org/calendars.
🇺🇸 Our STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Georgia, and our COUNTRIES are Bahrain 🇧🇭, Bangladesh 🇧🇩, Barbados 🇧🇧, and Belarus 🇧🇾. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post will be up shortly.)
🌔 The MOON at the beginning of this week is gibbous and waxing, heading toward full on the 24th. Track the moon’s phases each month at timeanddate.com/moon/phases, and dial up this week’s constellations with your River Houses star atlas (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 23 September) — Today is the 266th day of 2018; there are 99 days remaining in the year. Learn more about different kinds of modern and historical calendars on pages 351–357 in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books). ⬩ Today is also the birthday of Gaius Octavius Thurinus, better known as Caesar Augustus, first emperor of the Roman Empire (63 B.C. – A.D. 14).
MONDAY (24 September) — On this day in 1789, the U.S. Congress, acting under the new Constitution, established the federal judiciary system and the specified a structure for the Supreme Court (with six, not the current nine, justices). ⬩ And … it’s National Punctuation Day!!(!*!)!!
TUESDAY (25 September) — Today is the birthday of the great American geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866–1945), who established the role of chromosomes in the process of inheritance. ⬩ It’s also the birthday of American poet and children’s author Shel Silverstein (1930–1999). ⬩ And the great Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould was born on this day in 1932.
WEDNESDAY (26 September) — On this day in 1687, during the Venetian siege of Athens, a bomb fell on the Parthenon, which was being used by the Ottoman Turks for munitions storage. The roof, parts of the frieze, and many of the columns, which had stood for more than two thousand years, were destroyed. ⬩ Today is the birthday of American nurseryman and folk hero John Chapman (1774–1845), better known as Johnny Appleseed. ⬩ It’s also the birthday of American poet and Nobel Prize laureate T.S. Eliot (1888–1965), author of (among other things) Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a wonderful read-aloud book for children.
THURSDAY (27 September) — On this day in 1941, the S.S. Patrick Henry, the first of a fleet of nearly 3000 “Liberty Ships” that transported supplies and troops during World War II, was launched in Baltimore, Maryland.
FRIDAY (28 September) — On this day in 1066, William II, Duke of Normandy, landed at Pevensey in Sussex and commenced the Norman conquest of England. ⬩ On this day in 1928, Scottish microbiologist Alexander Fleming noticed that mold growing on some of his laboratory samples was killing colonies of bacteria. The result of this chance observation was the discovery of the first antibiotic, penicillin.
SATURDAY (29 September) — Today is the birthday of the great Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616). ⬩ It’s also the birthday of the pioneering Austrian-American economic philosopher Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973).
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May the gale of prosperity waft us into the port of happiness.”
❡ Toasts are a fun tradition for your family table. We offer one each week — you can take it up, or make up one of your own (“To North American dinosaurs!”), or invite a different person to come up with one for each meal (“To variety in toasting!”). Our current set of toasts are mostly taken from an old anthology called The Pic-Nic, a Collection of Recitations, and Comic Songs, Toasts, Sentiments, &c. (London, 1816). What will you toast this week?
🌎 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Bangladesh is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Meghna River, one of the principal contributing rivers of the Ganges Delta. You can chart its course in your River Houses atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the comprehensive Meghna River entry in Wikipedia, or perhaps on your next visit to your local library.
❡ Let the river run: Why not do a homeschool study of world rivers over the course of the year? Take the one we select each week (above), or start with the river lists in your almanac (pages 691–692), and make it a project to look them all up in your atlas, or in a handy encyclopedia either online or on a weekly visit to your local library. A whole world of geographical learning awaits you.
What do you have planned for your homeschool this week? 😊