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 Jersey, and our COUNTRIES are Australia 🇦🇺, Austria 🇦🇹, Azerbaijan 🇦🇿, and the Bahamas 🇧🇸. (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 (18 September 2022) — Today is the 261st day of 2022; there are 104 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 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. 🏛
Monday (19 September 2022) — Arrrr! It be International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day, me hearties! ☠️ On this day in 1991, “Ötzi the Iceman,” a 5000-year-old naturally preserved mummy, was discovered frozen in the ice in the mountains along the Alpine border between Italy and Austria. 🏔
Tuesday (20 September 2022) — “On the 20th of September 1839, an English officer, residing in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, saw a quantity of live fish descend in a smart shower of rain. They were about three inches in length, and all of one kind. Some, falling on hard ground, were killed; some, which fell on soft grass, continued in life.” 🐟🐟
Wednesday (21 September 2022) — Today is the birthday of the great English composer Gustav Holst (1874–1934). 🎵 And on this day in 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor (b. 1930) was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate as the first female Supreme Court justice. ⚖️ Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Lord Howe Island Group in Australia. 🇦🇺
Thursday (22 September 2022) — Happy First Day of (Astronomical) Fall! 🍂 Today is the September Equinox, known as the autumnal or fall equinox in the northern hemisphere and the vernal or spring equinox in the southern hemisphere (where today is the first day of spring). 🗓 On this day in 1776, American spy Nathan Hale, age 21, was executed by the British in New York City. His final words were said to be, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” 🇺🇸 Today is also the birthday of the great experimental physicist Michael Faraday (1791–1867). ⚡️ And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the last week of September, as astronomical summer becomes fall, is a pensive equinoctial lyric by Emily Dickinson. Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the 2022–2023 homeschool year. 🍃
Friday (23 September 2022) — Today is the birthday of Gaius Octavius Thurinus, better known as Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of the Roman Empire (63 B.C. – A.D. 14). For a great homeschool overview of the rise (and eventual fall) of Rome, turn to page 110 in your River Houses history encyclopedia. 🏛 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the New World Quail, the Curassows & Guans, and the Partridges, Grouse, Turkeys, & Old World Quail. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦃
Saturday (24 September 2022) — On this day in 1789, the U.S. Congress, acting under the new Constitution, established the federal judiciary system and specified a structure for the Supreme Court (with six, not the current nine, justices). ⚖️ And … it’s Na·tion·al Punc·tu·a·tion Day!@*&(#)&*@!! ❣️ #️⃣
Sunday (25 September 2022) — Today is the birthday of the great American geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866–1945), who established the role of chromosomes in the process of inheritance. 🔬 It’s also the birthday of American poet and children’s author Shel Silverstein (1930–1999). 📚 The great Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould was born on this day in 1932. 🎹 And our Sunday States & Countries for next week will be Georgia 🇺🇸, Bahrain 🇧🇭, Bangladesh 🇧🇩, Barbados 🇧🇧, and Belarus 🇧🇾.
🥂 ☠️ OUR WEEKLY TOAST, in honor of International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day, is the universal pirate toast, recognized across the Seven Seas: “Arrrr!”
❡ 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: Australia in the southwestern Pacific Ocean is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is Cooper Creek, which may sound small but which is in fact an 800-mile-long major river. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Cooper Creek 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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