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 Montana, and our COUNTRIES are Somalia 🇸🇴, South Africa 🇿🇦, South Sudan 🇸🇸, and Spain 🇪🇸. (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 waxing 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 (13 June 2021) — Today is the 164th day of 2021; there are 201 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 Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1939). ⚛️ It’s also the birthday of the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865–1939). 🖋
Monday (14 June 2021) — Today is Flag Day! 🇺🇸 On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the creation of the Continental Army. ⚔️ And on this day in 1777, the United States Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the American national flag. 🇺🇸
Tuesday (15 June 2021) — And speaking of solar eclipses, Assyrian scribes recorded the occurrence of a total solar eclipse on this day in the year 763 B.C. The date of that eclipse serves a fixed reference point for much of ancient Mesopotamian chronology. 🌏 🌑 🌞 And on this day in 1215, King John of England set his seal to Magna Carta, the Great Charter that is the historical foundation of English (and so American) law. ⚖️ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of June is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Children’s Hour,” for Father’s Day, observed each year on the third Sunday in June. 👨👧👦 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋
Wednesday (16 June 2021) — Today is the birthday of the American geneticist and Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock (1902–1992). 👩🔬 And on this day in 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (b. 1937) became the first woman in space. 👩🚀 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Old Town of Segovia in Spain. 🇪🇸
Thursday (17 June 2021) — The Battle of Bunker Hill, the first coordinated encounter between opposing armies during the American Revolution, took place on this day in 1775 across the river from Boston. (See page 298 in your River Houses history encyclopedia for a Revolutionary review.) ⚔️ And today is the birthday of one of the giants of American, nay, of world history, to wit, Ruth Graves Wakefield (1903–1977), the inventor of the chocolate chip cookie! 🍪
Friday (18 June 2021) — On this day in 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain. ⚔️ And on this day in 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the presidential election of 1872. 🗳 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to those jewels of the American forests, the Wood Warblers! Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (19 June 2021) — On this day in 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, Union troops announced to slaves still living in Galveston, Texas, that they were free. The date is celebrated in Texas and several other states as Juneteenth Independence Day. 🎉
Sunday (20 June 2021) — HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all homeschool dads everywhere! 👨👧👦 And Happy First Day of Summer! 🌞 Today is the June Solstice, known as the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere (where today is the first day of winter). 🗓 The University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, received its royal charter on this day in the year 1248. 🎓 And the United States Congress approved the design of the Great Seal of the United States on this day in 1782. (You may well have a copy of it in your pocket right now.) 💵
🥂 🇺🇸 THIS WEEK’S TOAST is our traditional offering for Flag Day: “To the Star-spangled Banner: long may it wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
❡ 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 Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Amanzimtoti River in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Amanzimtoti 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. 🗓