For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-06-30
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 Wyoming, and our COUNTRIES are Tanzania 🇹🇿, Thailand 🇹🇭, Timor-Leste 🇹🇱, and Togo 🇹🇬. (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, heading toward new on the 2nd — 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, 30 June) — Today is the 181st day of 2019; there are 184 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 also International Asteroid Day, marking the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska Event in Siberia. 🌠
Monday (1 July) — Today is the birthday of the great German mathematician and polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716). ∭ It’s also the birthday of the German–Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis (1818–1865), “the savior of mothers,” who discovered that deaths from childbed fever could be dramatically reduced by requiring physicians delivering babies to wash their hands. 👨⚕️ The devastating World War I Battle of the Somme began on this day in 1916. ⚔️ And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the first week of July is William Ralph Emerson’s American anthem “A Nation’s Strength,” for Independence Day. 🇺🇸 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year.
Tuesday (2 July) — Noon today is the mid-point of the year: 182.5 days have passed, and 182.5 days remain. 🗓 On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress passed the Lee Resolution, declaring the Thirteen Colonies independent of Great Britain. 🇺🇸 Today is also the birthday of Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993), the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court. 👨🏾⚖️ 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 Historical (and Geographical) 900s. 📚
Wednesday (3 July) — On this day in 1775, on orders from the Continental Congress and a year before Independence was declared, George Washington took command of the thousands of New England militiamen encamped outside of Boston, and the Continental Army was born. 🇺🇸 Today is the birthday of the early American painter John Singleton Copley (1738–1815), who memorialized many prominent figures of the American Revolutionary period. 🎨 And today is also the birthday of the American songwriter, actor, and Yankee Doodle Dandy George M. Cohan (1872–1942). 🎵
Thursday (4 July) — HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! 🎆 On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. 🇺🇸 And on this day in 1802, the United States Military Academy opened at West Point, New York. ⚔️ The great American novelist and short-story writer Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on this day in 1804. 🖋 And on this day in 1826, on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson died in Virginia and John Adams died in Massachusetts. 🇺🇸
Friday (5 July) — One of the most famous books in the history of science, Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), was published in London on this day in 1687. 📖 And somewhat less sublime: the canned luncheon meat SPAM was first introduced to the American market on this day in 1937. 🍽
Saturday (6 July) — In one of the great setbacks of the early phase of the Revolution, British General John Burgoyne forced American troops to abandon Fort Ticonderoga on the New York–Vermont border on this day in 1777. ⚔️ 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 be on the lookout for over the next few weeks. 🔭
Sunday (7 July) — Today is the birthday of the great Austrian composer Gustav Mahler (1860–1911). 🎵 And on this day in 1928, sliced bread was sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company in Missouri — it was the greatest thing since, um, sliced bread! 🍞
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is an old and special favorite we offer each year for Independence Day — why not offer it this Thursday in your homeschool also:
To the memory of the man
That owned the land,
That raised the corn,
That fed the goose,
That bore the quill,
That made the pen,
That wrote the Declaration of Independence.
❡ 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: Thailand is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Chao Phraya River, the principal river of Thailand. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Chao Phraya 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. 🗓