For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2020-02-02
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 Maine, and our COUNTRIES are Kiribati 🇰🇮, North Korea 🇰🇵, South Korea 🇰🇷, and Kosovo 🇽🇰. (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 slightly gibbous and waxing — 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). Browse through our many astronomy posts for even more!
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (2 February 2020) — Today is the 33rd day of 2020; there are 333 days remaining in this leap year. Learn more about different kinds of modern and historical calendars on pages 350–356 in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books). 📚 Today is Groundhog Day, the historical cross-quarter day between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. ⏚🐖 On this day in 1653, the city of New Amsterdam was incorporated. We know it today as the city of New York. 🏙
Monday (3 February 2020) — Calling all artists: it’s Color Our Collections Week! 🖍 The Soviet Union’s Luna 9 spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing on the moon on this day in 1966. 🚀 And today is the birthday of the popular American painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894–1978). 👨🎨
Tuesday (4 February 2020) — On this day in 1789, the Electoral College unanimously chose George Washington to be the first President of the United States. 🇺🇸 Today is also the birthday of Joshua Abraham Norton (1818–1880), better known of Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, an American original. 👑 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 Linguistic 400s. 📚
Wednesday (5 February 2020) — The largest gold nugget in history, nicknamed the Welcome Stranger, was discovered in Moliagul, Australia, on this day in 1869. It contained more than 200 pounds of gold. 💰
Thursday (6 February 2020) — Today is the birthday of baseball great Babe Ruth (1895–1948). ⚾️ And on this day in 1959, Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments filed the first patent for an integrated circuit chip, the component at the heart of nearly all modern electronic devices, including the one you’re using now. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for that work in 2000. 🖩
Friday (7 February 2020) — Today is the birthday of two famous writers: the English novelist Charles Dickens (1812–1870), and the American novelist Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957). 🖋 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Trogons and Kingfishers. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow the flyways with us. 🦅
Saturday (8 February 2020) — The College of William and Mary, the second-oldest college in the United States, was chartered on this day in 1683. 🎓 And today is the birthday of the great Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (1834–1907), the discoverer of the Periodic Table. ⚗️ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for second week of February is a youthful amatory lyric from Emily Dickinson (1830–1886), “Awake ye muses nine,” for Valentine’s Day. ❤️ Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋 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: Betelgeuse, the strange-acting maybe-exploding once-brightest star in the constellation Orion the Hunter. 🌟
Sunday (9 February 2020) — Today is the birthday of the English-American political philosopher and revolutionary Thomas Paine (1737–1809). 🇺🇸 It’s also the anniversary of the Great Meteor Procession of 1913. 🌠
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May virtue and industry triumph over vice and idleness.”
❡ 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 Clark’s Original Songs, Recitations, &c. (Rye, Sussex, 1846). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌍 🇽🇰 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Kosovo in eastern Europe is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is beautiful the White Drin, which flows through Kosovo and northern Albania. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the White Drin 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. 🗓