Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-09-13
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. Add your name to our free weekly mailing list to get posts like these 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 Pennsylvania, and our COUNTRIES are Angola 🇦🇴, Antigua and Barbuda 🇦🇬, Argentina 🇦🇷, and Armenia 🇦🇲. (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 waning 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 (13 September 2020) — Today is the 257th day of 2020; there are 109 days remaining in this leap year. Learn more about different kinds of calendars on pages 350–356 in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books). 📚 Today is also the birthday of the German composer and pianist Clara Schumann (1819–1896). 🎵 And it’s also the birthday of the British novelist, children’s author, and WWII fighter pilot Roald Dahl (1916–1990). 🖋
Monday (14 September 2020) — The annual Monarch butterfly migration is underway in many parts of the United States this week. How many have you seen? 🦋 On this day in 1814 during the British bombardment of Baltimore, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem that he called “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” We know it today as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States. 🇺🇸 The Soviet space probe Luna 2, the first man-made object to reach the lunar surface, crash landed onto the moon on this day in 1959. 🚀
Tuesday (15 September 2020) — Today is the birthday of novelist James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851), one of the most popular writers of nineteenth-century America. 🖋 It’s also the birthday of writer and illustrator Robert McCloskey (1914–2003), author of Make Way for Ducklings (1941) and other children’s classics. 🦆 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of September is Robert Frost’s “The Tuft of Flowers,” for the fall harvest, our common labor, and the Monarch butterfly migration. 🦋 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the 2020–2021 homeschool year. 🖋
Wednesday (16 September 2020) — On this day in 1776, with George Washington in direct command, the Continental Army in New York successfully defended several key positions on Manhattan Island in the Battle of Harlem Heights. ⚔️ And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Antigua Naval Dockyard in Antigua and Barbuda. 🇦🇬 Print your own River Houses World Heritage Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the 2020–2021 homeschool year. 🌎
Thursday (17 September 2020) — Today is Constitution Day! On this day in 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia by the members of the Constitutional Convention. Why not pay a homeschool visit to the original Constitution today at its current home in the National Archives. 🇺🇸 Today is also the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam in 1862, one of the bloodiest days in American history, with more than 22,000 Union and Confederate casualties. ⚔️
Friday (18 September 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great English writer and lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709–1784). 📖 And on this day in 1793, President George Washington, dressed (appropriately enough) in his masonic regalia, laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol Building. 🏛 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will wrap up our look at the Ducks, Geese, and Swans, a large and diverse group. 🦆 Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (19 September 2020) — Arrrr! It be International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day, me hearties! 🏴☠️ On this day in 1991, “Ötzi the Iceman,” a 5000-year-old naturally preserved mummy, was discovered frozen in the ice in the mountains along the Alpine border between Italy and Austria. 🏔
Sunday (20 September 2020) — “On the 20th of September 1839, an English officer, residing in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, saw a quantity of live fish descend in a smart shower of rain. They were about three inches in length, and all of one kind. Some, falling on hard ground, were killed; some, which fell on soft grass, continued in life.” 🐟🐟🐟
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is a fine offering for the beginning of every homeschool year: “To the universal advancement of the arts and sciences.”
❡ 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 unpredictability in toasting!”). Our current set of toasts are mostly taken from an old collection that appeared in Routledge’s Manual of Etiquette (London, ca. 1870). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌍 🇦🇲 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Armenia in southeastern Europe is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Dzoraget River, which in many parts of its course passes through beautiful deep gorges. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Dzoraget River entry in Wikipedia or perhaps on your next visit to your local library.
❡ Daughters of Ocean: 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. 🗓
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