Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-10-04
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 Connecticut, and our COUNTRIES are Belgium 🇧🇪, Belize 🇧🇿, Benin 🇧🇯, and Bhutan 🇧🇹. (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 (4 October 2020) — Today is the 278th day of 2020; there are 88 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). 📚 On this day in 1582, the Gregorian calendar was adopted on the European continent by decree of Pope Gregory (of course) XIII. Today was the 4th of the month, and tomorrow was declared to be the 15th. (The English-speaking world didn’t make the change for almost two more centuries.) 🗓
Monday (5 October 2020) — Today is the birthday of the American physicist and engineer Robert Goddard (1882–1945), inventor of the liquid-fueled rocket that made spaceflight possible. 🚀
Tuesday (6 October 2020) — Today is the birthday of the Norwegian explorer and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl (1914–2002). 🌊 And since this is the first Tuesday of the month, today we’ll invite you to browse a new Dewey Decimal class with your students on your next visit to your local library. This month: the General 000s. 📚
Wednesday (7 October 2020) — Today is the birthday of the early American choral composer William Billings (1746–1800). 🎶 And the great Danish physicist and Nobel laureate Niels Bohr was born on this day in 1885. ⚛️ Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Barrier Reef Reserve System of Belize. 🇧🇿
Thursday (8 October 2020) — On this day in 1956, New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series history. ⚾️ And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of October is Emily Dickinson’s autumnal gem “God made a little Gentian,” for all late-bloomers. Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Friday (9 October 2020) — Italian astronomer Lodovico delle Colombe recorded the appearance of a new star in the constellation Ophiuchus on this day in 1604. The subsequent observations of the star made by Johnannes Kepler over the next several weeks gave it the name Kepler’s Supernova. The brightest Milky Way supernova in modern times, it was visible during daylight hours for three weeks. 🌟 Today is also the birthday of American businessman Charles Rudolph Walgreen (1873–1939), founder of the nationwide Walgreens pharmacy chain. 🛒 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the familiar Pigeons and Doves. 🕊 Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (10 October 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901). 🎼 On this day in 1845 in Annapolis, Maryland, the United States Naval Academy opened with 50 students and seven professors. ⚓️ 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: Alpheratz, the brightest star in the constellation Andromeda. 🌟
Sunday (11 October 2020) — Speaking of the Navy, on this day in 1776, American naval forces on Lake Champlain under the command of Benedict Arnold were defeated by the British in the Battle of Valcour Island. Although it was an American loss, the Battle of Valcour Island successfully delayed the British advance down the Hudson–Champlain corridor for nearly a year and may have saved the cause of the Revolution. ⚓️ 🇺🇸
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May our hearts never be oppressed by the follies of fashion.”
❡ 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!”). Many of our current toasts are taken from an old anthology called Toasts and Tributes: A Happy Book of Good Cheer (New York, 1904). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌎 🇧🇿 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Belize in Central America is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is (naturally enough) the Belize River, which flows through the center of the country and empties into the Caribbean. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Belize 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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