Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-05-24
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.
🗓 🦁 This is the last full week of Leo Term, our spring term in the River Houses. Hercules Term, our summer term, begins on Monday of next week, the first of June.
🐦 🦅 May is Bird Migration Month in the River Houses, and throughout the month we’ve been sharing an assortment of extra homeschool notes on one of the world’s most wonderful natural phenomena.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is North Dakota, and our COUNTRIES are Senegal 🇸🇳, Serbia 🇷🇸, Seychelles 🇸🇨, and Sierra Leone 🇸🇱. (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 (24 May 2020) — Today is the 145th day of 2020; there are 221 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 Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819–1901), who gave her name to an entire historical era. You can read more about Victoria and the Victorians on page 348 in your homeschool history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books). 👑 And on this day in 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse sent the message “What hath God wrought!” from the U.S. Capitol building to his assistant in Baltimore, thirty-five miles away, instantly, thereby inaugurating the first commercial telegraph line between two U.S. cities. ⚡️
Monday (25 May 2020) — Today is Memorial Day in the United States, the day we remember the nation’s war dead. 🇺🇸 Today is also the birthday of the great American poet, essayist, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882). 🖋 And on this day in 1977, the first Star Wars movie was released! 🚀
Tuesday (26 May 2020) — It’s National Paper Airplane Day! ✈️
Wednesday (27 May 2020) — It’s World Otter Day! Our mascot Horace the Otter approves! 🦦 It’s also the birthday of the American poet and songwriter Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910), author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (“Mine eyes have seen the glory”). 🍇 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Medieval Monuments of Kosovo in Serbia. 🇷🇸
Thursday (28 May 2020) — A solar eclipse occurred on this day in the year 585 B.C. during the Battle of the Halys River in central Anatolia, leading to a truce. The exact date of that eclipse is one of the key reference points from which other dates in ancient Near Eastern history are calculated. 🌏 🌑 🌞
Friday (29 May 2020) — On this day in 1453, the city of Constantinople fell to the Ottoman armies of Sultan Mehmed II after a 53-day siege, bringing to an end the ancient Byzantine Empire that had survived for more than a thousand years. You can explore more on pages 198, 206, and 246 in your homeschool history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) ⚔️ And speaking of eclipses, another solar eclipse, occurring on this day in 1919, allowed Sir Arthur Eddington to confirm Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. 🌏 🌑 🌞 And on this day in 1953, mountaineers Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay became the first climbers ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest. 🏔 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Indigobirds and Whydahs, the Weavers, the Estrildid Finches, and the Old World Sparrows. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (30 May 2020) — The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated on this day in the year 1922. 🏛 Today is also the birthday of the great voice actor Mel Blanc (1908–1989), “the man of a thousand voices,” who gave us Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, and even the Tasmanian Devil. 😺
Sunday (31 May 2020) — Today is the last day of Leo Term and the last day of the River Houses academic year. Hercules Term, our summer term, begins tomorrow. 🗓 Today is also the birthday of the great American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892), who contained multitudes. 🖋
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, for Memorial Day: “May freedom’s fire never go out.”
❡ 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: Serbia in southeastern Europe is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Great Morava, one of the principal rivers of Serbia. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Great Morava 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. 🗓