Quick Freshes is our regular Sunday almanac for 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.
📖 Have you gotten your NEW WORLD ALMANAC for the new 2023 year? It’s one of the handiest educational reference books you can have in a homeschool library.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Illinois, and our COUNTRIES are Ireland 🇮🇪, Israel 🇮🇱, Italy 🇮🇹, and Jamaica 🇯🇲. (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 new — that’s the best time of the month for dark-sky 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 341–356 in your almanac. Browse through our many homeschool astronomy posts for even more.
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (22 January 2023) — Today is the 22nd day of 2023; there are 343 days remaining in this common year. Learn more about different modern and historical calendars on pages 357–363 in your River Houses almanac. 📚 Today is also 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 the 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. 🌊
Monday (23 January 2023) — 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. ⚕️
Tuesday (24 January 2023) — On this day in 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill, California, touching off the California Gold Rush. ⛏
Wednesday (25 January 2023) — Today is the birthday of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759–1796), aye. 🌹 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Blue and John Crow Mountains in Jamaica. 🇯🇲
Thursday (26 January 2023) — The world’s largest diamond, the Cullinan Diamond, was found on this day in 1905 in the Premier mine near Pretoria, South Africa. 💎 And on this day in 1915, Rocky Mountain National Park was established by an act of the U.S. Congress. 🏞
Friday (27 January 2023) — Today is the birthday of the great classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). 🎼 Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the Owls! Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦉
Saturday (28 January 2023) — On this day in 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after launch. All seven members of the Challenger’s astronaut crew were lost. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Today is also the birthday of the great choral composer John Taverner (1944–2013). 🎼
Sunday (29 January 2023) — Today is the birthday of Revolutionary war general Moses Cleaveland (1754–1806), the founder of Cleveland, Ohio. 🏙 It’s also the birthday of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov (1860–1904). 🖋 And our Sunday States & Countries for next week will be Alabama 🇺🇸, Japan 🇯🇵, Jordan 🇯🇴, Kazakhstan 🇰🇿, and Kenya 🇰🇪.
🥂 ⛏ OUR WEEKLY TOAST, in honor of the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill this week in 1848, is a traditional miners’ toast from Yorkshire: “May all your labours be in vein.”
❡ 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: Ireland in western Europe is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the stately River Liffey, which flows through the Irish capital of Dublin. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the River Liffey 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 695–697), 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. 🗓
❡ Homeschool calendars: We have a whole collection of free, printable, educational homeschool calendars and planners available on our main River Houses calendar page. They will all help you create a light and easy structure for your homeschool year. Give them a try today! 🗓
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❡ Join us! The aim of the River Houses project is to create a network of friendly local homeschool support groups — local chapters that we call “Houses.” Our first at-large chapter, Headwaters House, is now forming and is open to homeschoolers everywhere. Find out how to become one of our founding members on the Headwaters House membership page. 🏡