For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-08-04
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 Alaska, and our COUNTRIES are Vietnam 🇻🇳, Yemen 🇾🇪, Zambia 🇿🇲, and Zimbabwe 🇿🇼. (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 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, 4 August) — Today is the 216th day of 2019; there are 149 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 great English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on this day in 1792. ✒️ It’s also the birthday of the great American trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong (1901–1971). 🎺
Monday (5 August) — Today is an important day in the history of press freedom! On this day in 1735, a jury acquitted John Peter Zenger and his newspaper, the New York Weekly Journal, of seditious libel against the governor of New York on the grounds that what they had published was true. 📰 Today is also the birthday of American astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930–2012), the first man to walk on the moon. 🚀 🌕
Wednesday (7 August) — On this day in 1782, George Washington established the first American military decoration, the Badge of Military Merit, for soldiers wounded during the American Revolution. The award is today called the Purple Heart and it bears Washington’s profile. 🎖 Today is also the birthday of famed paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey (1903–1972). 💀
Thursday (8 August) — The wreckage of the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley, which sank in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, in 1864, was raised on this day in the year 2000. It contained the remains of eight Confederate sailors who went down with the vessel. ⚓️ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of August is Robert Frost’s “A Star in a Stoneboat,” for this month’s Perseid meteor shower. 🌠 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
Friday (9 August) — On this day in the year 1173, construction began on a new bell tower next to the cathedral in Pisa, Italy. Still standing (more or less), we know it now as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 🔔 And speaking of Italy, today is also the birthday of the Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro (1776–1856), beloved (or despised) by chemistry students the world over. ⚗️
Saturday (10 August) — On this day in 1519, five ships under the command of Ferdinand Magellan (1480–1521) set sail from Seville, Spain. Although Magellan himself died en route, one of the ships, the Victoria, traveling from east to west, successfully completed the first circumnavigation of the globe. 🌍🌎🌏 And on this day in 1990, NASA’s Magellan spacecraft entered orbit around the planet Venus. 🛰 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: Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Lyre. 🌟
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “Love in every breast, liberty in every heart, and learning in every head.”
❡ 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: Vietnam is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Red River, which flows past the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Red 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. 🗓