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 Texas, and our COUNTRIES are Malta 🇲🇹, the Marshall Islands 🇲🇭, Mauritania 🇲🇷, and Mauritius 🇲🇺. (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 waxing crescent — a good time for stargazing! You can dial up this week’s constellations and explore the moon’s features with your homeschool star atlas and world atlas (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 10 March) — Today is the 69th day of 2019; there are 296 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 Harriet Tubman Day — a great day to celebrate freedom! 🎆
MONDAY (11 March) — Monday is the birthday of Vannevar Bush (1890–1974), one of the pioneering thinkers of the early computer age, who envisioned something like the World Wide Web all the way back in 1945. 🖥
TUESDAY (12 March) — Today is “Girl Scouts’ Birthday,” commemorating the establishment of the first American girl scout troop by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia, in 1912.
WEDNESDAY (13 March) — Today is the birthday of the American businessman, mathematician, and astronomer Percival Lowell (1855–1916), who inspired generations of science-fiction writers with his claim that there was an extensive network of canals on the surface of Mars. 👽
FRIDAY (15 March) — Beware the Ides of March! 🗡 On the ancient Roman calendar, the 15th of March is called the “Ides,” or midpoint, of the month. On the Ides of March in 44 B.C., the military dictator Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, and several other Roman senators. This ultimately unsuccessful coup led to the consolidation of Rome as an Empire under Caesar’s successors and its decline as a Republic. 🖋 And speaking of bewaring, our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of March is “The Ides of March” by Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933), for, um, the Ides of March! Print your own River Houses poetry calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
SATURDAY (16 March) — Today is the birthday of James Madison (1751–1836), “Father of the Constitution” and the 4th President of the United States. 🇺🇸 And on this day in 1926 in a field in Auburn, Massachusetts, Robert Goddard (1882–1945) launched the first experimental liquid-fueled rocket. 🚀
SUNDAY (17 March) — Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Erin go Bragh! (Ireland forever!) ☘️ On this day in 1776, British forces evacuated Boston after eleven months of siege. It was George Washington’s first victory in the American Revolution. 🇺🇸
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “Sic semper tyrannis!” (“Thus ever to tyrants!” Said to have been uttered by Brutus as he stabbed the dictator Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.; also, the state motto of Virginia.)
❡ 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: Mauritania is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Senegal River, which flows along the border between Mauritania and Senegal. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Senegal 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!
AND DON’T FORGET: Friday the 13th comes on a Wednesday this month! 🙀
What do you have planned for your homeschool this week? 😊
❡ Lively springs: This is one of our regular “Quick Freshes” posts looking at the homeschool week ahead. Add your name to our River Houses mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) and get these weekly messages delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. You can also print your own River Houses calendars of educational events (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us. 🗓