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 year at riverhouses.org/calendars.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is New York, and our COUNTRIES are 🇨🇷 Costa Rica, 🇨🇮 Cote d’Ivoire, 🇭🇷 Croatia, and 🇨🇺 Cuba. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post will be up shortly.)
🌒 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is a waxing crescent — a 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, 11 November) — Today is the 315th day of 2018; there are 50 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 guns of World War I fell silent at the eleventh hour on this eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, one hundred years ago. The anniversary is recognized in the United States now as Veterans Day, and in many other countries as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day. Pause today, and remember: “At the going down of the sun and in the morning / We will remember them.”
MONDAY (12 November) — Monday is the birthday of American women’s rights advocate Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902). ⬩ It’s also the birthday of the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917). ⬩ On this day in 2014, the Philae spacecraft touched down on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, becoming the first manmade object ever to land safely on a comet.
TUESDAY (13 November) — Saint Augustine of Hippo, one of the most influential figures in the history of the Christian Church, was born on this day in the year 354. ⬩ Today is also the birthday of Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894), author of the much-loved volume A Child’s Garden of Verses.
WEDNESDAY (14 November) — Today is the birthday of Charles Lyell (1797–1875), the father of modern geology. ⬩ It’s also the birthday of German composer and pianist Fanny Mendelssohn (1805–1847). ⬩ The great French Impressionist painter Claude Monet was born on this day in 1840. ⬩ And today is the birthday of American composer and conductor Aaron Copland (1900–1990).
THURSDAY (15 November) — On this day in 1777, after many months of debate, the Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation and sent them to the states for ratification. ⬩ The cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., was laid on this day in 1939 by President Franklin Roosevelt. ⬩ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for 15–21 November is A.E. Housman’s “Stars, I have seen them fall,” for the annual Leonid meteor shower. Print your own River Houses poetry calendar at riverhouses.org/calendars and follow along with us throughout the year.
FRIDAY (16 November) — The movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released on this day in 2001. It earned just shy of $1 billion worldwide at the box office.
SATURDAY (17 November) — Today is the birthday of German mathematician and astronomer August Ferdinand Möbius (1790–1868), inventor (discoverer?) of the strip that bears his name. ⬩ The annual Leonid meteor shower, made up of debris from comet Tempel–Tuttle, is expected to peak tonight.
SUNDAY (18 November) — Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the largest church in the world, was consecrated on this day in 1626. ⬩ And today is the birthday of the great American composer and lyricist Johnny Mercer (1909–1976).
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May the time arrive when swords shall be turned into ploughshares, spears into pruning-hooks.”
❡ 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: Croatia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Kupa River, which forms part of the border between Croatia and Slovenia. You can chart its course in your River Houses atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Kupa 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!
AND DON’T FORGET: Friday the 13th comes on a Tuesday this month! 😊
What do you have planned for your homeschool this week? 😊