Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-10-18
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. Add your name to our free mailing list to get posts like these delivered right to your mailbox each week, 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 Maryland, and our COUNTRIES are Brunei 🇧🇳, Bulgaria 🇧🇬, Burkina Faso 🇧🇫, and Burundi 🇧🇮. (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 (18 October 2020) — Today is the 292nd day of 2020; there are 74 days remaining in this leap year. Learn more about different kinds of calendars on pages 350–356 in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books). 📚 The great American novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville was first published on this day in 1851 in London (sic). 🐳 And today is the birthday of the great rock-and-roll pioneer Chuck Berry (1926–2017). 🎸
Monday (19 October 2020) — Today is the birthday of Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682), author of some of the most luminous prose in the English language. ⚱️ And on this day in 1781 at Yorktown, Virginia, British forces under the command of Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington and Comte de Rochambeau, effectively ending the American Revolution. 🕊
Tuesday (20 October 2020) — Today is the birthday of the architect Sir Christopher Wren (1632–1732), who rebuilt much of central London after the Great Fire of 1666. 🏛 And on this day in the year 1803, the United States Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase. 🇺🇸
Wednesday (21 October 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834). 🖋 And since we talked a lot about apples this past week, it’s only fitting to note that today is celebrated as Apple Day in the United Kingdom. 🍎 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Ruins of Loropéni in Burkina Faso. 🇧🇫
Thursday (22 October 2020) — Today is the birthday of the great Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt (1811–1886). 🎹 On this day in 1879, Thomas Edison tested his design for first practical and long-lasting incandescent light bulb. 💡 And on this day in 1884, the International Meridian Conference declared a line passing from the north pole through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, to be our planet’s Prime Meridian (the line of 0º longitude). 🌐 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week, as October grows thin, is a song for the coming cold by the great Maine folk artist Gordon Bok. 🌅 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Friday (23 October 2020) — On this day in 1739, England declared war on Spain in the conflict memorably known as the War of Jenkins’ Ear. 👂 Today is the birthday of the popular naturalist and children’s author Neltje Blanchan (1865–1918). 🐦 And sometime between 6:02 a.m. and 6:02 p.m. today, chemistry students will want offer a toast in honor of International Mole Day (6.02 × 10²³). ⚗️ Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Swifts and Hummingbirds, aerial acrobats all. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (24 October 2020) — One of the most famous buildings in the world, Chartres Cathedral, was consecrated on this day in the year 1260. 🇫🇷 Today is the birthday of the pioneering Dutch microscopist Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1732). 🔬 On this day in 1861, the first North American transcontinental telegraph line was completed. ⚡️ And, to-morrow is Saint Crispian. 🍻
Sunday (25 October 2020) — On this day in the year 285 (or perhaps 286), the early Christian saints Crispin and Crispinian, patrons of cobblers and leather workers, were executed in Rome by the emperor Diocletian. 👞 And on this day in 1415, the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, King Henry V of England, outnumbered, defeated the armies of France in the Battle of Agincourt. 🏹 And Crispin-Crispian shall ne’er go by, from this day to the ending of the world, but they in it shall be rememberèd. 🎭
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, to be offered this Saturday, and on the 24th of every October to the ending of the world, is from Shakespeare: “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
❡ 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 unpredictability in toasting!”). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌍 🇧🇮 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Burundi in central Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Ruzizi River, which forms part of the border between Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo and empties into Lake Tanganyika. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Ruzizi River 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 (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. 🗓
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