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 first full week of LEO TERM, our spring term in the River Houses. Leo Term runs from March through May.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Florida, and our COUNTRIES are Malawi 🇲🇼, Malaysia 🇲🇾, Maldives 🇲🇻, and Mali 🇲🇱. (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 (7 March 2021) — Today is the 66th day of 2021; there are 299 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. 📚 Today is the birthday of the great British astronomer and polymath John Herschel (1792–1871). 🔭 It’s also the birthday of the great American horticulturist Luther Burbank (1849–1926). 🥔
Monday (8 March 2021) — The influential U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was born on this day in 1841 in Boston, Massachusetts. ⚖️ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for second week of March is Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” contrariwise for John Herschel (whose birthday was yesterday) and Albert Einstein (whose birthday is coming up on the 14th). 🔭 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Tuesday (9 March 2021) — Today is the birthday of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512), the father of “America.” 🌎 It’s also the birthday of the great American composer and pianist Samuel Barber (1910–1981). 🎼
Wednesday (10 March 2021) — Today is Harriet Tubman Day, a great day to celebrate freedom! 🎆 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to Lake Malawi National Park in Malawi. 🇲🇼
Thursday (11 March 2021) — Today is the birthday of Vannevar Bush (1890–1974), one of the pioneering thinkers of the early computer age, who envisioned something like the World Wide Web all the way back in 1945 (he called it Memex). 🖥
Friday (12 March 2021) — Today is “Girl Scouts’ Birthday,” commemorating the establishment of the first American girl scout troop by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia, in 1912. 🍪 ☘️ Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the predatory Shrikes and the mellifluous Vireos. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (13 March 2021) — Today is the birthday of the American businessman, mathematician, and astronomer Percival Lowell (1855–1916), who inspired generations of science-fiction writers with his (mistaken) claim that there was an extensive network of canals on the surface of Mars. 👽 And since this is the second Saturday of the month, we’ll introduce you to another one of the Great Stars of the northern hemisphere night sky. This month: Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major and the brightest star in earth’s night sky. 🌟
Sunday (14 March 2021) — Happy 𝝿 Day! (3/14, that is.) 🥧 Daylight Saving Time begins this morning (the second Sunday in March) in most U.S. jurisdictions at 2:00 a.m., when you should set your clocks ahead to 3:00 a.m. 🕑 ↻ 🕒 And happy birthday also to the great German-Swiss-American physicist Albert Einstein (1879–1955). Learn more about him on pages 416–417 in your homeschool history encyclopedia. ⚛️
🥂 🎂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, in honor of Einstein’s birthday, is an old traditional: “Here’s to the clever: may they be with us ever.”
❡ 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 collection that appeared in the Thesaurus of Epigrams (New York, 1943). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌏 🇲🇾 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Malaysia in southeastern Asia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Kelantan River on the Malaysian peninsula. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Kelantan 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 Saturday 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. 🗓