Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-07-12
Quick Freshes are our regular Sunday notes on the homeschool week ahead. Pick one or two of the items below each week and use them to enrich your homeschooling schedule! Add your name to our free weekly mailing list to get these posts delivered right to your mailbox, and visit our River Houses calendar page (riverhouses.org/calendars) to print your own homeschool calendars and planners for the entire year.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Oklahoma, and our COUNTRIES are Turkmenistan 🇹🇲, Tuvalu 🇹🇻, Uganda 🇺🇬, and Ukraine 🇺🇦. (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 at its third quarter — 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 (12 July 2020) — Today is the 194th day of 2020; there are 172 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 the birthday of the great American writer, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). 🌳 It’s also the birthday of the American artist Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009). 🎨
Monday (13 July 2020) — Today is the generally accepted birthdate of the ancient Roman politician, general, and dictator Julius Caesar (100–44 B.C.). 🏛 It’s also the birthday of the great English nature poet John Clare (1793–1864). 🏞
Tuesday (14 July 2020) — Today is the birthday of the celebrated composer Gerald Finzi (1901–1956), known for his musical settings of many classic lyric poems. 🎼 And on this day in 2015, the interplanetary space probe New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto (less than 8000 miles from the surface). 🚀 ♇
Wednesday (15 July 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669). 🎨 On this day in 1799, near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in Egypt, a French captain in Napoleon’s army discovered a smooth black stone with a trilingual inscription in hieroglyphs, demotic Egyptian, and Greek. The Rosetta Stone, one of the world’s most famous archeological objects, made it possible to translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for the first time. 🇪🇬 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of the month is Emily Dickinson’s playful lyric “Answer, July,” for the span of the year. 🗓 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us. 🖋 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the ancient Parthian Fortresses of Nisa in Turkmenistan. 🇹🇲
Thursday (16 July 2020) — Today is the midpoint of Hercules Term and so one of the four cross-quarter days of the River Houses year. How are things going? 💪 The District of Columbia was established as the capital of the United States on this day in 1790. 🇺🇸 Today is the birthday of the American religious leader Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), founder of the Christian Science movement. ✝️ And today is also the birthday of the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872–1928), leader of the first expedition to reach the South Pole. 🇦🇶
Friday (17 July 2020) — George Frideric Handel’s masterpiece “Water Music” premiered on this day in 1717, played by 50 musicians on a barge floating down the Thames River in London. 🎵 Today is also the birthday of the great Christian hymn writer and educator Isaac Watts (1674–1748). 🎼 And … it’s World Emoji Day! 😎🕴🌎 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will continue our exploration of the Emberizid Sparrows. (It’s a big group!) Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (18 July 2020) — It’s National Moth Week! 🌆 The Great Fire of Rome broke out on this day in the year 64. Over the next six days it destroyed much of the city. Some reports (which may or may not be true) claimed that the Emperor Nero entertained himself by playing the lyre as he watched the city go up in flames. 🔥 On this day in 1863 during the American Civil War, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a regiment made up almost entirely of African-American soldiers, attempted unsuccessfully to capture Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina. Their story was dramatized in the 1989 film Glory. ⚔️
Sunday (19 July 2020) — The first national convention on women’s rights, the two-day Seneca Falls Convention, opened on this day in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. ♀️
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “To truth: may it always triumph over falsehood.”
❡ 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!”). Many of our current toasts are taken from an old anthology called Clark’s Original Songs, Recitations, &c. (Rye, Sussex, 1846). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌏 🇹🇲 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Turkmenistan in central Asia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Amu Darya — known to the ancient Romans as the Oxus River — which forms part of the border between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Amu Darya 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 Monday 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. 🗓