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 New Mexico, and our COUNTRIES are United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪, United Kingdom 🇬🇧, United States 🇺🇸, and Uruguay 🇺🇾. (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 331–346 in your almanac. Browse through our many homeschool astronomy posts for even more.
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (24 July 2022) — Today is the 205th day of 2022; there are 160 days remaining in this common year. Learn more about different modern and historical calendars on pages 347–353 in your River Houses almanac. 📚 Today is the birthday of “The Liberator,” Simón Bolívar (1783–1830), one of the most important figures in the history of Latin America. Bolívar played a central role in establishing the independence of Bolivia (which was named for him), Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Venezuela. 🇧🇴 On this day in 1847, a group of Mormon pioneers under the leadership of Brigham Young arrived in the Salt Lake Valley and established the settlement that became Salt Lake City, Utah. 🏞 And on this day in 1969, the Apollo 11 capsule carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean about 800 miles southwest of Hawaii. 👨🚀👨🚀👨🚀 🌕 🚀 🌏 👨🚀👨🚀👨🚀
Monday (25 July 2022) — Today is the birthday of the German medical researcher Paul Langerhans (1847–1888) who discovered the insulin-secreting cell clusters of the pancreas, known today as the islets of Langerhans. 🔬
Tuesday (26 July 2022) — The great painter of the American West, George Catlin, was born on this day in 1796. 🎨 The most well known of the many attempts to create a universal language for all mankind got underway on this day in 1887 with the publication of Unua Libro, the First Book setting forth the proposed international language of Esperanto. 🗣
Wednesday (27 July 2022) — The inimitable Bugs Bunny made his screen debut on this day in 1940 in a short animated film called A Wild Hare. Elmer Fudd couldn’t catch him then, and hasn’t to this day. 🐰 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the United States. 🇺🇸
Thursday (28 July 2022) — Today is the birthday of the great English polymath Robert Hooke (1635–1703), one of the pioneers of microscopy and the first person to apply the world “cell” to the basic structural unit of living things. 🔬 And one of the most innovative poets of the nineteenth century, Gerard Manley Hopkins, was born on this day in 1844. 🖋
Friday (29 July 2022) — The seven-mile-long Cape Cod Canal first opened on this day in 1914, significantly reducing sailing time between Boston and New York (and markedly increasing safety). 🚢 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Blackbirds and their allies. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (30 July 2022) — Today is the birthday of the great (and largely homeschooled) English writer Emily Bronte (1818–1848), author of Wuthering Heights. 🖋 It’s also the birthday of the American engineer and industrialist Henry Ford (1863–1947). 🚗
Sunday (31 July 2022) — On this day in 1964 the Ranger 7 probe transmitted the first close-up images of the moon taken by an American spacecraft, just minutes before it was intentionally crash-landed on the lunar surface. 🚀 🌕 And our Sunday States & Countries for next week will be Arizona 🇺🇸, Uzbekistan 🇺🇿, Vanuatu 🇻🇺, Vatican City 🇻🇦, and Venezuela 🇻🇪.
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is an old traditional wish for the necessities of life: “Health of body, peace of mind, a clean shirt, and a dollar.”
❡ 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!”). Many of our current toasts are taken from an old anthology called The Royal Toast Master, Containing Many Thousands of the Best Toasts Old and New (London, 1793). What will you toast in your homeschool this week? 🥂
🌍 🇬🇧 EVERYTHING FLOWS: The United Kingdom in western Europe is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the historic River Wye, which forms part of the border between England and Wales. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the River Wye 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 693–695), 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. 🗓
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