For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-07-21
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.
🗓 NEW CALENDARS! Our new calendars of educational events for the coming 2019–2020 school year are now available on our main calendar page! They are all one-page printable (pdf) documents, easy to use and post on your homeschool bulletin board. Print them out today, share them with your homeschool friends, and follow along with us throughout the coming year. 😊
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is New Mexico, and our COUNTRIES are the United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪, the United Kingdom 🇬🇧, the United States 🇺🇸, and Uruguay 🇺🇾. (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 waning — a great time for moon-walking! 😊 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, 21 July) — Today is the 202nd day of 2019; there are 163 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). ⬩ 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. ❄️
Monday (22 July) — On this day in 1793, the Scottish explorer Alexander Mackenzie (1764–1820) reached the Pacific Ocean, having completed the first transcontinental crossing of North America. 🇨🇦 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the last week of July is Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” for summer, and for Hopkins, born 28 July 1844. 🔔 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
Tuesday (23 July) — On this day in 1995, what would become one of the brightest comets of the twentieth century was discovered independently by American astronomers Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp. Comet Hale–Bopp was visible to the naked eye through much of 1996 and 1997, but if you missed it, you’re out of luck, because it won’t be back for another 2500 years. ☄️
Wednesday (24 July) — Fifty years ago today, the Apollo 11 capsule carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean about 800 miles southwest of Hawaii. 🌎 👨🚀👨🚀👨🚀 🚀 🌕 🚀 🌏 And on this day in 1847, a group of Mormon pioneers under the leadership of Brigham Young (1801–1877) arrived in the Salt Lake Valley and established the settlement that became Salt Lake City, Utah. 🏞
Thursday (25 July) — Today is the birthday of the German medical researcher Paul Langerhans (1847–1888), who discovered the insulin-secreting cell clusters of the pancreas, known today as the islets of Langerhans. 🔬 Today is also the birthday of the English biochemist and crystallographer Rosalind Franklin (1920–1958), who played a key role in the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA. 👩🔬
Friday (26 July) — The great painter of the American West, George Catlin, was born on this day in 1796. 🎨 And today is also the birthday of the polemical Irish playwright and Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950). 🎭
Saturday (27 July) — The inimitable Bugs Bunny made his screen debut on this day in 1940 in a short animated film called A Wild Hare. Elmer Fudd couldn’t catch him then, and hasn’t to this day. 🐰
Sunday (28 July) — Today is the birthday of the great English polymath Robert Hooke (1635–1703). Hooke was one of the pioneers of microscopy and was the first person to apply the world “cell” to the basic structural units of living things. 🔬 And one of the most innovative poets of the nineteenth century, Gerard Manley Hopkins, was born on this day in 1844. 🖋
(And looking ahead to a major literary anniversary: next Thursday, 1 August, will be the 200th birthday of the great American writer Herman Melville. 🐳)
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, wrapping up our Apollo 11 celebration, for the Apollo crew and also the crew of the U.S.S. Hornet, who fished them out of the sea: “A steady heart, a stout ship, and a good captain for every sailor.”
❡ 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: Uruguay is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Rosario River (Río Rosario), an important tributary of the Río de la Plata. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Rosario 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. 🗓