For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-07-07
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 calendars for the entire year.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Utah, and our COUNTRIES are Tonga 🇹🇴, Trinidad and Tobago 🇹🇹, Tunisia 🇹🇳, and Turkey 🇹🇷. (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 relatively 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, 7 July) — Today is the 188th day of 2019; there are 177 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 Austrian composer Gustav Mahler (1860–1911). 🎵 And on this day in 1928, sliced bread was sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company in Missouri — it was the greatest thing since, um, sliced bread! 🍞
Monday (8 July) — Today is the birthday of American businessman and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937), founder of the Standard Oil Company and one of the richest men in the world. 💰 It’s also the birthday of the great English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans (1851–1941), who rediscovered the ancient Minoan civilization. 🐬 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of July is Phillis Wheatley’s “Liberty and Peace,” for the Independence Day weekend just past. 🇺🇸 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
Tuesday (9 July) — On this day in 1755, a British-American force under the command of General Edward Braddock was defeated and almost destroyed as they fought to capture Fort Duquesne (modern-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) from its French and Indian defenders. We remember “Braddock’s Defeat” today mainly because of an effective rear-guard defense that saved many lives — a defense led by a 23-year-old colonial colonel named George Washington. ⚔️
Wednesday (10 July) — The highest temperature ever recorded on earth, 134ºF (57ºC), was reached on this day in 1913 in Death Valley, California. 🌡 Today is the birthday of the French-Swiss theologian and religious reformer John Calvin (1509–1564), one of the key figures of the Protestant Reformation. ✝️ And on this day in 1962, the world’s first communications satellite, Telstar, was launched into earth orbit. 🛰
Thursday (11 July) — On this day in 1804, Aaron Burr, Vice President of the United States, mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton, former Secretary of the Treasury, in a pistol duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. Hamilton died the next day. ⚰️ Today is also the birthday of the English physician and home education advocate Thomas Bowdler (1754–1825), whose family editions of Shakespeare, lightly expurgated so they would be suitable for reading aloud to women and children, gave us the English word “bowdlerize.” 🎭 And on this day in 1960, Harper Lee’s popular American novel To Kill a Mockingbird was first published. 📖
Friday (12 July) — Today is the birthday of the great American writer, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). 🖋 It’s also the birthday of the American artist Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009). 🎨
Saturday (13 July) — Today is the generally accepted birthdate of the ancient Roman politician, general, and dictator Julius Caesar (100–44 B.C.). 🏛 It’s also the birthday of the great English nature poet John Clare (1793–1864). 🏞 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: Arcturus, the brightest star in the constellation Boötes the Herdsman. 🌟
Sunday (14 July) — Today is the birthday of the celebrated composer Gerald Finzi (1901–1956), known for his musical settings of many classic English lyric poems. 🎵 And on this day in 2015, the interplanetary space probe New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto (less than 8000 miles from the surface). 🚀 ♇
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May we not only read a lesson, but practice the precept it conveys.”
❡ 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: Tunisia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Medjerda River, the longest River in Tunisia. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Medjerda 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. 🗓