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 New Hampshire, and our COUNTRIES are the Central African Republic 🇨🇫, Chad 🇹🇩, Chile 🇨🇱, and China 🇨🇳. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post will be up shortly.)
🌖 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is gibbous and waning — an increasingly good time for stargazing. Track the moon’s phases each month at timeanddate.com, and dial up this week’s constellations with your River Houses star atlas (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 28 October) — Today is the 301st day of 2018; there are 64 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). ⬩ The great Dutch Renaissance philosopher Erasmus of Rotterdam was born on this day in 1466. ⬩ On this day in 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. ⬩ And today is the birthday of American medical researcher Jonas Salk (1914–1995), developer of the polio vaccine.
MONDAY (29 October) — On this day (or night) in 1964, three men broke into the American Museum of Natural History in New York and executed the largest jewel theft in American history, netting more than $400,000 worth of gems. The thieves were soon caught and most of the gems were recovered, including the Star of India, one of the world’s largest sapphires, which had been hidden in a bus station locker in Miami.
TUESDAY (30 October) — Today is the birthday of the American modernist poet Ezra Pound (1885–1972). ⬩ On this day in 1938, Orson Welles broadcast his famous radio version of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds,” leading many people across the country to believe that a Martian invasion of the earth had begun. 👽
WEDNESDAY (31 October) — Happy Halloween! 🎃 The Protestant Reformation began on this day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. ⬩ Today is the birthday of the great English poet John Keats (1795–1821). ⬩ And it’s also the birthday of Juliette Gordon Low (1860–1927), founder of the Girl Scouts of America.
THURSDAY (1 November) — Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the first week of November (1–7) is Robert Frost’s “A Leaf-Treader,” for late fall. Print your own River Houses poetry calendar at riverhouses.org/calendars and follow along with us throughout the year. ⬩ William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest was first performed on this day in 1611. ⬩ And today is the birthday of the German geophysicist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener (1880–1930), who developed the theory of continental drift.
FRIDAY (2 November) — Today is the birthday of the American frontiersman and folk-hero Daniel Boone (1734–1820). ⬩ And since this is the first Friday of the month, we’ll post our regular monthly preview today of some of the astronomical events you and your homeschool students can be on the lookout for over the next few weeks.
SATURDAY (3 November) — Today is the birthday of the great Italian artist and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini (1500–1571). ⬩ And on this day in 1534, the English Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy, declaring King Henry VIII (rather than the pope) to be the head of the English church.
SUNDAY (4 November) — Today is the birthday of “Oklahoma’s favorite son,” the American actor and humorist Will Rogers (1879–1935).
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May the liberties of the people be immortal.”
❡ 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: China is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the mighty Yangtze, the third longest river in the world. You can chart its course in your River Houses atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Yangtze 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? 😊