Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-04-05
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.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Minnesota, and our COUNTRIES are Nepal 🇳🇵, the Netherlands 🇳🇱, New Zealand 🇳🇿, and Nicaragua 🇳🇮. (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 waxing, heading toward full on the 7th — 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 (5 April 2020) — Today is the 96th day of 2020; there are 270 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). 📚 Happy First Contact Day! 🖖 On this day in 2063, a Vulcan ship will land near Bozeman, Montana, bringing to an end our long galactic childhood. 🚀 🌌
Tuesday (7 April 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great English poet William Wordsworth (1770–1850). 🌈 And there’s a full moon tonight, so that means we’ll have a report on student research opportunities from the River Houses Lunar Society (riverhouses.org/lunar). 🌕 And since this is the first Tuesday of the month, today we’ll also invite you to learn a new Dewey Decimal class with your students. This month: the Technological 600s. 📚
Wednesday (8 April 2020) — On this day in 1820, the famous ancient statue now known as the Venus de Milo was discovered on the Greek island of Milos in the southern Aegean Sea. 🏛 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the central Asian country of Nepal (which also happens to have a very cool flag). 🇳🇵 And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of April is Delmore Schwartz’s “Calmly We Walk through This April’s Day,” a beautiful, philosophical, Heraclitean, high-school-level poem for spring. 🌸 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Thursday (9 April 2020) — On this day in 1865, Confederate general Robert E. Lee formally surrendered to Union general Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War. 🕊
Friday (10 April 2020) — Today is the birthday of William Booth (1829–1912), the founder of the Salvation Army. ✝️ And our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the friendly and familiar Chickadees and Titmice. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (11 April 2020) — Today is the birthday of the strange and wonderful eighteenth-century poet Christopher Smart (1722–1771). 🐈 It’s also the birthday of American educator and statesman Edward Everett (1794–1865), one of the most celebrated orators of his day, who in 1863 had the misfortune of speaking for the two hours before Abraham Lincoln delivered his two-minute Gettysburg Address. 🇺🇸 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: Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. 🌟
Sunday (12 April 2020) — On this day in 1861, Confederate artillery opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, touching off the American Civil War. (For a quick review of the Civil War, turn to page 314 in your River Houses history encyclopedia.) ⚔️ And on this day in 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (1934–1968) became the first human being ever to orbit the earth. (You can find him also in your history encyclopedia, on page 578.) 👨🚀
5 Apr 2063 – 🖖 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, for First Contact Day, is a Vulcan traditional: “Peace and long life,” to which others respond, “Live long and prosper.”
❡ 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: Nicaragua in Central America is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the San Juan River, which forms much of the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica to the south. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the San Juan 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. 🗓