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.
🗓 🗡 This is the last full week of ORION TERM, our winter term in the River Houses. Leo Term, our spring term, begins on Monday the first of March.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Arkansas, and our COUNTRIES are Lebanon 🇱🇧, Lesotho 🇱🇸, Liberia 🇱🇷, and Libya 🇱🇾. (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 waxing — 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 371–386 in your almanac. Browse through our many astronomy posts for even more.
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (21 February 2021) — Today is the 52nd day of 2021; there are 313 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 1918, the last individual Carolina Parakeet, the only species of parrot native to the United States, died in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo. 🦜 😔
Monday (22 February 2021) — Today is the birthday of George Washington (1732–1799), the first President of the United States. 🇺🇸 And speaking of presidents, on this day in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first-ever radio address from the White House. 📻 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the last week of February is John Keats’ famous sonnet “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer,” for the anniversary of Keats’ death in 1821. 🔭 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Wednesday (24 February 2021) — On this day in 1803, the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Marbury v. Madison, establishing the principle of judicial review. ⚖️ Today is also the birthday of the American painter and illustrator Winslow Homer (1836–1910). 🎨 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to Maloti–Drakensberg Park in Lesotho 🇱🇸.
Thursday (25 February 2021) — The first African-American to serve in the U.S. Congress, Hiram Rhodes Revels, Republican of Mississippi, was sworn in on this day in 1870. 🇺🇸 And today is the birthday of the great French impressionist painter and sculptor Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919). 🎨
Friday (26 February 2021) — Today is the birthday of the German-American clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss (1829–1902). 👖 It’s also the birthday of the great American songwriter and rock-and-roll pioneer Antoine “Fats” Domino (1928–2017). 🎹 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Parrots! Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦜
Saturday (27 February 2021) — Today is the birthday of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), one of the most popular American poets of the nineteenth century. 🖋 And, there’s a full moon tonight, so that means we’ll have a report on student research opportunities from the River Houses Lunar Society. 🌕
Sunday (28 February 2021) — Happy Dord Day! 🎉
🥂 🏡 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, for the close of Orion Term, is adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson and A.E. Housman: “To the hunter home from the hill.”
❡ 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: Lebanon in the Middle East is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Kadisha River, which rises in northern Lebanon near the ancient Cedars of God. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Kadisha 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. 🌍
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. 🗓