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 Iowa, and our COUNTRIES are Mexico 🇲🇽, Micronesia 🇫🇲, Moldova 🇲🇩, and Monaco 🇲🇨. (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 gibbous and waxing, heading toward full on the 20th. 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, 17 March) — Today is the 76th day of 2019; there are 289 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). ⬩ 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. 🇺🇸
MONDAY (18 March) — Today is the birthday of the great World War I poet Wilfred Owen (1893–1918). 🖋 And on this day in 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov (b. 1934) became the first person to walk in space (for 12 minutes). 🚀
TUESDAY (19 March) — According to tradition, this is the day each year when the swallows come back to Capistrano (the San Juan Capistrano Mission, that is, in Orange County, California).
WEDNESDAY (20 March) — Happy First Day of Spring! 🌸 Today is the March Equinox, also known as the Vernal (Spring) Equinox in the northern hemisphere and the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox in the southern hemisphere (where today is the first day of fall). 🗓 Today is also the birthday of Mister Fred Rogers (1928–2003), everybody’s favorite neighbor. 🏡 And, there’s a full moon tonight, so that means we’ll have a report on student research projects from the River Houses Lunar Society (riverhouses.org/lunar-society). 🌕
THURSDAY (21 March) — Thursday is the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), one of the greatest musical composers in history. 🎵
FRIDAY (22 March) — Today is the birthday of the English artist Randolph Caldecott (1846–1886), for whom the famous Caldecott awards for illustrated children’s books are named. 🎨 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the fourth week of March is Robert Frost’s melancholy meditation “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” for early spring. Print your own River Houses poetry calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
SATURDAY (23 March) — On this day in 1775 at St. Joseph’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech “Give me liberty, or give me death!” 🇺🇸
SUNDAY (24 March) — Today is the birthday of the great Victorian artist and designer William Morris (1834–1896). 🖌 And it’s also the birthday of the Hungarian-American magician Harry Houdini (1874–1926). 🎩 Shazam!
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “To a light heart and a heavy purse.”
❡ 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: Mexico is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the beautiful Yaqui River in northwestern Mexico. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Yaqui 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? 😊