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 Connecticut, and our COUNTRIES are Belgium 🇧🇪, Belize 🇧🇿, Benin 🇧🇯, and Bhutan 🇧🇹. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post will be up shortly.)
🌖 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is gibbous and waning — a good time for moonwatching and an increasingly good time for stargazing. 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, 30 September) — Today is the 273rd day of 2018; there are 92 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 the birthday of William Wrigley, Jr. (1861–1932), founder of the Wrigley chewing gum company. ⬩ The Hoover Dam on the Arizona–Nevada border was dedicated on this day in 1935.
MONDAY (1 October) — The first Ford Model T automobile was put on sale on this day in 1908. The price was $825. ⬩ The George Washington Bridge linking New York and New Jersey across the Hudson River was opened on this day in 1931. ⬩ Our poem-of-the-week for the first week of October (1–7) is John Keats’ “To Autumn,” perhaps the most famous fall poem in the English language. Print your own River Houses poetry calendar at riverhouses.org/calendars and follow along with us throughout the year.
TUESDAY (2 October) — Today is the birthday of Indian lawyer, philosopher, and political leader Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948). ⬩ It’s also the birthday of American poet Wallace Stevens (1879–1955). ⬩ The comic strip Peanuts premiered on this day in 1950. ⬩ Since this is the first Tuesday of the month, today we’ll invite you to browse a new Dewey Decimal class with your students on your next visit to your local library. This month: Class 000 (General Works).
WEDNESDAY (3 October) — Today is the birthday of English veterinarian James Herriot (1916–1995), author of All Creatures Great and Small and other popular books on animals.
THURSDAY (4 October) — On this day in 1582, the Gregorian calendar was adopted on the European continent by decree of Pope Gregory (of course) XIII. Today was the 4th of the month, and tomorrow was declared to be the 15th. (The English-speaking world didn’t make the change for almost two more centuries.)
FRIDAY (5 October) — Today is the birthday of American physicist and engineer Robert Goddard (1882–1945), inventor of the liquid-fueled rocket. ⬩ And speaking of aiming for the stars: 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.
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “To the old, long life and treasure; to the young, all health and pleasure.”
❡ 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: Bhutan is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the largest river in Bhutan, the Manas River, which crosses the Bhutan–India border. You can chart its course in your River Houses atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Manas 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? 😊