For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-07-28
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! As we announced last week, 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 Arizona, and our COUNTRIES are Uzbekistan 🇺🇿, Vanuatu 🇻🇺, Vatican City 🇻🇦, and Venezuela 🇻🇪. (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 waning crescent, heading toward new on the 31st — 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, 28 July) — Today is the 209th day of 2019; there are 156 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 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. ✒️
Monday (29 July) — The seven-mile-long Cape Cod Canal first opened on this day in 1914, significantly reducing sailing time between Boston and New York (and markedly increasing safety). 🚢
Tuesday (30 July) — Today is the birthday of the great (and largely homeschooled) English writer Emily Bronte (1818–1848), author of Wuthering Heights. ✒️ It’s also the birthday of the American engineer and industrialist Henry Ford (1863–1947). 🚗
Wednesday (31 July) — On this day in 1964 the Ranger 7 probe transmitted the first close-up images of the moon taken by an American spacecraft, just minutes before it was intentionally crash-landed on the lunar surface. 🚀
Thursday (1 August) — Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great American writer Herman Melville (1819–1891), author of Moby-Dick, Bartleby the Scrivener, and many other works. In his honor, our homeschool poem-of-the-week for this first week of August, and also our weekly toast, is the perfect little toast-poem “To the Master of the Meteor,” appearing below. 🐳 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
Friday (2 August) — The first United States census, conducted under Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, commenced on this day in 1790. The total count was 3,929,214. 🇺🇸
Saturday (3 August) — The famous opera house “La Scala” opened on this day in 1778 in Milan, Italy. 🎵 Today is also the birthday of the Pulitzer Prize–winning World War II journalist Ernie Pyle (1900–1945). 🗞 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. 🔭
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: In honor of the bicentennial of the great American writer Herman Melville (1819–1891), our weekly toast and weekly poem are one and the same: Melville’s ringing toast-poem “To the Master of the Meteor.” The Meteor was a sailing ship, and the master (captain) of the Meteor was Herman’s brother Thomas Melville:
Lonesome on earth’s loneliest deep,
Sailor! who dost thy vigil keep —
Off the Cape of Storms dost musing sweep
Over monstrous waves that curl and comb;
Of thee we think when here from brink
We blow the mead in bubbling foam.
Of thee we think, in a ring we link;
To the shearer of ocean’s fleece we drink,
And the Meteor rolling home.
❡ 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: Uzbekistan is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Chirchiq River, a tributary of the Syr Darya River in Uzbekistan. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Chirchiq 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. 🗓