Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-08-02
Quick Freshes are our regular Sunday notes on the homeschool week ahead. Pick one or two of the items below each week and use them to enrich your homeschooling schedule! Add your name to our free weekly mailing list to get these posts delivered right to your mailbox, and visit our River Houses calendar page (riverhouses.org/calendars) to print your own homeschool calendars and planners for the entire year.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Alaska, and our COUNTRIES are Vietnam 🇻🇳, Yemen 🇾🇪, Zambia 🇿🇲, and Zimbabwe 🇿🇼. (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 waxing, and full tomorrow — 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 August 2020) — Today is the 215th day of 2020; there are 151 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). 📚 The first United States census, conducted under Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, commenced on this day in 1790. The total count was 3,929,214. 🇺🇸 And the first Lincoln Cents were released into circulation on this day in 1909, the centennial year of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. 💰
Monday (3 August 2020) — The famous opera house “La Scala” opened on this day in 1778 in Milan, Italy. 🎵 Today is also the birthday of the Pulitzer Prize–winning World War II journalist Ernie Pyle (1900–1945). 📰 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). 🌕
Tuesday (4 August 2020) — The great English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on this day in 1792. 🖋 It’s also the birthday of the great American trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong (1901–1971). 🎺 And since this is the first Tuesday of the month, and the last month of the River Houses year, we’ll wrap up our year-long tour of the Dewey Decimal system by going On Beyond Dewey. 📚
Wednesday (5 August 2020) — Today is an important day in the history of press freedom. On this day in 1735, a jury acquitted John Peter Zenger and his newspaper, the New York Weekly Journal, of seditious libel against the governor of New York on the grounds that what they had published was true. 📰 Today is also the birthday of American astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930–2012), the first man to walk on the moon. 🚀 🌕 👨🚀 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty in Vietnam. 🇻🇳
Friday (7 August 2020) — General Nathanael Greene, “the Fighting Quaker,” George Washington’s right-hand man and one of the great military strategists of the Revolution, was born on this day in 1742 in Warwick, Rhode Island. Wherever you live in the United States, from Mississippi to Maine, there’s a good chance there’s something named after General Greene near you. ⚔️ And speaking of George Washington, on this day in 1782 he established the first American military decoration, the Badge of Military Merit, for soldiers wounded during the American Revolution. The award is today called the Purple Heart and it bears Washington’s profile. 🎖 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will wrap up the homeschool year with a look at some Accidental and Extinct North American birds (they’re in the appendix in your bird guide). Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (8 August 2020) — The wreckage of the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley, which sank in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, in 1864, was raised on this day in the year 2000. It contained the remains of eight Confederate sailors who went down with the vessel. ⚓️ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of August is Robert Frost’s “A Star in a Stoneboat,” for this month’s Perseid meteor shower. 🌠 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: Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Lyre and our last Great Star for this homeschool year. 🌟
Sunday (9 August 2020) — On this day in the year 1173, construction began on a new bell tower next to the cathedral in Pisa, Italy. Still standing (more or less), we know it today as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 🔔 And speaking of Italy, today is also the birthday of the Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro (1776–1856), beloved (or despised) by chemistry students the world over. ⚗️
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May the humble many never be slaves to the tyrant few.”
❡ 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!”). Many of our current toasts are taken from an old anthology called Clark’s Original Songs, Recitations, &c. (Rye, Sussex, 1846). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌍 🇾🇪 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Yemen in the Middle East is one of our countries-of-the-week, and like many desert-filled countries, Yemen does not have any permanent rivers. It does, however, have wadis — seasonal streams that are similar to what people in the southwestern U.S. call washes. Our Weekly World River from Yemen, therefore, is this beautiful wadi on the Yemeni island of Socotra. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about its lovely setting in the Socotra 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. 🗓