Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-05-03
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.
🐦 🦅 May is Bird Migration Month in the River Houses, and throughout the month we’ll be sharing an assortment of extra homeschool notes on one of the world’s most wonderful natural phenomena.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Nevada, and our COUNTRIES are Portugal 🇵🇹, Qatar 🇶🇦, Romania 🇷🇴, and Russia 🇷🇺. (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 (3 May 2020) — Today is the 124th day of 2020; there are 242 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 also 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 Europe. 🌍 🌑 ☀️
Tuesday (5 May 2020) — The famous performance venue known today as Carnegie Hall opened in New York City on this day in 1891, with the great Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) as guest conductor. 🎵 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 (which we hope will be possible soon). This month: the Artistic 700s. 📚
Wednesday (6 May 2020) — Today is the birthday of the American admiral and polar explorer Robert Peary (1856–1920). 🎿 On this day in 1954, British athlete Roger Bannister (1929–2018) ran history’s first four-minute mile. 🏃 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the historic Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications in Portugal. 🇵🇹
Thursday (7 May 2020) — Two great “B’s” were born on this day: the English poet Robert Browning (1812–1889) and the German composer Johannes Brahms (1833–1897). 🖋 🎼 And on this day in 1915, a German U-boat sank the passenger liner R.M.S. Lusitania, killing nearly 1200 civilians. It was one of the principal events that drew the United States into World War I. 🚢 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). 🌕
Friday (8 May 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great Austrian-British economist and Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek (1899–1992). 💰 And today in 1945 was V-E Day, the end of World War II in Europe. ✌️ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of May is Anne Bradstreet’s “In Reference to Her Children,” for Mother’s Day and all homeschool moms. 👩👧👦 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 the melodious Thrushes. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (9 May 2020) — Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated on this day in the year 1092. It was the first building to surpass the Great Pyramid of Giza in height and was the tallest building in the world for more than 200 years. ⛪️ 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: the pole star Polaris, the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor, the Little Bear (which includes the Little Dipper). 🌟
Sunday (10 May 2020) — HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to homeschool moms everywhere! ❤️ On this day in 1775, in one of the great early successes of the American Revolution, a small group of colonial militia under the command of Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold (not yet a traitor) seized British-held Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain “in the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!” 🇺🇸 And on this day in 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah, a golden spike joined east and west and completed the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States. 🚂
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May courage ever be united with humanity.”
❡ 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: Portugal in western Europe is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the charming little Alcantarilha River. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Alcantarilha 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. 🗓