For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-08-18
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 “STATES” OF THE WEEK are the special U.S. Territories of American Samoa 🇦🇸, Guam 🇬🇺, the Northern Mariana Islands 🇲🇵, Puerto Rico 🇵🇷, the U.S. Virgin Islands 🇻🇮, and the District of Columbia, and our “COUNTRIES” are the five oceans of the world. (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 — an increasingly 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, 18 August) — Today is the 230th day of 2019; there are 135 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). 📚 On this day in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was ratified. ☑️
Monday (19 August) — On this day in 1812, during the War of 1812, the American frigate U.S.S. Constitution defeated Great Britain’s H.M.S. Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia and earned the nickname “Old Ironsides.” Old Ironsides is today the oldest commissioned warship in the U.S. Navy and you can pay her a visit any day you like in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. ⚓️ And speaking of ships, today is also the birthday of Gene Roddenberry (1921–1991), the creator of Star Trek! 🖖
Tuesday (20 August) — On this day in 1975, NASA launched the Viking 1 Mars probe. Viking 1 became the first successful Mars lander and remained in operation for more than six years. (An earlier probe, the Soviet Union’s Mars 3, did successfully land on Mars in 1971, but it transmitted for only 14 seconds.) 🚀 Today is also the birthday of the American writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937), author of many creepy (but popular) horror stories. 🙀
Wednesday (21 August) — On this day in 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the Union. 🇺🇸 The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 took place on this day just two years ago — perhaps you saw it! 🌏 🌑 🌞
Thursday (22 August) — The English Civil War between the King and Parliament began on this day in 1642 when Charles I raised the royal standard at Nottingham. 👑 Today is also the birthday of famed French pianist and composer Claude Debussy (1862–1918). 🎹 And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the final week of August, the last week of the 2018–2019 River Houses year, is “Envoy,” a cheerful farewell wish for happy houses and living waters from Robert Louis Stevenson. 🏡 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
Friday (23 August) — On this day in 1775, four months after Lexington and Concord, and two months after Bunker Hill, King George III formally proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of “open and avowed rebellion.” ⚔️
Saturday (24 August) — Although there is some debate among scholars, this is generally believed to be the day on which Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, burying the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. 🌋 And on this day in 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops captured the city of Washington and burned the White House and the U.S. Capitol. 🇬🇧⚔️🇺🇸
Sunday (25 August) — On the second day of the burning of Washington in 1814, the U.S. Treasury, the Library of Congress, and other public buildings were destroyed by British Troops. 🇬🇧⚔️🇺🇸 Today is also the birthday of American illustrator Walt Kelly (1913–1973), the creator of the comic strip Pogo. 🎨 And it’s also the birthday of the great American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990). 🎵
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May we choose virtue and avoid vice.”
❡ 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: Last week we completed our annual tour of the countries of the world (from which we had been selecting our Weekly World Rivers), so it is only fitting this week that we look to the source of them all. The ancient Greeks believed that the whole world (as they knew it) was encircled by a great flowing river, and they personified this universal river as the god Okeanos (Oceanus, Ocean). Okeanos was one of the Titans, a child of Ouranos (Uranus, Heaven) and Gaia (Terra, Earth), and with his sister-wife Tethys, Okeanos fathered all the rivers of the world. You can read much more about this father of the waters in the comprehensive Okeanos/Oceanus entry in Wikipedia, or perhaps on your next visit to your local library. Our Weekly World River for this next-to-last week of the River Houses year is therefore the World River, Okeanos.
❡ 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, 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. 🗓