Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-04-26
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 (and planners!) for the entire year.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is West Virginia, and our COUNTRIES are Paraguay 🇵🇾, Peru 🇵🇪, the Philippines 🇵🇭, and Poland 🇵🇱. (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 April 2020) — Today is the 117th day of 2020; there are 249 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). 📚 On this day in 1803, thousands of meteor fragments fell from the skies over L’Aigle, France, demonstrating conclusively that “shooting stars” were in fact rocks falling from the sky. 🌠 And today is the birthday of the famous French-American naturalist and artist John James Audubon (1785–1851). 🎨
Monday (27 April 2020) — On this day in 1667, blind and impoverished, John Milton sold the publishing rights to his masterpiece Paradise Lost for £5. 🍎 And today is the birthday of the American artist and inventor Samuel F.B. Morse (1791–1872), the creator of Morse Code. 🎨
Tuesday (28 April 2020) — It’s the birthday of the American novelist Harper Lee (1926–2016), author of the school-standard story To Kill a Mockingbird. 🖋
Wednesday (29 April 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great American jazz musician and composer Duke Ellington (1899–1974). 🎹 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will visit the historic Jesuit Missions of Paraguay. 🇵🇾
Thursday (30 April 2020) — On this day in 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States. 🇺🇸 And on this day in 1897, British physicist J.J. Thompson announced the discovery of the electron. ⚛️ Today is also the birthday of the great American choral conductor Robert Shaw (1916–1999). 🎶
Friday (1 May 2020) — Happy May! 🌼 May is Bird Migration Month in the River Houses. Keep an eye on the season’s progress at birdcast.info. 🐦 The world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black, was issued on this day in 1840 in the United Kingdom. 📬 And on this day in 1931, the Empire State Building was dedicated in New York City as (at the time) the tallest building in the world. 🏙 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the first week of May is, naturally enough, “May and the Poets” by Leigh Hunt (1784–1859). 🌼 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to a number of small insect-eating birds: the Sylviid Warblers, Leaf Warblers, and Old World Flycatchers. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (2 May 2020) — Peter and the Wolf, the much-loved orchestral work for children by Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953), debuted in Moscow on this day in 1936. 🐺 And 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 (3 May 2020) — Today is the birthday of the famous Italian Renaissance historian and political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527). 👑 And on this day in 1715, Edmund Halley (of comet fame) successfully predicted, to within four minutes’ accuracy, a total solar eclipse that was visible across much of Europe. 🌍 🌑 ☀️
👨🌾 THIS WEEK’S TOAST, for all the farmers of the world, is an old traditional for the beginning of the growing season:
Good luck to the hoof and the horn!
Good luck to the flock and the fleece!
Good luck to the growers of corn!
With blessings of plenty and peace!
❡ 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: The Philippines in southeastern Asia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Agusan River on the Philippine island of Mindanao. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Agusan 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. 🗓