For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-05-12 😊
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 calendars for the entire year.
💐 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all homeschool moms everywhere! What would the world do without you? 👩👧👦
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Nebraska, and our countries are Saint Kitts and Nevis 🇰🇳, Saint Lucia 🇱🇨, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 🇻🇨, and Samoa 🇼🇸. (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 — a good time for moon watching! 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, 12 May) — Today is the 132nd day of 2019; there are 233 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). ⬩ It’s MOTHER’S DAY! 🌷 It’s also the birthday of famed nurse and social reformer Florence Nightingale (1820–1910). 👩⚕️ And not only that, it’s also birthday of legendary American actress Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003). 🎭
Monday (13 May) — On this day in 1861, astronomer John Tebbutt of Windsor, Australia, discovered C/1861 J1, better known as the Great Comet of 1861. ☄️
Tuesday (14 May) — On this day in 1787, delegates from the several states convened in Philadelphia to draft a new federal Constitution to replace the original Articles of Confederation. 🇺🇸 And on this day in 1973, the United States’ first space station, Skylab, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 🚀
Wednesday (15 May) — Today is the birthday of American children’s author L. Frank Baum (1856–1919), the creator of the Wizard of Oz. ✍️ On this day in 1928, the Walt Disney character Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in a silent short called “Plane Crazy.” 🐭 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of May is Robert Frost’s “Birches,” for play and growing up. Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
Thursday (16 May) — Today is the birthday of American educator Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1804–1894), who established the first public kindergarten in the United States. 🏫
Friday (17 May) — Today is the birthday of the English physician Edward Jenner (1749–1823), developer of the smallpox vaccine, one of the greatest discoveries in the history of medicine. 👨⚕️ The first Kentucky Derby was run on this day in 1875. (The winning horse was named Aristides.) 🏇 And on this day in 1902, Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais first recognized the significance of the object now called the Antikythera mechanism, one of the most remarkable artifacts the ancient world ever produced. 🏛
Saturday (18 May) — Today is the birthday of Mathew Brady (1822–1896), the famous photographer of the American Civil War. 📷 Today is also the birthday of Italian-American screenwriter and director Frank Capra (1897–1991), producer of such film classics as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). 🎥 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). 🌕
Sunday (19 May) — On this day in 1780, smoke from major forest fires in Canada drifted south across the northeastern states, blotting out the sun and leading many to fear that the end of the world was at hand. Candles had to be lit at noon and frogs began croaking as if it were nightfall on New England’s famous “Dark Day.” 🕯 Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin set out from Greenhithe, England, on this day in 1845, hoping to discover and chart the Northwest Passage. Franklin and his ships were never heard from again. The Franklin expedition’s disappearance was one of the great nautical mysteries of the nineteenth century. ⚓️
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “To friendship — may it be as lasting as time.”
❡ 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: Our countries-of-the-week all happen to be small island nations this week and so they have no major rivers, but being volcanic and mountainous they do have many beautiful waterfalls. Our Weekly World “River” will therefore be the falls of the Wallilabou River in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. You can locate the island of Saint Vincent in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read a little more about this river in the brief Wallilabou 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 Monday 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. 👍