Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-06-07
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 Montana, and our COUNTRIES are Somalia 🇸🇴, South Africa 🇿🇦, South Sudan 🇸🇸, and Spain 🇪🇸. (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 waning — 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 (7 June 2020) — Today is the 159th day of 2020; there are 207 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 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution to the Continental Congress “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” The formal adoption of the Lee Resolution less than a month later, on 2 July 1776, established American independence. 🇺🇸
Monday (8 June 2020) — Today is the birthday of Francis Crick (1916–2004), co-discoverer (with James Watson) of the double-helical structure of DNA. 👨🔬 And speaking of famous Francises, our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of June is Francis Scott Key’s “Defence of Fort M’Henry,” much better known as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” for Flag Day (the 14th). 🇺🇸 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Tuesday (9 June 2020) — The Roman emperor Nero died (by suicide) on this day in the year A.D. 68, sparking a civil war and “the year of four emperors.” 🏛 And speaking of emperors, today is the birthday of the great Russian emperor Peter the Great (1672–1725). 👑
Wednesday (10 June 2020) — Today is the birthday of celebrated children’s book author Maurice Sendak (1928–2012). 🖋 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa. 🇿🇦
Thursday (11 June 2020) — Alexander the Great, one of the most influential figures in ancient history, died on this day in the year 343 B.C. at the age of only 32. You can read more about him on page 97 of your River Houses history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books). 🏛 And on this day in 1776, the Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence. 📜
Friday (12 June 2020) — Today is the birthday of the German-Jewish diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank (1929–1945). 📖 And the Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated on this day in 1939 in Cooperstown, New York. ⚾️ Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Fringilline Finches, Cardueline Finches, Longspurs, and Snow Buntings. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (13 June 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1939). ⚛️ It’s also the birthday of the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865–1939). ☘️ 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: Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. 🌟
Sunday (14 June 2020) — Today is Flag Day! 🇺🇸 On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the creation of the Continental Army. ⚔️ And on this day in 1777, the United States Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the American national flag. 🇺🇸
🥂 THIS WEEK’S TOAST is our traditional offering for Flag Day: “To the Star-spangled Banner: long may it wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
❡ 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: South Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the agriculturally important Gamtoos River. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Gamtoos 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. 🌍
AND DON’T FORGET: Friday the 13th comes on a Saturday this month! 🙀
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. 🗓