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. Visit our River Houses calendar page to print your own homeschool calendars and planners for the entire year.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Indiana, and our COUNTRIES are Haiti 🇭🇹, Honduras 🇭🇳, Hungary 🇭🇺, and Iceland 🇮🇸. (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 waning 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 371–386 in your almanac. Browse through our many astronomy posts for even more.
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (10 January 2021) — Today is the 10th day of 2021; there are 355 days remaining in this common year. Learn more about different kinds of modern and historical calendars on pages 387–393 in your River Houses almanac. 📚 On this day in the year 49 B.C., Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river and approached the city of Rome with his army, touching off a civil war that led to the destruction of the Roman Republic and the eventual formation of the Roman Empire. ⚔️ For an illustrated overview of the life and times of Julius Caesar and his outsized impact on the Western world, see pages 108–109 in your homeschool history encyclopedia.
Monday (11 January 2021) — Today is the birthday of Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, whose portrait appears on our U.S. $10 bills. 💵 It’s also the birthday of William James (1842–1910), one of the founders of the modern field of psychology. 🧠
Tuesday (12 January 2021) — Today is the birthday of the French author Charles Perrault (1628–1703), who gave the world Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and many other beloved fairy tales. 🛌 It’s also the birthday of the American writer Jack London (1876–1916). 🐺
Wednesday (13 January 2021) — The National Geographic Society was founded on this day in 1888 in Washington, D.C. 🗺 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve in Honduras. 🇭🇳
Thursday (14 January 2021) — Today is the midpoint of Orion Term and thus one of the four cross-quarter days of the River Houses year. How are things going? 🗓 Today is also Ratification Day. On this day in 1784 in Annapolis, Maryland, Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris, officially ending the American Revolutionary War. 🕊
Friday (15 January 2021) — Queen Elizabeth I of England was crowned on this day in 1559. For an illustrated outline of the historical period named for her, turn to pages 260–261 in your homeschool history encyclopedia. 👑 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the long-legged Herons, Bitterns, Ibises, and Spoonbills. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅 And our poem-of-the-week for the third week of January is James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (1900), for American minister and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., born on this day in 1929. 🇺🇸 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Saturday (16 January 2021) — On this day in the year 27 B.C., the Roman Senate conferred the title “Augustus” on the general and de facto dictator Octavian, and the last remnants of the old republic were swept away. 👑
Sunday (17 January 2021) — Benjamin Franklin was born on this day in 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. 📰 And one of the most important battles in the Southern Theater of the American Revolution, the Battle of Cowpens, took place on this day in 1781 near Cowpens, South Carolina. ⚔️
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May mankind never cease to produce heroes.”
❡ 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!”). Many of our current toasts are taken from an old anthology called Toasts and Tributes: A Happy Book of Good Cheer (New York, 1904). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌎 🇭🇹 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Haiti in the West Indies is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Artibonite River, the longest river in Haiti. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Artibonite 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 699–701), 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 Wednesday 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 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 and follow along with us. 🗓