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 Idaho, and our COUNTRIES are Switzerland 🇨🇭, Syria 🇸🇾, Taiwan 🇹🇼, and Tajikistan 🇹🇯. (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 (26 June 2022) — Today is the 177th day of 2022; there are 188 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 also the birthday of the great French astronomer Charles Messier (1730–1817), who accidentally documented and numbered many of the most beautiful objects in the universe. 🔭
Monday (27 June 2022) — Today is the birthday of the pioneering African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906). 🖋 It’s also the birthday of the popular American children’s entertainer Bob Keeshan (1927–2004), better known as Captain Kangaroo! 📺
Tuesday (28 June 2022) — On this day in 1914 the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo set World War I in motion, and on this day in 1919 the Treaty of Versailles brought that war to an end. (See pages 370–375 in your homeschool history encyclopedia for an overview of “The Great War.”) ⚔️ 🕊
Wednesday (29 June 2022) — The famous French economist and freedom-philosopher Frédéric Bastiat was born on this day in 1801. 💰 And today is the birthday of the French writer and air force pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944), author of The Little Prince. 🐘 Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to Tajik National Park in (naturally enough) Tajikistan. 🇹🇯
Thursday (30 June 2022) — Today is World Asteroid Day, marking the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska Event when a meteoroid perhaps as much as 600 feet long exploded in the atmosphere and flattened more than 700 square miles of forest in Siberia. 🌠
Friday (1 July 2022) — Today is the birthday of the great German mathematician and polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716). 🧠 It’s also the birthday of the German–Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis (1818–1865), “the savior of mothers,” who discovered that deaths from childbed fever could be dramatically reduced by requiring physicians delivering babies to wash their hands. 🚿 On this day in 1863, the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg began. Over three days of fighting, Union and Confederate forces suffered more than 40,000 casualties. ⚔️ And the devastating World War I Battle of the Somme began on this day in 1916. ⚔️ More hopefully, our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the first week of July is William Ralph Emerson’s American anthem “A Nation’s Strength,” for Independence Day. Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🇺🇸 And our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the colorful Tanagers and the obscure Western Spindalis. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (2 July 2022) — Noon today is the mid·point of this common (non-leap) year: 182.5 days have passed, and 182.5 days remain. 🗓 On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress passed the Lee Resolution, declaring the Thirteen Colonies independent of Great Britain. 🇺🇸 Today is also the birthday of Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993), the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court. ⚖️ The first Walmart store opened on this day in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas! 🛒 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 July 2022) — On this day in 1775, on orders from the Continental Congress and a year before Independence was declared, George Washington took command of the thousands of New England militiamen encamped outside of Boston, and the Continental Army was born. 🇺🇸 Today is the birthday of the early American painter John Singleton Copley (1738–1815), who memorialized many prominent figures of the American Revolutionary period. 🎨 And today is also the birthday of the American songwriter, actor, and Yankee Doodle Dandy George M. Cohan (1872–1942). 🎵 One of the most mysterious archeological objects in the world, the Phaistos Disk, was discovered on this day in 1908 in the ancient Minoan palace of Phaistos on Crete. Believed to be about 3500 years old, it is covered with a spiral of stamped symbols that appear to represent an unknown form of writing. You can learn more about the Minoan civilization that produced the Phaistos disk (and see a picture of it) on page 76 of your River Houses history encyclopedia. 🐬 And our Sunday States & Countries for next week will be Wyoming 🇺🇸, Tanzania 🇹🇿, Thailand 🇹🇭, Timor-Leste (East Timor) 🇹🇱, and Togo 🇹🇬.
🥂 🇺🇸 THIS WEEK’S TOAST is the Lee Resolution of 1776, which passed in the Continental Congress on July 2nd and established American independence. (The formal Declaration was approved two days later.) The host says: “Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” And the guests respond: “Yea!”
❡ 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: The island nation of Taiwan in southeastern Asia is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is northern Taiwan’s Beishi River. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Beishi 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. 🗓