Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-03-29
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 California, and our COUNTRIES are Mozambique 🇲🇿, Myanmar (Burma) 🇲🇲, Namibia 🇳🇦, and Nauru 🇳🇷. (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 waxing 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). Browse through our many astronomy posts for even more!
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (29 March 2020) — Today is the 89th day of 2020; there are 277 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 also the birthday of two unrelated Waltons: the English composer William Walton (1902–1983), and the American businessman Sam Walton (1918–1992), the founder of Walmart. 🎼 🛒
Monday (30 March 2020) — On this day in 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire for about two cents an acre. 🏔
Tuesday (31 March 2020) — The great French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes was born on this day in 1596. 📈 (And bonus points for anyone today who can tell why I chose that emoji for Descartes.) 😊 Also, on this day in 1774, Great Britain ordered the closure of the major trading port of Boston, escalating the tensions that would eventually lead to the American Revolution. 🇬🇧⚔️🇺🇸
Wednesday (1 April 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great English physician William Harvey (1578–1657), who first described the circulation of the blood in the human body. ❤️ It’s also the traditional date of the annual spaghetti harvest in Ticino, Switzerland. 🍝 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Island of Mozambique. 🇲🇿 And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for this first week of April is the Prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which opens with April showers. ☔️ Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Thursday (2 April 2020) — The United States Mint was established on this day in 1792. 💰 And today is also the birthday of the Danish novelist and children’s author Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), which means that it’s International Children’s Book Day too! 📚
Friday (3 April 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great English poet George Herbert (1593–1633). 🖋 It’s also the birthday of the American naturalist and author John Burroughs (1837–1921). 🏞 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the friendly and familiar Larks and Swallows. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (4 April 2020) — Today is the birthday of the American Quaker artist Edward Hicks (1780–1849), famous for his “Peaceable Kingdom.” 🎨 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 watch for over the next few weeks. 🔭
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May the sunshine of comfort dispel the clouds of despair.”
❡ 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: Mozambique in southeastern Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Limpopo River, which crosses Mozambique from northwest to southeast and empties into the Indian Ocean. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Limpopo 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. 🗓