For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-11-17
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 North Carolina, and our COUNTRIES are Cyprus 🇨🇾, Czechia (Czech Republic) 🇨🇿, Denmark 🇩🇰, and Djibouti 🇩🇯. (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 — a good time for moon watching! 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 (17 November 2019) — Today is the 321st day of 2019; there are 44 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 German mathematician and astronomer August Ferdinand Möbius (1790–1868), inventor (discoverer?) of the strip that bears his name. 🥓 And the annual Leonid meteor shower, made up of debris from comet Tempel–Tuttle, is expected to peak tonight. 🌠
Monday (18 November 2019) — Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the largest church in the world, was consecrated on this day in 1626. 🇻🇦 And today is the birthday of the great American composer and lyricist Johnny Mercer (1909–1976). 🎼
Tuesday (19 November 2019) — Seven score and sixteen years ago today, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. American school children often memorized it once upon a time. Why not read it aloud in your homeschool today — you’ll find the text on page 490 of your almanac (riverhouses.org/books). 🇺🇸
Wednesday (20 November 2019) — On this day in 1820, an 80-ton sperm whale struck and sank the whaleship Essex about 2000 miles off the west coast of South America. The destruction of the Essex would become one of the inspirations for Herman Melville’s great novel Moby-Dick (1851). 🐳 Today is also the birthday of the American astronomer and cosmologist Edwin Hubble (1889–1953), who vastly enlarged our understanding of the universe. 🔭
Thursday (21 November 2019) — On this day in 1905, a technical paper titled “Does the inertia of a body depend upon its energy content?” was published in the German science journal Annalen der Physik (Annals of Physics). The author was a 26-year-old Albert Einstein, and the paper established that E = mc2. ⚛️
Friday (22 November 2019) — Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to a very large group, the Sandpipers, which we’ll cover over two weeks. 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 last week of November, Thanksgiving week, is Rowena Bastin Bennett’s “Thanksgiving Magic,” for all this week’s kitchen magicians from sea to shining sea. 🍽 👩🍳 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Saturday (23 November 2019) — One of the great masters of polyphonic music, Thomas Tallis, died on this day in 1583. (He was born about 1505 on a date unknown.) Tallis wrote, and his themes inspired, some of the most ethereal music in the world. 🎵
Sunday (24 November 2019) — One of the most influential books ever written, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, was published on this day in 1859. 🦋 And the much loved novel Black Beauty was published on this day in 1877. 🐴
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May every day bring more happiness than yesterday.”
❡ 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 island-nation of Cyprus is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Kouris River, one of the longest rivers of Cyprus. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Kouris 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. 🗓