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 Mississippi, and our COUNTRIES are India 🇮🇳, Indonesia 🇮🇩, Iran 🇮🇷, and Iraq 🇮🇶. (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 waxing — 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 astronomy posts for even more.
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (16 January 2022) — Today is the 16th day of 2022; there are 349 days remaining in this common year. Learn more about different kinds of modern and historical calendars on pages 347–353 in your River Houses almanac. 📚 On this day in the year 27 B.C., the Roman Senate conferred the title “Augustus” on the general and de facto dictator Octavian, the great-nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar, and the last remnants of the old republic were swept away. 👑
Monday (17 January 2022) — Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday in the United States. Lift every voice and sing! 🇺🇸 Benjamin Franklin was born on this day in 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. 📰 One of the most important battles in the Southern Theater of the American Revolution, the Battle of Cowpens, took place on this day in 1781 near Cowpens, South Carolina. ⚔️ And, there’s a full moon tonight, so that means we’ll have a report on student research opportunities from the River Houses Lunar Society. 🌕
Tuesday (18 January 2022) — On this day in 1788, the first convict ships from Britain, now known as the First Fleet, arrived at Botany Bay, Australia. 🇦🇺 And today is the birthday of the Polish-British mathematician and historian of science Jacob Bronowski (1908–1974), creator of the pioneering documentary series “The Ascent of Man.” 📺
Wednesday (19 January 2022) — Today is the birthday of the polemical American lawyer and freedom-philosopher Lysander Spooner (1808–1887). ⚖️ It’s also the birthday of the spooky American poet and short-story writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849). 👻 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to Golestan Palace in Iran. 🇮🇷
Thursday (20 January 2022) — One of the first two men to walk on the moon, American astronaut Buzz Aldrin, was born on this day in 1930. 👨🚀
Friday (21 January 2022) — Today is St. Agnes Day, named for Agnes of Rome, a teenage Christian martyr of the fourth century and a favorite subject of artists and writers for hundreds of years. On this day, saith tradition, young girls will have their future husbands revealed to them in their dreams: “Agnes sweet, and Agnes fair, / Hither, hither, now repair; / Bonny Agnes, let me see / The lad who is to marry me.” 💍 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the New World Vultures, Ospreys, Hawks, Kites, and Eagles. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (22 January 2022) — Today is the birthday of two great English poets: John Donne (1573–1631) and George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788–1824). 🖋 And speaking of poetry, our homeschool poem-of-the-week for last week of January is John Masefield’s “Sea Fever,” in memory of the Space Shuttle Challenger and its crew, who died 28 January 1986. Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🌊
Sunday (23 January 2022) — Today is the birthday of John Hancock (1737–1793), president of the Continental Congress and the most flamboyant signer of the Declaration of Independence. 🖋 And on this day in 1849, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910), graduated from the Geneva Medical College in New York. 👩⚕️
🥂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is an old traditional offering: “May all our real wants be supplied, and all our virtuous wishes satisfied.”
❡ 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: Iran in southwestern Asia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Haraz River, which flows northward through northern Iran and into the Caspian Sea. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Haraz 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. 🌍
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. 🗓