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 Alabama, and our COUNTRIES are Jordan 🇯🇴, Kazakhstan 🇰🇿, Kenya 🇰🇪, and Kiribati 🇰🇮. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post for the week went up just a few minutes ago.)
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 27 January) — Today is the 27th day of 2019; there are 338 days remaining in the year. Learn more about different kinds of modern and historical calendars on pages 358–364 in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books). ⬩ Today is also the birthday of the great classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791).
MONDAY (28 January) — On this day in 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after launch, killing all seven members of the astronaut crew. ⬩ It’s also the birthday of the great modern choral composer John Taverner (1944–2013).
TUESDAY (29 January) — Today is the birthday of Revolutionary war general Moses Cleaveland (1754–1806), the founder of Cleveland, Ohio. ⬩ It’s also the birthday of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov (1860–1904).
WEDNESDAY (30 January) — Today is the birthday of U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt (1882–1945). ⬩ It’s also the birthday of pioneering computer scientist Douglas Engelbart (1925–2013), inventor of the computer mouse and many other standard features of modern computers.
THURSDAY (31 January) — Today is the birthday of the great Austrian pianist and composer Franz Schubert (1797–1828). ⬩ It’s also the birthday of baseball great Jackie Robinson (1919–1972), the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. ⚾️ And on this day in 1930, Scotch Tape first went on the market.
FRIDAY (1 February) — On this day in 1942, the Voice of America, the official overseas radio service of the U.S. government, began broadcasting to territories in Europe controlled by the Axis powers. 📻 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for first week of February is Robert Frost’s wintry classic “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Print your own River Houses poetry calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. ⬩ And since this is also the first Friday of the month, we’ll post our regular monthly preview today of some of the astronomical events you and your students can be on the lookout for over the next few weeks.
SUNDAY (3 February) — Calling all artists: it’s Color Our Collections Week! ⬩ The Soviet Union’s Luna 9 spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing on the moon on this day in 1966. ⬩ And today is the birthday of the American painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894–1978).
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May old friends never be forgot for new ones.”
❡ Toasts can be a fun educational 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: Kenya is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Turkwel River, which rises from Kenya’s Mount Elgon and flows into Lake Turkana. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Turkwel 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 691–693), 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? 😊