For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-06-02 😊
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 first full week of HERCULES TERM, our summer term in the River Houses (riverhouses.org/2019-hercules-term).
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is South Dakota, and our COUNTRIES are Slovakia 🇸🇰, Slovenia 🇸🇮, the Solomon Islands 🇸🇧, and Somalia 🇸🇴. (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 sliver of a waning crescent, heading toward new tomorrow — 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 and you can learn many more stellar and lunar facts on pages 342–357 in your almanac (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 2 June) — Today is the 153rd day of 2019; there are 212 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 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. 👑
Monday (3 June) — Watch for a new “America the Beautiful” quarter to appear today.
Tuesday (4 June) — On this day in 1783, the brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier made the first public demonstration of their hot air balloon at Annonay in the south of France, and the age of flight began. 🎈 Since this is the first Tuesday of the month, today we’ll invite you to browse a new Dewey Decimal class with your students on your next visit to your local library. This month: the Literary 800s. 📚
Wednesday (5 June) — The first installment of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published on this day in 1851 in the National Era newspaper. 📰 And on this day in 1989, as a popular uprising against the Chinese communist government was being brutally suppressed in Beijing, a lone man near Tiananmen Square ran out into the street and for a few minutes stopped an entire column of tanks from advancing. Photographs of “the Tank Man” have since become emblems of freedom worldwide (except in China, where they are censored). For a brief history of communism in China, see page 424 in your River Houses history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books). 🇨🇳
Thursday (6 June) — The invasion of Normandy, code-named Operation Overlord, began on this day, D-Day, in 1944, seventy-five years ago. It was the largest amphibious military operation in world history and it began the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation. For a brief review, see page 398 in your history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books). 🇫🇷
Friday (7 June) — On this day in 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution to the Continental Congress “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” The formal adoption of the Lee Resolution less than a month later led to American independence. 🇺🇸
Saturday (8 June) — Today is the birthday of Francis Crick (1916–2004), co-discoverer (with James Watson) of the double-helical structure of DNA. 👨🔬 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of June is Francis Scott Key’s “Defence of Fort M’Henry,” much better known as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” for Flag Day (the 14th). Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🇺🇸 And since this is the second Saturday of the month we’ll introduce you to another one of the great stars of the northern hemisphere night sky. This month: Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. 🌟
Sunday (9 June) — The Roman emperor Nero died (by suicide) on this day in the year A.D. 68, sparking a civil war and “the year of four emperors.” 🏛 And today is the birthday of the, um, great Russian emperor Peter the Great (1672–1725). 👑
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, for the beginning of our summer term: “To the life we love with those we love.”
❡ 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: Slovakia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the lovely Váh River, a tributary of the Danube and the longest river in Slovakia. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Váh 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. 👍