For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-05-26 😊
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.
✦ This is the last week of LEO TERM, our spring term in the River Houses — the River Houses school year ends on the last day of May. Hercules Term, our summer term, begins on Saturday, the first of June.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is North Dakota, and our COUNTRIES are Serbia 🇷🇸, Seychelles 🇸🇨, Sierra Leone 🇸🇱, and Singapore 🇸🇬. (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 at its third quarter — half illuminated and waning. You can dial up this week’s constellations and explore the moon’s features with your homeschool star atlas and world atlas and you can learn many more stellar and lunar facts on pages 342–357 in your almanac (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 26 May) — Today is the 146th day of 2019; there are 219 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). ⬩ And, it’s National Paper Airplane Day! ✈️
Monday (27 May) — Monday is Memorial Day in the United States, the day we remember the nation’s war dead. 🇺🇸 It’s also the birthday of the American poet and songwriter Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910), author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (“Mine eyes have seen the glory”).
Tuesday (28 May) — A solar eclipse occurred on this day in the year 585 B.C. during the Battle of the Halys River in central Anatolia, leading to a truce. The exact date of that eclipse is one of the key reference points from which other dates in ancient Near Eastern history are calculated. 🌏 🌕 🌞
Wednesday (29 May) — On this day in 1453, the city of Constantinople fell to the Ottoman armies of Sultan Mehmed II after a 53-day siege, bringing to an end the ancient Byzantine Empire that had survived for more than a thousand years. You can explore more on pages 198, 206, and 246 in your homeschool history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) ⚔️ And speaking of eclipses, another solar eclipse, occurring on this day in 1919, allowed Sir Arthur Eddington to confirm Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. 🌏 🌕 🌞 And on this day in 1953, mountaineers Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay became the first climbers ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest. 🏔
Thursday (30 May) — The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated on this day in the year 1922. 🏛 Today is also the birthday of the great voice actor Mel Blanc (1908–1989), “the man of a thousand voices,” who gave us Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, and even the Tasmanian Devil. 😺
Friday (31 May) — Today is the last day of Leo Term and the last day of the River Houses school year. 🗓 It’s also an important literary anniversary: the 200th birthday of the great American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892), who contained multitudes.
Saturday (1 June) — HERCULES TERM, our summer term and the fourth of the four quarters of the River Houses year, begins today. 🗓 Today is the birthday of the great English poet of the sea John Masefield (1878–1967), author of the finest thing Herman Melville never said. ⚓️ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the first week of June is the anonymous medieval song “Sumer is i-cumin in,” for the beginning of Hercules Term. Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. ⛱ And since this is the first Saturday of the month, we’ll post our regular monthly preview today of some of the astronomical events you and your students can be on the lookout for over the next few weeks. 🔭
Sunday (2 June) — Today is the birthday of poet and novelist Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), whose works have been loved and loathed by high school English students for generations. 📚 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on this day in 1953, making her now the longest-reigning monarch in British history and the longest-serving female head of state in world history. 👑
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is our traditional final toast for end of the River Houses school year: “To life, love, and liberty.”
❡ 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: Singapore is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Singapore River, which is very short but very important, as it flows through this island-nation’s central district. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Singapore 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? 😊
❡ 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. 👍