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 Maine, and our COUNTRIES are Kiribati 🇰🇮, North Korea 🇰🇵, South Korea 🇰🇷, and Kosovo 🇽🇰. (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 February 2021) — Today is the 38th day of 2021; there are 327 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 the birthday of two famous writers: the English novelist Charles Dickens (1812–1870) and the American novelist Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957). 🖋
Monday (8 February 2021) — Today is the birthday of the great Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (1834–1907), the discoverer of the Periodic Table. ⚗️ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for second week of February is a youthful amatory lyric from Emily Dickinson (1830–1886), “Awake ye muses nine,” for Valentine’s Day. ❤️ Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Tuesday (9 February 2021) — Today is the birthday of the English-American political philosopher and revolutionary Thomas Paine (1737–1809). 🇺🇸 It’s also the anniversary of the Great Meteor Procession of 1913 (A close call, perhaps.) 🌠
Wednesday (10 February 2021) — Today is the Christian feast day of Saint Scholastica (ca. 480–543), the patroness of schools and education. 🎓 It’s also the birthday of the great Russian writer and Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak (1890–1960). 🖋 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Koguryo Tombs in North Korea. 🇰🇵
Thursday (11 February 2021) — Today is the birthday of the great American inventor Thomas Edison (1847–1931). Fiat lux! 💡
Friday (12 February 2021) — Two major historical figures of the nineteenth century were both born on this day in 1809: Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) 🇺🇸 and Charles Darwin (1809–1882). 🦋 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Woodpeckers! Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅 And speaking of birds, today is the first day of the 2021 Great Backyard Bird Count! It’s an ideal homeschool science and nature activity, running all weekend (12–15 February). Visit birdcount.org and join in the fun! 🐦
Saturday (13 February 2021) — Today is the birthday of the American artist Grant Wood (1891–1942). 🎨 It’s also the birthday of the American aviator Chuck Yeager (b. 1923), the first person to break the sound barrier. ✈️ 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: Betelgeuse, the brightest star in the constellation Orion the Hunter. 🌟
Sunday (14 February 2021) — Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️ Here’s hoping your little home academy will be full of love on this day and every day throughout the year. 💕
🥂 ❤️ OUR WEEKLY TOAST is an old Valentine’s Day favorite: “To the wings of love: may they never lose a feather, but soar up to the sky above, and last forever and 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!”). What will you toast this week? 🥂
🌏 🇰🇷 EVERYTHING FLOWS: South Korea in eastern Asia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Geum River, one of the longest rivers in South Korea. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Geum 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. 🗓