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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 Missouri, and our COUNTRIES are Kuwait 🇰🇼, Kyrgyzstan 🇰🇬, Laos 🇱🇦, and Latvia 🇱🇻. (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 full — a good time to be out and about in the well-lit night! 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 (9 February 2020) — Today is the 40th day of 2020; there are 326 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 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. 🌠 And, there’s a full moon tonight, so that means we’ll have a report on student research opportunities from the River Houses Lunar Society (riverhouses.org/lunar). 🌕
Monday (10 February 2020) — Today is the Christian feast day of Saint Scholastica (ca. 480–543), the patroness of schools and education. 🎓 It’s also the birthday of the great Russian writer and Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak (1890–1960). 🖋
Tuesday (11 February 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great American inventor Thomas Edison (1847–1931).💡
Thursday (13 February 2020) — Today is the birthday of the American artist Grant Wood (1891–1942). 🎨 It’s also the birthday of the American aviator Chuck Yeager (b. 1923), the first person to break the sound barrier. ✈️
Friday (14 February 2020) — Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️ Here’s hoping your little home academy will be full of love on this day and every day throughout the year. 💕 This is the first day of the 2020 Great Backyard Bird Count! It’s an ideal homeschool science and nature activity, sponsored by Cornell University and running all weekend (14–17 February). Visit birdcount.org and join in the fun! 🐦 And speaking of birds, our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Woodpeckers! Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (15 February 2020) — Today is the birthday of the Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galileo (1564–1642), one of the most important figures in the history of science. 🔭 It’s also the birthday of the American women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906). ⚖️ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for third week of February is Stephen Spender’s minor masterpiece “The Truly Great,” for the remarkable collection of important people born in February. 🌠 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
❤️ OUR WEEKLY TOAST is an old Valentine’s Day favorite: “To the wings of love: may they never lose a feather, but soar up to the sky above, and last and last forever.”
❡ 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: Laos in southeast Asia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Xe Bang Fai River near the Laos–Vietnam border. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Xe Bang Fai 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. 🌏
AND DON’T FORGET: Friday the 13th comes on a Thursday this month! 🙀
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. 🗓