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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 mailing list to get posts like these delivered right to your mailbox each week, 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 Virginia, and our COUNTRIES are Colombia 🇨🇴, Comoros 🇰🇲, Congo (Kinshasa) 🇨🇩, and Congo Republic (Brazzaville) 🇨🇬. (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 at its third quarter — 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.
🌠 THE LEONID METEOR SHOWER is coming up next week, with the peak expected on the nights of 16–18 November.
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (8 November 2020) — Today is the 313th day of 2020; there are 53 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). 📚 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for this second week of November is Laurence Binyon’s “For the Fallen,” for Veterans Day (Armistice Day). 🕊 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Monday (9 November 2020) — On this day in 1985, at age 22, Garry Kasparov of the Soviet Union became the youngest World Chess Champion in history. ♚ And on this day in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. For a good homeschool review of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Soviet Communism turn to pages 426 and 448 in your River Houses history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books). 🇩🇪
Tuesday (10 November 2020) — Today is the birthday of the German priest and monk Martin Luther (1483–1546), the leader of the Protestant Reformation. For an excellent illustrated review of the Reformation and its consequences, turn to pages 197 and 256–259 in your recommended River Houses history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books). ✝️ And it’s also the birthday of the English artist and satirist William Hogarth (1697–1764). 🎨
Wednesday (11 November 2020) — On this day in the year 1620, exactly 400 years ago, the Mayflower Compact was signed in what is now Provincetown Harbor off the Massachusetts coast. Through that document, the Mayflower Pilgrims formed themselves into a self-governing “civil body politick.” 🌊 ⚓️ Today is Veterans Day in the United States, the federal holiday on which we honor all those who have served in the nation’s armed forces. 🇺🇸 On this day in 1918, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns of World War I fell silent. The anniversary is recognized as Veterans Day in the United States, and as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in many other countries. 🕊 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the Congo. 🇨🇩
Thursday (12 November 2020) — Today is the birthday of American women’s rights advocate Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902). ⚖️ It’s also the birthday of the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917). 👨🎨 On this day in 2014, the Philae spacecraft touched down on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, becoming the first manmade object ever to land safely on a comet. ☄️
Friday (13 November 2020) — It’s Friday the 13th! 🙀 Saint Augustine of Hippo, one of the most influential figures in the history of Christianity, was born on this day in the year 354 in ancient Numidia, a region of the Roman Empire that is today part of Algeria. ✝️ Today is also the birthday of Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894), author of the much-loved volume A Child’s Garden of Verses. 🖋 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to more long-legged birds: the Lapwings, Plovers, and Jacanas. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (14 November 2020) — Today is the birthday of Charles Lyell (1797–1875), the father of modern geology. ⚒ It’s also the birthday of German composer and pianist Fanny Mendelssohn (1805–1847). 🎹 The great French Impressionist painter Claude Monet was born on this day in 1840. 🎨 And today is the birthday of American composer and conductor Aaron Copland (1900–1990). 🎵 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: Algol, “the Demon Star,” the second brightest star in the constellation Perseus. 🌟
Sunday (15 November 2020) — On this day in 1777, after many months of debate, the Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation and sent them to the states for ratification. 🇺🇸 The cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., was laid on this day in 1939 by President Franklin Roosevelt. 🏛 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of November is A.E. Housman’s “Stars, I have seen them fall,” for the annual Leonid meteor shower. 🌠 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, taken from our weekly poem, is our annual offering for Veterans Day and Armistice Day, and for the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918: “At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.” 🕊
❡ 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!”). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌍 🇨🇬 EVERYTHING FLOWS: The Congo Republic (Brazzaville) in central Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Lefini River, one of the tributaries of the great Congo River. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Lefini 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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