For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-11-03
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.
☿🌞 A RARE TRANSIT OF MERCURY across the face of the sun will take place on Monday the 11th. We’ll have more to say about it later this week.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Virginia, and our COUNTRIES are Colombia 🇨🇴, the Comoros 🇰🇲, the Congo (Kinshasa) 🇨🇩, and the Congo Republic (Brazzaville) 🇨🇬. (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 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 (3 November 2019) — Today is the 307th day of 2019; there are 58 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 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. 👑
Monday (4 November 2019) — Today is the birthday of “Oklahoma’s favorite son,” the American actor and humorist Will Rogers (1879–1935). 🤝
Tuesday (5 November 2019) — Today is (an off-year) Election Day in the United States, the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. 🗳 On this day in 1605, the Gunpowder Plot to bomb the opening session of the English Parliament and assassinate King James I was foiled and the plotter Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators were arrested. (“Remember, remember, the Fifth of November….”) 💣 And since this is the first Tuesday of the month, today we’ll invite you to browse a new Dewey Decimal class with your students on your next visit to your local library. This month: the Philosophical 100s. 📚
Wednesday (6 November 2019) — On this Election Day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States of America, and one year later, on this Election Day in 1861, Jefferson Davis was elected the first President of the Confederate States of America. 🗳
Thursday (7 November 2019) — On this day in 1492, a meteorite struck the earth near the village of Ensisheim, France. The Ensisheim meteorite is the oldest recovered meteorite with a known date of impact. 🌠 And today is the birthday of the Polish-French physicist and Nobel laureate Marie Curie (1867–1934). ⚛️
Friday (8 November 2019) — Today is the birthday of the English mathematician and astronomer Edmund Halley (1656–1742), of comet fame. ☄️ On this day in 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen accidentally discovered X-rays. 👨⚕️ Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the long-legged and long-billed Stilts, Avocets, and Oystercatchers. 🦅 And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for this second week of November is Laurence Binyon’s “For the Fallen,” for Veterans Day (Armistice Day). 🕊 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Saturday (9 November 2019) — On this day in 1985, at age 22, Garry Kasparov of the Soviet Union became the youngest World Chess Champion in history. ♚ And on this day in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. For a good illustrated review of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Soviet Communism turn to pages 426 and 448 in your River Houses history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books). 🇩🇪 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: Algol, “the Demon Star,” the second brightest star in the constellation Perseus. 🌟
Sunday (10 November 2019) — Today is the birthday of the German priest and monk Martin Luther (1483–1546), the leader of the Protestant Reformation. ✝️ And it’s also the birthday of the English artist and satirist William Hogarth (1697–1764). 🎨
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “To liberty all over the world.”
❡ 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 The Perfect Gentleman; or, Etiquette and Eloquence (New York, 1860). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌍 EVERYTHING FLOWS: The Congo (Kinshasa) is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the mighty Congo River, the second longest river in Africa (after the Nile). You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Congo 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. 🗓