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 Pennsylvania, and our COUNTRIES are Angola 🇦🇴, Antigua and Barbuda 🇦🇬, Argentina 🇦🇷, and Armenia 🇦🇲. (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 331–346 in your almanac. Browse through our many homeschool astronomy posts for even more.
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (11 September 2022) — Today is the 254th day of 2022; there are 111 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 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. 🌍
Monday (12 September 2022) — 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.” 🚀 🌕
Tuesday (13 September 2022) — Today is the birthday of the German composer and pianist Clara Schumann (1819–1896). 🎵 It’s also the birthday of the British novelist, children’s author, and WWII fighter pilot Roald Dahl (1916–1990). 🖋
Wednesday (14 September 2022) — The annual Monarch butterfly migration is underway in many parts of the United States this week. How many have you seen? 🦋 On this day in 1814 during the British bombardment of Baltimore, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem that he called “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” We know it today as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States. 🇺🇸 The Soviet space probe Luna 2, the first man-made object to reach the lunar surface, crash-landed onto the moon on this day in 1959. 🚀 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin in Armenia. 🇦🇲
Thursday (15 September 2022) — Today is the birthday of novelist James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851), one of the most popular writers of nineteenth-century America. 🖋 It’s also the birthday of writer and illustrator Robert McCloskey (1914–2003), author of Make Way for Ducklings (1941) and other children’s classics. 🦆 Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of September is Robert Frost’s “The Tuft of Flowers,” for the fall harvest, our common labor, and the Monarch butterfly migration. Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the 2022–2023 homeschool year. 🦋
Friday (16 September 2022) — On this day in 1776, with George Washington in direct command, the Continental Army in New York successfully defended several key positions on Manhattan Island in the Battle of Harlem Heights. ⚔️ Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Ducks, Geese, and Swans (Part II). Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦆
Saturday (17 September 2022) — Today is Constitution Day! On this day in 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia by the members of the Constitutional Convention. Why not pay a homeschool visit to the original Constitution today at its current home in the National Archives. 🇺🇸 Today is also the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam in 1862, one of the bloodiest days in American history, with more than 22,000 Union and Confederate casualties. ⚔️
Sunday (18 September 2022) — Today is the birthday of the great English writer and lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709–1784). 📖 And on this day in 1793, President George Washington, dressed (appropriately enough) in his masonic regalia, laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol Building. 🏛 And our Sunday States & Countries for next week will be New Jersey 🇺🇸, Australia 🇦🇺, Austria 🇦🇹, Azerbaijan 🇦🇿, and the Bahamas 🇧🇸.
🥂 🌕 OUR WEEKLY TOAST, for yesterday’s first full moon of the River Houses year, is one of our traditional offerings: “To the members of the ancient Lunar Society of Birmingham — may their curiosity and inventiveness live on in us.”
❡ 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 in your homeschool this week? 🥂
🌎 🇦🇷 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Argentina in southern South America is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Chubut River (Río Chubut) in Argentina’s southern Patagonia region. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Chubut 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 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. 🌎 🌍 🌏
🙀 AND DON’T FORGET: Friday the 13th comes on a Tuesday 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. 🗓
❡ Become a Friend! If you enjoy the educational materials we distribute each week, please support our work and the noble cause of homeschooling by becoming a Friend of the River Houses! Your support keeps us going and growing! 😊