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 Maine, and our COUNTRIES are North Korea 🇰🇵, South Korea 🇰🇷, Kosovo 🇽🇰, and Kuwait 🇰🇼. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post for the week went up just a few minutes ago.)
🌘 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is a waning crescent, heading toward new on the 4th — a good time for stargazing! You can dial up this week’s constellations with your homeschool star atlas (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 3 February) — Today is the 34th day of 2019; there are 331 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). ⬩ 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).
MONDAY (4 February) — Calling all homeschool artists: it’s Color Our Collections Week! 🖍 On this day in 1789, the Electoral College unanimously chose George Washington to be the first President of the United States. 🇺🇸 Today is also the birthday of Joshua Abraham Norton (1818–1880), better known of Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, an American original. 👑
TUESDAY (5 February) — The largest gold nugget ever found, nicknamed the Welcome Stranger, was discovered in Moliagul, Australia, on this day in 1869. It contained more than 200 pounds of gold. ⬩ And 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: the Linguistic 400s.
WEDNESDAY (6 February) — Today is the birthday of baseball great Babe Ruth (1895–1948). ⚾️ And on this day in 1959, Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments filed the first patent for an integrated circuit chip, the component that forms the basis for nearly all modern electronic devices, including the one you’re using now. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for that work in 2000.
FRIDAY (8 February) — The College of William and Mary, the second-oldest college in the United States, was chartered on this day in 1683. ⬩ And today is the birthday of the great Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (1834–1907), the discoverer of the Periodic Table. ⬩ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for second week of February will be a little ancient lyric from Sappho (ca. 630–570 B.C.), for Valentine’s Day. ❤️ Print your own River Houses poetry calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
SATURDAY (9 February) — Today is the birthday of the English-American political philosopher and revolutionary Thomas Paine (1737–1809). 🇺🇸 It’s also the anniversary of the Great Meteor Procession of 1913. 🌠
SUNDAY (10 February) — Today is the Christian feast day of Saint Scholastica (ca. 480–543), the patroness of schools and education. 🎓 It’s also the birthday of the great Russian writer and Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak (1890–1960).
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May liberty never degenerate into licentiousness.”
❡ 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: North Korea is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Taedong River, which flows through the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Taedong 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? 😊