For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2020-01-26
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! Visit our River Houses calendar page (riverhouses.org/calendars) and print your own homeschool calendars for the entire year.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Alabama, and our COUNTRIES are Japan 🇯🇵, Jordan 🇯🇴, Kazakhstan 🇰🇿, and Kenya 🇰🇪. (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 waxing 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 (26 January 2020) — Today is the 26th day of 2020; there are 340 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 world’s largest diamond, the Cullinan diamond, was found on this day in 1905 in the Premier mine near Pretoria, South Africa. 💎 And on this day in 1915, Rocky Mountain National Park was established by an act of the U.S. Congress. 🏞
Monday (27 January 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). 🎼
Tuesday (28 January 2020) — On this day in 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after launch, killing all seven members of the astronaut crew. 👨🚀👨🚀👨🚀👩🚀👩🚀👨🚀👨🚀 Today is also the birthday of the great choral composer John Taverner (1944–2013). 🎼
Wednesday (29 January 2020) — Today is the birthday of Revolutionary war general Moses Cleaveland (1754–1806), the founder of Cleveland, Ohio. 🏙 It’s also the birthday of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov (1860–1904). 🖋
Thursday (30 January 2020) — Today is the birthday of U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt (1882–1945). 🇺🇸 It’s also the birthday of pioneering computer scientist Douglas Engelbart (1925–2013), inventor of the computer mouse and many other standard features of modern computers. 🖱
Friday (31 January 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great Austrian pianist and composer Franz Schubert (1797–1828). 🎹 It’s also the birthday of baseball great Jackie Robinson (1919–1972), the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. ⚾️ Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Owls! 🦉 Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (1 February 2020) — On this day in 1942, at the height of World War II, the Voice of America, the official overseas radio service of the U.S. government, began broadcasting to territories in Europe controlled by the Axis powers. 📻 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for first week of February is Robert Frost’s wintry classic “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” ❄️ Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋 And since this is the first Saturday of the month, we’ll also post our regular monthly preview today of some of the important astronomical events you and your students can watch for over the next few weeks. 🔭
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May peace and plenty ever grow from American soil.”
❡ 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!”). Our current set of toasts are mostly taken from an old anthology called The Perfect Gentleman; or, Etiquette and Eloquence (New York, 1860). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌏 🇰🇿 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Kazakhstan in central Asia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Lepsy River, one of the principal rivers of eastern Kazakhstan. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Lepsy River 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. 🗓