For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-08-25
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.
✦ This is the last week of HERCULES TERM, our Summer Term in the River Houses, and the last week of the 2018–2019 River Houses year. CYGNUS TERM and the new 2019–2020 academic year begin on Sunday, the 1st of September!
🌎 OUR “STATE” OF THE WEEK, wrapping up our year-long tour, is the planet Earth itself, and our “COUNTRIES” are the Solar System and the Universe beyond! (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 waning 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, 25 August) — Today is the 237th day of 2019; there are 127 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 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). 🎵
Monday (26 August) — Today is the birthday of one of the founders of modern chemistry, the great French scientist Antoine Lavoisier (1743–1794), who coined the names “oxygen” and “hydrogen.” ⚗️
Tuesday (27 August) — One of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history took place on this day in 1883 in the Krakatoa archipelago in Indonesia. Over the course of the previous day an ash cloud seventeen miles high had developed over the islands, and on the 27th four massive explosions occurred, the largest of which was heard 3000 miles away in the Indian Ocean. The ash injected into the atmosphere by the Krakatoa eruption produced vivid sunsets all around the world for many months. 🌋
Wednesday (28 August) — Today is the birthday of the American naturalist and artist Roger Tory Peterson (1908–1996), whose series of compact field guides helped to make amateur bird study popular around the world. 🦆 And on this day in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. 🕊
Thursday (29 August) — Today is the birthday of the great philosopher of liberty John Locke (1632–1704), whose works influenced the framing of the American system of government. 📖
Friday (30 August) — Today is the birthday of English novelist Mary Shelley (1797–1851), the author of Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). 🌭🍺 It’s also the birthday of baseball great Ted Williams (1918–2002), the last major league player to bat over .400 in a season (1941). ⚾️
Saturday (31 August) — Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori was born on this day in 1870. Her approach to early childhood education remains popular in homeschools as well as in public and private schools around the world today. 👩🏼🏫
Sunday (1 September) — Welcome to a New River Houses Year! 🎉 For this first week of September, this first week of Cygnus Term, and this first week of the 2019–2020 River Houses year, our homeschool poem-of-the-week will be our traditional extract from Jonathan Swift’s adaptation of the Roman poet Horace (65–8 B.C.): “A handsome house to lodge a friend, / A river at my garden’s end.” 📜 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the 2019–2020 homeschool year. 😊
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, for the old school year just ending and the new school year about to begin, is a new-year wish that is probably modern but is often attributed (like many other wise sayings) to Benjamin Franklin: “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”
❡ 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: The Universe is our “country” of the week for this last week of the River Houses year, so our Weekly World River is the constellation Eridanus, the Great River of the Heavens. You can chart its course in the astronomical section of your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the comprehensive Eridanus 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, 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. 🗓