(This is the first of our regular Quick Freshes posts for the 2021–2022 homeschool year. Print your own River Houses Calendar to follow along with us, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year.)
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. Visit our River Houses calendar page to print your own homeschool calendars and planners for the entire year.
🗓 🦢 This is the first full week of CYGNUS TERM, our fall term in the River Houses. Cygnus Term runs from September through November.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Delaware, and our COUNTRIES are Afghanistan 🇦🇫, Albania 🇦🇱, Algeria 🇩🇿, and Andorra 🇦🇩. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post for the week, the first one of the brand new homeschool year, went up just a few minutes ago. Print your own River Houses States & Countries Calendar and follow along with us from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.)
🌘 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is a tiny 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 (5 September 2021) — Today is the 278th day of 2021; there are 117 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. 📚 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.)
Monday (6 September 2021) — Today is Labor Day, the U.S. federal holiday honoring the American labor movement, celebrated each year on the first Monday in September. 🛠 On this day in 1522, the ship Victoria, the only survivor of the Magellan expedition, arrived back in Spain having completed history’s first circumnavigation of the world. The voyage took just over three years. For a great homeschool overview of the early European voyages of exploration, turn to page 224 in your River Houses history encyclopedia. 🌍🌎🌏🌍 Today is also the birthday of English scientist John Dalton (1766–1844), one of the founders of modern chemistry. ⚗️
Tuesday (7 September 2021) — Today is the birthday of Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603), who gave her name to the Elizabethan Era. For an illustrated homeschool review and timeline of this important historical period, turn to page 260 in your River Houses history encyclopedia. 👑 Today is also the birthday of the much-loved American painter Anna Mary Robertson Moses (1860–1961), better known as Grandma Moses. 🎨 And since this is the first Tuesday of the month, today we’ll invite you and your students to learn all about your local library by starting on our twelve-month tour of the Dewey Decimal system. 📚
Wednesday (8 September 2021) — Today is one of the most important anniversary dates in American — nay, in world cultural history: on this day in 1966, the first episode of Star Trek, “The Man Trap,” was broadcast on NBC television. 🚀 🖖 Our Wednesday World Heritage tour for the 2021–2022 homeschool year will begin this week with a visit to the M’Zab Valley in Algeria. 🇩🇿 Print your own River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us. 🌎 And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the second week of September is Elizabeth Jennings’ “Song at the Beginning of Autumn,” for the new homeschool year. Follow along with your own copy of our River Houses Poetry Calendar for the new year. 🖋
Thursday (9 September 2021) — Today is the birthday of the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910). 📚 It’s also the birthday of the American businessman Harland David Sanders (1890–1980), better known as Colonel Sanders, the founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain. 🍗
Friday (10 September 2021) — Today is the birthday of the great English composer Henry Purcell (1659–1695). 🎵 It’s also the birthday of the American physicist Arthur Compton (1892–1962), winner of the 1927 Nobel Prize for his studies of electromagnetism. 🧲 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Ducks, Geese, and Swans! Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦆
Saturday (11 September 2021) — Today is the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3000 people in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. 🇺🇸 It’s also the birthday of the Scottish explorer Mungo Park (1771–1806), one of the first Europeans to travel to the interior of Africa. 🌍 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: Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. 🌟
Sunday (12 September 2021) — This is the traditional date of the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., one of the most consequential battles in the history of the Western world, in which the Athenians and their allies defeated the armies of Darius the Great of Persia in his attempt to conquer mainland Greece. ⚔️ On this day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy declared that the United States would land a man on the moon “before this decade is out.” 🚀 🌕
🥂 🏡 OUR TOAST THIS WEEK is our traditional offering for the first week of every River Houses year: “A little health, a little wealth, a little house, and freedom.”
❡ 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: Algeria on the Mediterranean coast of Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Sebaou River, which flows northward into the Mediterranean Sea. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Sebaou River 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 (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 this week, this month, this term, and this wonderful 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. 🗓