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.
✦ This is the first full week of LEO TERM, our Spring Term in the River Houses (riverhouses.org/2019-leo-term).
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Florida, and our COUNTRIES are Malawi 🇲🇼, Malaysia 🇲🇾, the Maldives 🇲🇻, and Mali 🇲🇱. (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 waning crescent heading toward new on the 6th — a very good time for stargazing! You can dial up this week’s constellations with your homeschool star atlas (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 3 March) — Today is the 62nd day of 2019; there are 303 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 Scottish-American engineer Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was born on this day in 1847. 📞 And on this day in 1931, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was officially adopted as the U.S. national anthem. 🇺🇸
MONDAY (4 March) — The first session of the First United States Congress opened on this day in Federal Hall in New York in 1789, putting the Constitution into effect.
TUESDAY (5 March) — Today is the birthday of the great Flemish mathematician and cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512–1594). 🗺 On this day in 1770, British troops shot and killed five protestors on the streets of Boston in what quickly came to be known as the Boston Massacre. ⚰️ 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 Scientific 500s.
WEDNESDAY (6 March) — Today is the birthday of the great Italian Renaissance painter and sculptor Michelangelo (1475–1564). 🎨 It’s also the birthday of the great English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861). 🖋 And on this day in 1836 during the Texas Revolution, the Alamo fell. Remember!
THURSDAY (7 March) — Today is the birthday of the British astronomer and polymath John Herschel (1792–1871), one of the great scientists of the nineteenth century. 🔭
FRIDAY (8 March) — Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for second week of March is Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” contrariwise for John Herschel (whose birthday was yesterday) and Albert Einstein (whose birthday is next Thursday). Print your own River Houses poetry calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
SATURDAY (9 March) — Today is the birthday of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512), the father of “America.” 🌎 It’s also the birthday of the great American composer and pianist Samuel Barber (1910–1981). 🎵
SUNDAY (10 March) — Today is Harriet Tubman Day — a great day to celebrate freedom! 🎆
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST, for Harriet Tubman: “To life, love, and liberty.”
❡ 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 Pocock’s Everlasting Songster (Gravesend, 1804). What will you toast this week?
🌎 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Mali in western Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Bafing River, which forms part of the border between Mali and Guinea to the southwest. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Bafing 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? 😊