For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-11-24
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 full week of CYGNUS TERM, our Fall Term in the River Houses. Orion Term, our winter term, begins next Sunday, the first of December.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Rhode Island, and our COUNTRIES are Dominica 🇩🇲, the Dominican Republic 🇩🇴, Ecuador 🇪🇨, and Egypt 🇪🇬. (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 waning 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 (24 November 2019) — Today is the 328th day of 2019; there are 37 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). 📚 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. 🐴
Monday (25 November 2019) — Today is the birthday of the great Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919), who planted beautiful public libraries all around the world. 📚
Tuesday (26 November 2019) — The first lighthouse on the deadly Eddystone rocks off the southwest coast of England was destroyed on the night of 26/27 November in the Great Storm of 1703. No trace of the six occupants of the lighthouse was ever found. ⛈ The classic movie Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premiered on this day in 1942. 🎥 And today is the birthday of Charles M. Schulz (1922–2000), creator of the beloved Peanuts comic strip. 🥜
Wednesday (27 November 2019) — Today is the birthday of the Swedish astronomer and physicist Anders Celsius (1701–1744), a man of degrees. 🌡 The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in New York City on this day in 1924. 🏬
Thursday (28 November 2019) — HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 🦃🦃 (That’s emoji for “gobble gobble.”) We’ll have some lovely music to share with you today from Stephen Paulus and others. Thank you all for following us here at the River Houses! 😊 Today is (probably) the birthday of the Puritan preacher and theologian John Bunyan (1628–1688), author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, the second most widely printed book in history (after the Bible). 📖 Today is also the birthday of the great English mystical poet William Blake (1757–1827). 🐅
Friday (29 November 2019) — Today is Native American Heritage Day, enacted by Congress in 2008. We’re going to share some wonderful family music from Cherokee recording artist Michael Jacobs, just the thing for this week of giving thanks. 🦅 Today is also the birthday of the American novelist Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), author of Little Women and Little Men. 👧👦 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will continue our introduction to the Sandpipers, a big group! Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🐦
Saturday (30 November 2019) — Today is the birthday of another American novelist, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain (1835–1910). 🐸 It’s also the birthday of British statesman and Nobel laureate Winston Churchill (1874–1965). 🇬🇧 And on this day in 1954, a meteorite smashed through the roof of a house in Sylacauga, Alabama, and struck a woman named Ann Hodges, who was taking a nap. 🌠 The Sylacauga meteorite, as it is now called, is the only known meteorite in the Western Hemisphere ever to have struck a person. (Hodges was bruised, but sustained no permanent injuries.) 🤕
Sunday (1 December 2019) — Today is the first day of ORION TERM, our winter term in the River Houses, named for the Great Hunter of the Heavens. 🗡 And December in the River Houses is Holiday Music Month! Keep your eyes and ears open for many musical delights throughout the month. 🎄🎅 On this day in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913–2005) was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, an event that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and the subsequent growth of the American civil rights movement. 🚌 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the first week of December is “R.L.S.,” a gem-like homage to Robert Louis Stevenson written by A.E. Housman (1859–1936), for all homeschool hunters, literary and celestial. 🗡 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
🥂🦅🦃 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is a Thanksgiving traditional that makes a traditional American comparison: “To our two national fowls, the American Eagle and the Thanksgiving Turkey: may the one give peace for all our states, and the other a piece for all our plates.”
❡ 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 West Indian nation of Dominica is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Layou River, Dominica’s longest river. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Layou 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. 🗓