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! Visit our River Houses calendar page (riverhouses.org/calendars) and print your own homeschool calendar for the entire year.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Wisconsin, and our COUNTRIES are Mongolia 🇲🇳, Montenegro 🇲🇪, Morocco 🇲🇦, and Mozambique 🇲🇿. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post for the week went up just a few minutes ago.) We’re testing out the relatively new state flag emojis. This should be the Wisconsin state flag — let’s see if it works: 🏴 (I just see a black rectangle. What do you see?)
🌖 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is gibbous and waning — a good time for moon watching and an increasingly 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, 24 March) — Today is the 83rd day of 2019; there are 282 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 Victorian artist and designer William Morris (1834–1896). 🖌 And the famous Hungarian-American magician Harry Houdini was born on this day in 1874. 🎩 Shazam!
MONDAY (25 March) — Monday is the birthday of the American agronomist and Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug (1914–2009), who may have saved more lives than any human being in history. For some notes on his importance, see pages 464–465 in your River Houses history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books). 🌱
TUESDAY (26 March) — On this day in 1812, the Gerrymander was born! ☑️ And on this day in 1830, The Book of Mormon was first published in Palmyra, New York. 📖 Three great writers were also born on this day: A.E. Housman (1859–1936), Robert Frost (1874–1963), and Tennessee Williams (1911–1983). 🖋
WEDNESDAY (27 March) — Today is the birthday of the early Christian bishop and scholar Jerome (347–420), whose Latin translation of the Bible, called the Vulgate version, was the standard scriptural text in the Western world for more than a thousand years. ✝️ And on this day in 1912, the Japanese government presented a gift of 3000 cherry trees to the United States to line the banks of the Potomac River and other sites in Washington, D.C., where they and their successors may still be seen today. 🌸
THURSDAY (28 March) — The great Italian painter and architect Raphael was born on this day in 1483. 🎨
SATURDAY (30 March) — On this day in 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire for about two cents an acre. 🏴
SUNDAY (31 March) — The great French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes was born on this day in 1596 📈 And on this day in 1774, Great Britain ordered the closure of the major trading port of Boston, escalating the tensions that would eventually lead to the American Revolution. 🇺🇸
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “To constancy in love and sincerity in friendship.”
❡ 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: Morocco is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Ziz River, which rises on the eastern slopes of Morocco’s snow-capped Atlas Mountains and then flows east until it passes into Algeria and vanishes in the Sahara desert. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Ziz 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? 😊