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 Georgia, and our COUNTRIES are Bahrain 🇧🇭, Bangladesh 🇧🇩, Barbados 🇧🇧, and Belarus 🇧🇾. (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 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 (26 September 2021) — Today is the 269th day of 2021; there are 96 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. 📚 On this day in 1687, during the Venetian siege of Athens, a bomb fell on the Parthenon, which was being used by the Ottoman Turks for munitions storage. The roof, parts of the frieze, and many of the columns, which had stood for more than two thousand years, were destroyed. 🏛 Today is the birthday of American nurseryman and folk hero John Chapman (1774–1845), better known as Johnny Appleseed. 🍎 It’s also the birthday of American poet and Nobel Prize laureate T.S. Eliot (1888–1965), author of (among other things) Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a wonderful read-aloud book for children. 🐈
Monday (27 September 2021) — On this day in 1941, the S.S. Patrick Henry, the first of a fleet of nearly 3000 “Liberty Ships” that transported supplies and troops during World War II, was launched in Baltimore, Maryland. ⚓️
Tuesday (28 September 2021) — Today is the birthday of the great philologist Sir William Jones (1746–1794), who first recognized the extent of the vast Indo-European family of languages. 🗣 And on this day in 1928, Scottish microbiologist Alexander Fleming noticed that mold growing on some of his laboratory samples was killing colonies of bacteria. The result of this chance observation was the discovery of the first antibiotic, penicillin. 🔬
Wednesday (29 September 2021) — Today is the first day of the week you’ve all been waiting for: Fat Bear Week at Katmai National Park! Vote for your favorite fat bear online! 🐻 Today is also the birthday of the great Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616). 🇪🇸 And it’s also the birthday of the pioneering Austrian-American economic philosopher Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973). 💵 And not only that, it’s also the birthday of the great Italian-American physicist and Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi (1901–1954). ⚛️ And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to Historic Bridgetown in Barbados. 🇧🇧
Thursday (30 September 2021) — Today is the birthday of William Wrigley Jr. (1861–1932), founder of the Wrigley chewing gum company. 🍬 And the Hoover Dam on the Arizona–Nevada border was dedicated on this day in 1935. 🏗
Friday (1 October 2021) — The first Ford Model T automobile was put on sale on this day in 1908. The price was $825. 🚗 The George Washington Bridge linking New York and New Jersey across the Hudson River was opened on this day in 1931. 🌉 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the first week of October is “To Autumn” by John Keats, perhaps the most famous fall poem in the English language and a work every student of literature should know. 🍂 Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🖋 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the the short-legged Grebes and the long-legged Flamingos. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦩
Saturday (2 October 2021) — Today is the birthday of Indian lawyer, philosopher, and political leader Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948). 🇮🇳 It’s also the birthday of American poet Wallace Stevens (1879–1955). 🖋 The comic strip Peanuts premiered on this day in 1950. 📰 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 (3 October 2021) — Today is the birthday of English veterinarian James Herriot (1916–1995), author of All Creatures Great and Small and other popular books about animals. 🐑 🐂 🐓 🐖 🐐
🥂 🍁 OUR WEEKLY TOAST and our weekly poem for upcoming October are one and the same: “To Autumn.”
❡ 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: The river-filled country of Bangladesh in southern Asia is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, and our Weekly World River is Bangladesh’s Dhaleshwari River. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Dhaleshwari 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 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. 🗓