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 Iowa, and our COUNTRIES are Mexico 🇲🇽, Micronesia 🇫🇲, Moldova 🇲🇩, and Monaco 🇲🇨. (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 at its first quarter — 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 March 2021) — Today is the 80th day of 2021; there are 285 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 also (according to the old Julian Calendar still in effect at the time) the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), one of the greatest musical composers in history. An interactive Google Doodle will keep your music students entertained on the occasion. 🎼
Monday (22 March 2021) — Today is the birthday of the English artist Randolph Caldecott (1846–1886), for whom the famous Caldecott awards for illustrated children’s books are named. 🎨 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the fourth week of March is Robert Frost’s lyrical meditation “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” a great memorization poem for early spring. 🌱 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Tuesday (23 March 2021) — On this day in 1775 at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech “Give me liberty, or give me death!” 🇺🇸
Wednesday (24 March 2021) — Today is the birthday of the great Victorian artist and designer William Morris (1834–1896). 🖌 It’s also the birthday of the Hungarian-American magician Harry Houdini (1874–1926). Shazam! 🎩 🐇 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Ancient Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco in Mexico. 🇲🇽
Thursday (25 March 2021) — Today is the birthday of the American agronomist and Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug (1914–2009), who may have saved more lives than any human being in history. 🌽 🌾 🌱 For some notes on his importance, see pages 464–465 in your River Houses history encyclopedia. 🔍
Friday (26 March 2021) — On this day in 1812, the Gerrymander was born! 🗳 And on this day in 1830, The Book of Mormon was first published in Palmyra, New York. 📖 Three great writers were also born on this day: A.E. Housman (1859–1936), Robert Frost (1874–1963), and Tennessee Williams (1911–1983). 🖋 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will once again explore the Crows and Jays, a big group! Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (27 March 2021) — On this day in 1912, the Japanese government presented a gift of 3000 cherry trees to the United States to line the banks of the Potomac River and other sites in Washington, D.C., where they and their successors may still be seen today. 🌸 And the Jewish festival of Passover begins tonight at sundown (the 15th day of the month of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar). ✡️
Sunday (28 March 2021) — The great Italian Renaissance painter and architect Raphael was born on this day in 1483. 🎨 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. 🌕
🥂 🌷 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is a Shakespearean sentiment for the beginning of astronomical spring: “All days of glory, joy, and happiness.”
❡ 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: Moldova in eastern Europe is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Bîc (or Bâc) River, an important Moldovan tributary of the great Dniester. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Bîc 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. 🗓