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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 first week of LEO TERM 🦁, our spring term in the River Houses (riverhouses.org/2020-leo). Leo Term runs from March through May.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Florida, and our COUNTRIES are Madagascar 🇲🇬, Malawi 🇲🇼, Malaysia 🇲🇾, and the Maldives 🇲🇻. (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 (1 March 2020) — Today is the 61st day of 2020; there are 305 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 also the first day of Leo Term, our spring term in the River Houses, named for the Great Lion of the Heavens. 🦁 And 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. 🖋
Monday (2 March 2020) — Today is the birthday of Sam Houston (1793–1863), the first president of the Republic of Texas. ☆
Tuesday (3 March 2020) — The Scottish-American engineer Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was born on this day in 1847. 📞 And on this day in 1931, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was officially adopted as the U.S. national anthem. 🇺🇸 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 Scientific 500s. 📚
Wednesday (4 March 2020) — The first session of the First United States Congress opened on this day in Federal Hall in New York in 1789, putting the new U.S. Constitution into effect. 🇺🇸
Thursday (5 March 2020) — Today is a major historical anniversary. On this day in 1770, exactly 250 years ago, British troops shot and killed five protestors on the streets of Boston in what quickly became known as the Boston Massacre. It would become one of the precipitating events of the American Revolution. ⚰️⚰️⚰️⚰️⚰️
Friday (6 March 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great Italian Renaissance painter and sculptor Michelangelo (1475–1564). 🎨 It’s also the birthday of the great English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861). 🖋 And on this day in 1836 during the Texas Revolution, the Alamo fell. Remember! ⚔️ Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Tyrant Flycatchers and the Becards. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (7 March 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great British astronomer and polymath John Herschel (1792–1871). 🔭 And speaking of astronomy, since this is the first Saturday of the month we’ll post our regular monthly preview today of some of the astronomical events you and your students can watch for over the next few weeks. 🌌
Sunday (8 March 2020) — Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for second week of March is Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” contrariwise for John Herschel (whose birthday was yesterday) and Albert Einstein (whose birthday is coming up on the 14th). 🔭 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is for the Texians of 1836: “Remember the Alamo!”
❡ 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: Malawi in southeastern Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the South Rukuru River, one of the rivers that feeds into Lake Malawi. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the South Rukuru 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. 🗓