Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-03-15
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 (and planners!) for the entire year.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Iowa, and our COUNTRIES are Mauritius 🇲🇺, Mexico 🇲🇽, Micronesia 🇫🇲, and Moldova 🇲🇩. (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). Browse through our many astronomy posts for even more!
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (15 March 2020) — Today is the 75th day of 2020; there are 291 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). 📚 Beware the Ides of March! 🗡 On the ancient Roman calendar, the 15th of March is called the “Ides,” or midpoint, of the month. On the Ides of March in 44 B.C., the dictator Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, and several other Roman senators. This ultimately unsuccessful coup led to the consolidation of the Roman state as an Empire under Caesar’s successors and its decline as a Republic. 🏛 And speaking of bewaring, our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of March is “The Ides of March” by the modern Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933), for, um, the Ides of March! 🗡 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Monday (16 March 2020) — Today is the birthday of James Madison (1751–1836), “the Father of the Constitution” and the 4th President of the United States. 🇺🇸 And on this day in 1926 in a field in Auburn, Massachusetts, Robert Goddard (1882–1945) launched the first experimental liquid-fueled rocket. 🚀
Tuesday (17 March 2020) — Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Erin go Bragh! (Ireland forever!) ☘️ On this day in 1776, British forces evacuated Boston after eleven months of siege. It was George Washington’s first victory in the American Revolution. 🇺🇸
Wednesday (18 March 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great World War I poet Wilfred Owen (1893–1918). 🖋 And on this day in 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov (1934–2019) became the first person to walk in space (for 12 minutes). 👨🚀 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. 🇲🇺
Thursday (19 March 2020) — Happy First Day of Spring! 🌸 Today is the March Equinox, known as the vernal or spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal or fall equinox in the southern hemisphere (where today is the first day of fall). 🗓 According to tradition, this is the day each year when the swallows come back to Capistrano (the San Juan Capistrano Mission, that is, in Orange County, California). 🐦 (No, that’s not a swallow, but it’s the closest we can get with today’s emoji technology.) 😊
Friday (20 March 2020) — Today is the birthday of “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America,” the Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet (1612–1672). 🖋 It’s also the birthday of Mister Fred Rogers (1928–2003), everyone’s favorite neighbor. 🏡 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the garrulous Crows and Jays. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (21 March 2020) — Today is (according to the old Julian Calendar still in effect at the time) the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), one of the greatest musical composers in history. A delightful Google Doodle will keep your music students entertained on the occasion. 🎼
Sunday (22 March 2020) — Today is the birthday of the English artist Randolph Caldecott (1846–1886), for whom the famous Caldecott awards for illustrated children’s books are named. 🎨 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the fourth week of March is Robert Frost’s lyrical meditation “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” for early spring. 🌱 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, for the Ides of March, is a cry of freedom that has echoed for two thousand years: “Sic semper tyrannis!”
❡ 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: Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is Chamarel Falls, a highlight of the island-nation’s Black River Gorges National Park. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Chamarel village 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. 🗓