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, to wrap up our year-long geographical tour with a bonus, is the planet Earth itself, and our “COUNTRIES” are the Solar System and the Universe beyond! (You can find them in our separate Sunday States & Countries post for the week, which went up just a few minutes ago.)
🌖 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is gibbous and waning — 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 (29 August 2021) — Today is the 241st day of 2021; there are 124 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 philosopher of liberty John Locke (1632–1704), whose works influenced the framing of the American system of government. 📖
Monday (30 August 2021) — Today is the birthday of the novelist Mary Shelley (1797–1851), author of Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). 🌭🍺 The great physicist and Nobel Laureate Ernest Rutherford was born on this day in 1871. ⚛️ It’s also the birthday of baseball great Ted Williams (1918–2002), the last major league player to bat over .400 in a season (1941). ⚾️
Tuesday (31 August 2021) — Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori was born on this day in 1870. Her approach to early childhood education remains popular in homeschools as well as in public and private schools around the world. 🏫
Wednesday (1 September 2021) — A New River Houses Homeschool Year Begins! 🗓 Today is the first day of Cygnus Term, our fall term in the River Houses, named for the Great Swan of the Heavens. 🦢 And for this first week of September, this first week of Cygnus Term, and this first week of the 2021–2022 River Houses year, our homeschool poem-of-the-week is our traditional extract from Jonathan Swift’s adaptation of the Roman poet Horace (65–8 B.C.): “A handsome house to lodge a friend, / A river at my garden’s end.” Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the new (poetical!) homeschool year. 🖋
Thursday (2 September 2021) — On this day in 1752, nearly two centuries after the countries of Continental Europe, Great Britain and her American colonies adopted the Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday, September 2nd, 1752, was followed by Thursday, September 14th, 1752. 🗓
Friday (3 September 2021) — The American Revolution came to a formal end on this day in 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris between Great Britain and the new United States of America. 🇺🇸🕊🇬🇧 Our Friday Bird Families post this week, the first of the 2021–2022 homeschool year, will introduce you to your recommended bird guide. 🐦 Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the coming year. 🦅
Saturday (4 September 2021) — On this day in the year 476, Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by the provincial warlord Odoacer who declared himself King of Italy, bringing to an end the Western Roman Empire, which had lasted for nearly 500 years. 👑 And since this is the first Saturday of the month, we’ll post our regular monthly preview today of some of the astronomical events you and your students can watch for over the next few weeks. 🔭
Sunday (5 September 2021) — In response to the Intolerable Acts, the first Continental Congress assembled on this day in 1774 in Philadelphia. 🇺🇸 And on this day in 1836, Sam Houston was elected the first President of the Republic of Texas. 🌵 (Yes, that’s what you get when you search for an emoji for Texas.)
🥂 🎉 THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL TOAST is our traditional offering for the beginning of every new River Houses year: “Let the river run!”
❡ 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, even the stars: The Universe is our “country” of the week for this last week of the River Houses year, so our Weekly World River is the constellation Eridanus, the Great River of the Heavens. You can chart its course in the astronomical section of your homeschool atlas and in your backyard night-sky guide, and you can read more about it in the comprehensive Eridanus entry in Wikipedia or perhaps on your next visit to your local library.
❡ Children of Ocean: Why not do a homeschool study of world rivers over the course of the year? Take the one we select each week, 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 this week, this coming month, this coming term, and this wonderful upcoming homeschool year? 😊
❡ 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. 🗓