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.
🌏 🌑 🌞 ON THURSDAY the 10th there will be a partial solar eclipse! Alas, it will only be visible in the western hemisphere in the northeastern United States and Canada, but thanks to the wonders of the web, you and your students can watch it live from the cozy confines of your home academy. Tune in to the timeanddate.com eclipse page for all the details.
🗓 💪 This is the first full week of HERCULES TERM, our summer term in the River Houses. Hercules Term runs from June through August.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is South Dakota, and our COUNTRIES are Singapore 🇸🇬, Slovakia 🇸🇰, Slovenia 🇸🇮, and the Solomon Islands 🇸🇧. (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 (6 June 2021) — Today is the 157th day of 2021; there are 208 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. 📚 The invasion of Normandy on the coast of France, code-named Operation Overlord, began on this day, D-Day, in 1944. It was the largest amphibious military operation in history and it began the liberation of western Europe from Nazi occupation. For a brief review, see page 398 in your homeschool history encyclopedia. 🇫🇷
Monday (7 June 2021) — On this day in 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution to the Continental Congress “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” The formal adoption of the Lee Resolution less than a month later, on 2 July 1776, established American independence. 🇺🇸
Tuesday (8 June 2021) — Today is the birthday of Francis Crick (1916–2004), co-discoverer (with James Watson) of the double-helical structure of DNA. 👨🔬 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of June is Francis Scott Key’s “Defence of Fort M’Henry,” much better known as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” for Flag Day (the 14th). 🇺🇸 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Wednesday (9 June 2021) — The Roman emperor Nero died (by suicide) on this day in the year A.D. 68, sparking a civil war and “the year of four emperors.” 🏛 And speaking of emperors, today is the birthday of the great Russian emperor Peter the Great (1672–1725). 👑 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Mercury Mines of Idrija and Almadén in Slovenia. 🇸🇮
Thursday (10 June 2021) — Today is the birthday of celebrated children’s book author Maurice Sendak (1928–2012). 🖋
Friday (11 June 2021) — Alexander the Great, one of the most influential figures in ancient history, died on this day in the year 343 B.C. at the age of only 32. You can read more about him on page 97 of your River Houses history encyclopedia. 🏛 And on this day in 1776, the Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence. 🖋 📜 🇺🇸 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to a host of small birds: the Fringilline Finches, Cardueline Finches, Longspurs, and Snow Buntings. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (12 June 2021) — Today is the birthday of the German-Jewish diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank (1929–1945). 📖 The Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated on this day in 1939 in Cooperstown, New York. ⚾️ 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: Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. 🌟
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May we never engage in a bad cause, and never fly from a good one.”
❡ 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 Routledge’s Manual of Etiquette (London, ca. 1870). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌏 🇸🇧 EVERYTHING FLOWS: The Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Lunga River on the island of Guadalcanal. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Lunga 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 Sunday 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. 🗓