For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-10-27
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 New Hampshire, and our COUNTRIES are the Central African Republic 🇨🇫, Chad 🇹🇩, Chile 🇨🇱, and China 🇨🇳. (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 new — that’s the best time of the month for dark-sky stargazing! You can explore the night sky and the features of the moon in your recommended backyard astronomy guide and your homeschool world atlas, and you can learn a host of stellar and lunar facts on pages 342–357 in your almanac (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (27 October 2019) — Today is the 300th (!) day of 2019; there are 65 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 the year 312, the armies of rival Roman emperors Constantine and Maxentius fought one another in the Battle of Milvian Bridge north of Rome. ⚔️ Tradition says that Constantine secured victory after having a vision of the Christian cross the night before, leading to his conversion and the eventual adoption of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. ✝️ Today is also the birthday of the mellifluous Welsh poet and playwright Dylan Thomas (1914–1953). 🖋
Monday (28 October 2019) — The great Dutch Renaissance philosopher Erasmus of Rotterdam was born on this day in 1466. 📖 On this day in 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. 🗽 And today is the birthday of the American medical researcher Jonas Salk (1914–1995), developer of the polio vaccine. 💉
Tuesday (29 October 2019) — On this day (or night) in 1964, three men broke into the American Museum of Natural History in New York and executed the largest jewel theft in American history, netting more than $400,000 worth of gems. The thieves were soon caught and most of the gems were recovered, including the Star of India, one of the world’s largest sapphires, which had been hidden in a bus station locker in Miami. 💎
Wednesday (30 October 2019) — Today is the birthday of the American modernist poet Ezra Pound (1885–1972). 🖋 On this day in 1938, Orson Welles broadcast his famous radio version of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds,” leading many people across the country to believe that a Martian invasion of the earth had begun. 👽
Thursday (31 October 2019) — Happy Halloween! 🎃👻🦇 The Protestant Reformation began on this day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. 📜 Today is the birthday of the great English poet John Keats (1795–1821). 🖋 And it’s also the birthday of Juliette Gordon Low (1860–1927), founder of the Girl Scouts of America. 👧🏼
Friday (1 November 2019) — Today is the birthday of the German geophysicist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener (1880–1930), who developed the theory of continental drift. 🌍 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Limpkins, Rails, Gallinules, Coots, and Cranes. 🐦 Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅 And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the first week of November is Robert Frost’s “A Leaf-Treader,” for the falling leaves. 🍂 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us as well! 🖋
Saturday (2 November 2019) — Today is the birthday of the American frontiersman and folk-hero Daniel Boone (1734–1820). 🐻 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 watch for over the next few weeks. 🔭
Sunday (3 November 2019) — Today is the birthday of the great Italian artist and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini (1500–1571). 🎨 And on this day in 1534, the English Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy, declaring King Henry VIII (rather than the Pope) to be the head of the English church. 👑
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is an old Halloween wish, for all the cheerful young trick-or-treaters who will be out on the town this week:
May witches, fays, and grinning cats,
Owls and sprites and sable bats,
Have good cheer on Hallowe’en,
And add enchantment to the scene,
With revels wild and free.
❡ 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!”). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌍 EVERYTHING FLOWS: The landlocked Central African Republic is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Mbomou River, which flows along the border between the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Mbomou 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. 🗓