Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-08-09
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 Hawaii and our “COUNTRY” is Antarctica — the year is almost at its end! 🇦🇶 (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 (9 August 2020) — Today is the 222nd day of 2020; there are 144 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). 📚 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. ⚗️
Monday (10 August 2020) — This is an important day in museological history: the famous Louvre Museum in Paris opened on this day in 1793, and on this day in 1846 the Smithsonian Institution in Washington was chartered by Congress and named for its principal benefactor, the English chemist and mineralogist James Smithson, who had died seventeen years before and who had never visited the United States. 🏛 And on this day in 1990, NASA’s Magellan spacecraft entered orbit around the planet Venus. 🛰
Tuesday (11 August 2020) — The annual Perseid Meteor Shower will peak (probably) on the night of 11–12 August this year (and will spread over into the nights before and after as well). 🌠 The Perseids are debris from Comet Swift–Tuttle. ☄️
Wednesday (12 August 2020) — Today is the birthday of poet and educator Katharine Lee Bates (1859–1929), the author of the great anthem “America the Beautiful.” 🇺🇸 It’s also the birthday of Austrian physicist and Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961), one of the founders of quantum mechanics. 🐈 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week, the last one for this homeschool year, will look at some of the recently nominated and newly approved World Heritage Sites around the world. 🇺🇳
Thursday (13 August 2020) — Today is the birthday of American abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Lucy Stone (1818–1893). 👩👧👧 It’s also the birthday of spooky British-American film director Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980). 🎬 And … it’s International Lefthanders Day! 🎉
Friday (14 August 2020) — On this day in the year 1040, Scotland’s King Duncan I was killed by his rival Macbeth, probably in battle and not in his sleep as depicted in Shakespeare’s play. 🗡
Saturday (15 August 2020) — Today is the birthday of the French general and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821). 👑 It’s also the birthday of the British pianist and composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912). 🎼 And on this day in 1977, an Ohio State University radio telescope picked up a deep-space radio signal with unusual characteristics that seemed to indicate an intelligent source. Dubbed the “Wow! signal,” its origin remains unexplained and nothing like it has been detected since. 📡 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of August, from Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–1885), is “August” for, um, August! ☀️ Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Sunday (16 August 2020) — On this day in 1858, the first transatlantic telegraph cable was put into service with an exchange of messages between U.S. President James Buchanan and Britain’s Queen Victoria. 🇺🇸⌁🇬🇧 Today is also the birthday of the British soldier, writer, and archeologist T.E. Lawrence (1888–1935), better known as Lawrence of Arabia.
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May our voyage through life be as happy and free / As the dancing waves on the deep blue sea.”
❡ 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: Antarctica is our “country” of the week, so our Weekly World “River” is the Denman Glacier of eastern Antarctica, which fills an exceptionally deep canyon. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Denman Glacier 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. 🗓