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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! Visit our River Houses calendar page (riverhouses.org/calendars) and print your own homeschool calendars (and planners!) for the entire year.
🗓 🗡 This is the last full week of ORION TERM, our winter term in the River Houses. Leo Term, our spring term, begins next Sunday, the first of March.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Michigan, and our COUNTRIES are Liechtenstein 🇱🇮, Lithuania 🇱🇹, Luxembourg 🇱🇺, and (North) Macedonia 🇲🇰. (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 new — that’s the best time of the month for dark-sky 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 (23 February 2020) — Today is the 54th day of 2020; there are 312 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). 📚 Today is the birthday of the great German-English composer George Frideric Handel (1685–1759). 🎺
Monday (24 February 2020) — On this day in 1803, the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Marbury v. Madison, establishing the principle of judicial (Constitutional) review. ⚖️ And today is the birthday of the American painter and illustrator Winslow Homer (1836–1910). 🎨
Tuesday (25 February 2020) — The first African-American to serve in the U.S. Congress, Hiram Rhodes Revels, Republican of Mississippi, was sworn in on this day in 1870. 🇺🇸 And today is the birthday of the great French impressionist painter and sculptor Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919). 🎨
Wednesday (26 February 2020) — Today is the birthday of the German-American clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss (1829–1902). 👖 It’s also the birthday of the great American songwriter and rock-and-roll pioneer Antoine “Fats” Domino (1928–2017). 🎹
Thursday (27 February 2020) — Today is the birthday of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), one of the most popular poets of the nineteenth century. 🖋
Friday (28 February 2020) — Happy Dord Day! 🎉 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Parrots! 🦜 Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (29 February 2020) — Happy Leap Day! Or, if you want to sound splendiferously vocabularic, Happy Intercalary Day! 🗓
Sunday (1 March 2020) — Today is the first day of LEO TERM, our spring term in the River Houses, named for the Great Lion of the Heavens. 🦁 It’s also the birthday of the great Polish pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849). 🎹 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for first week of March is a famously amusing collection of nuggets from Wallace Stevens, for migrating Red-winged Blackbirds and the coming spring thaw. 💧 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, for the close of Orion Term, is adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson and A.E. Housman: “To the hunter home from the hill.”
❡ 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: Lithuania is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Šventoji River, the longest river within Lithuania. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Šventoji 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. 🗓