Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-08-23
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, wrapping up our year-long tour with a bonus, is the planet Earth itself, and our “COUNTRIES” are the Solar System and the Universe beyond! 🌌 (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 (23 August 2020) — Today is the 236th day of 2020; there are 130 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 1775, four months after Lexington and Concord, and two months after Bunker Hill, King George III formally proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of “open and avowed rebellion.” ⚔️
Monday (24 August 2020) — Although there is some debate among scholars, this is generally believed to be the day on which Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, burying the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. 🌋 And speaking of destruction, on this day in 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops captured the city of Washington and burned the White House and the U.S. Capitol. 🇬🇧⚔️🇺🇸
Tuesday (25 August 2020) — On the second day of the burning of Washington in 1814, the U.S. Treasury, the Library of Congress, and other public buildings were destroyed by British Troops. 🇬🇧⚔️🇺🇸 Today is also the birthday of American illustrator Walt Kelly (1913–1973), the creator of the comic strip Pogo. 🎨 And it’s also the birthday of the great American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990). 🎵
Wednesday (26 August 2020) — Today is the birthday of one of the founders of modern chemistry, the great French scientist Antoine Lavoisier (1743–1794), who coined the names “oxygen” and “hydrogen.” ⚗️ And our Wednesday World Heritage tours that began all the way back in September are now complete! Take a look at all the wonderful places we visited and stop by our homeschool calendar page to print a copy of the schedule we’ll be following in the new homeschool year that’s about to begin. 🇺🇳
Thursday (27 August 2020) — One of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history took place on this day in 1883 in the Krakatoa archipelago in Indonesia. Over the course of the previous day an ash cloud seventeen miles high had developed over the islands, and on the 27th four massive explosions occurred, the largest of which was heard 3000 miles away in the Indian Ocean. The ash injected into the atmosphere by the Krakatoa eruption produced vivid sunsets all around the world for many months. 🌋
Friday (28 August 2020) — Today is the birthday of the American naturalist and artist Roger Tory Peterson (1908–1996), whose series of compact field guides helped to make amateur bird study popular around the world. 🦆 On this day in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. 🕊 And our Friday flights with the Families of American Birds are also now complete! Take a look at all the wonderful avian friends we made this past year and print your own Calendar of American Birds to follow during the new homeschool year that’s about to begin. 🦅
Saturday (29 August 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great philosopher of liberty John Locke (1632–1704), whose works influenced the framing of the American system of government. 📖
Sunday (30 August 2020) — Today is the birthday of the novelist Mary Shelley (1797–1851), author of Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). 🌭🍺 The great physicist and Nobel Laureate Ernest Rutherford was born on this day in 1871. ⚛️ It’s also the birthday of baseball great Ted Williams (1918–2002), the last major league player to bat over .400 in a season (1941). ⚾️
🥂 OUR TOAST FOR THE LAST WEEK of every homeschool year is one of our traditional maritime offerings, for all our friends embarking on new voyages: “Fair winds and following seas.”
❡ 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, even the stars: The Universe is our “country” of the week for this last week of the River Houses year, so our Weekly World River is the constellation Eridanus, the Great River of the Heavens. You can chart its course in the astronomical section of your homeschool atlas and in your night-sky guide (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the comprehensive Eridanus entry in Wikipedia or perhaps on your next visit to your local library.
❡ Daughters of Ocean: Why not do a homeschool study of world rivers over the course of the year? Take the one we select each week, 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. 🗓
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