For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-04-07 😊
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 Minnesota, and our countries are the Netherlands 🇳🇱, New Zealand 🇳🇿, Nicaragua 🇳🇮, and Niger 🇳🇪. (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 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, 7 April) — Today is the 97th day of 2019; there are 268 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 English poet William Wordsworth (1770–1850). 🖋
Monday (8 April) — On this day in 1820, the famous ancient statue now known as the Venus de Milo was discovered on the Greek island of Milos in the southern Aegean Sea. 🏛 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of April is Delmore Schwartz’s “Calmly We Walk through This April’s Day,” a deeply philosophical high-school-level poem for spring. 🌸 Print your own River Houses poetry calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
Tuesday (9 April) — Today is the birthday of the great engineer with the great name: Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806–1859). (You may be cool, but you’ll never be Isambard-Kingdom-Brunel-in-a-top-hat-smoking-a-cigar-in-front-of-the-biggest-chains-in-the-world cool.) 🚢 And on this day in 1865, Confederate general Robert E. Lee formally surrendered to Union general Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.
Wednesday (10 April) — Today is the birthday of William Booth (1829–1912), the founder of the Salvation Army.
Thursday (11 April) — Today is the birthday of the strange and wonderful eighteenth-century poet Christopher Smart (1722–1771). 🐈 It’s also the birthday of American educator and statesman Edward Everett (1794–1865), one of the most celebrated orators of his day, who had the misfortune of speaking for the two hours before Abraham Lincoln delivered his two-minute Gettysburg Address in 1863. 🇺🇸
Friday (12 April) — On this day in 1861, Confederate artillery opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, touching off the American Civil War. (For a quick review of the Civil War, turn to page 314 in your River Houses history encyclopedia.) ⚔️ And on this day in 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (1934–1968) became the first human being ever to orbit the earth. (Find him also in your history encyclopedia on page 578.) 🚀
Saturday (13 April) — Today is the birthday of Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. 🇺🇸 The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated on this day in 1943 by President Franklin Roosevelt, on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson’s birth. 🏛
Sunday (14 April) — Today is the birthday of the great cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598), who produced history’s first atlas of the world. 🌍 And on this day in 1986, more than 90 people were killed when the heaviest hailstones ever recorded (more than two pounds each) fell on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh. ⛈
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May our passions never overturn our reason.”
❡ 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: The Netherlands is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Amstel River, which flows through the Netherlands’ capital city of Amsterdam (which in turn takes its name from an ancient dam on this river). You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Amstel 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 Saturday 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. 👍