For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-07-14
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 Oklahoma, and our COUNTRIES are Turkmenistan 🇹🇲, Tuvalu 🇹🇻, Uganda 🇺🇬, and Ukraine 🇺🇦. (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, heading toward full on the 16th — 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, and you can learn many more stellar and lunar facts on pages 342–357 in your almanac (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 14 July) — Today is the 195th day of 2019; there are 170 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 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). 🚀 ♇
Monday (15 July) — Today is the midpoint of Hercules Term, our summer term in the River Houses — in many old calendrical systems it would be called a cross-quarter day. 🗓 On this day in 1799, near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in Egypt, a French captain in Napoleon’s army discovered a smooth black stone with a trilingual inscription in Hieroglyphics, Demotic Egyptian, and Greek. The Rosetta Stone, one of the world’s most famous archeological objects, made it possible to translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time. 🇪🇬 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of July is an extract from Canto 10 of Lord Byron’s Don Juan, in which he prophesies the first moon landing (and has fun doing it). 🚀 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
Tuesday (16 July) — The District of Columbia was established as the capital of the United States on this day in 1790. 🇺🇸 Today is also the birthday of the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872–1928), leader of the first expedition to reach the South Pole. 🇦🇶 And, there’s a full moon tonight, so that means we’ll have a report on student research opportunities from the River Houses Lunar Society (riverhouses.org/lunar). 🌕
Wednesday (17 July) — George Frideric Handel’s masterpiece “Water Music” premiered on this day in 1717, played by 50 musicians on a barge floating down the Thames River in London. 🎵 Today is also the birthday of the great Christian hymn writer and educator Isaac Watts (1674–1748). ⛪️ And … it’s World Emoji Day! 😎
Thursday (18 July) — The Great Fire of Rome broke out on this day in the year 64. Over the next six days it destroyed much of the city. Some reports (which may or may not be true) claimed that the Emperor Nero entertained himself by playing the lyre as he watched the city go up in flames. 🔥 On this day in 1863 during the American Civil War, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a regiment made up almost entirely of African-American soldiers, attempted unsuccessfully to capture Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina. Their story was dramatized in the 1989 film Glory. ⚔️
Friday (19 July) — The first national convention on women’s rights, the two-day Seneca Falls Convention, opened on this day in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. ♀
Saturday (20 July) — Today is the birthday of the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel (1822–1884), the father of modern genetics. 🌼 And on this day in 1969, the Apollo 11 lunar module set down on the Sea of Tranquility and American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings ever to walk on the moon. 👨🚀👨🚀👨🚀 🚀 🌕
Sunday (21 July) — The American novelist and Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway was born on this day in 1899. 🖋 And the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth, −128.6 ºF (−89.2 ºC), was measured on this day in 1983 at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica. ❄️
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, from Tennyson’s Ulysses, for the astronauts of Apollo 11: “To heroic hearts.”
❡ 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: Uganda is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Kagera River, which flows along the border between Uganda and Tanzania. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Kagera 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. 🗓