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.
🗓 🦁 This is the first full week of LEO TERM, our spring term in the River Houses. Leo Term runs from March through May.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Florida, and our COUNTRIES are Malawi 🇲🇼, Malaysia 🇲🇾, Maldives 🇲🇻, and Mali 🇲🇱. (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 341–356 in your almanac. Browse through our many homeschool astronomy posts for even more.
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (5 March 2023) — Today is the 64th day of 2023; there are 301 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 the birthday of the great Flemish mathematician and cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512–1594). 🌐 And on this day in 1770, British troops shot and killed five protestors on the streets of Boston in what quickly came to be known as the Boston Massacre. ⚰️⚰️⚰️⚰️⚰️
Monday (6 March 2023) — Today is the birthday of the great Italian Renaissance painter and sculptor Michelangelo (1475–1564). 🎨 It’s also the birthday of the great English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861). 🖋 And on this day in 1836 during the Texas Revolution, the Alamo fell. Remember! ⚔️
Tuesday (7 March 2023) — Today is the birthday of the great British astronomer and polymath John Herschel (1792–1871). 🔭 It’s also the birthday of the great American horticulturist Luther Burbank (1849–1926). 🥔 There’s a full moon tonight, so that means we’ll have a report from the River Houses Lunar Society on the many independent “citizen science” projects that are available to homeschool students. 🌕 And since this is the first Tuesday of the month, today we’ll also invite you to browse a new Dewey Decimal class with your students on your next visit to your local library. This month: the Scientific 500s. 📚
Wednesday (8 March 2023) — The influential U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was born on this day in 1841 in Boston, Massachusetts. ⚖️ Our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Tomb of Askia in Mali. 🇲🇱 And our homeschool poem-of-the-week for second week of March is Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” contrariwise for John Herschel (whose birthday was yesterday) and Albert Einstein (whose birthday is coming up on the 14th). Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🔭
Thursday (9 March 2023) — Today is the birthday of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512), the father of “America.” 🌎 It’s also the birthday of the great American composer and pianist Samuel Barber (1910–1981). 🎼
Friday (10 March 2023) — Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the predatory Shrikes and the voluble Vireos. Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (11 March 2023) — Today is the birthday of Vannevar Bush (1890–1974), one of the pioneering thinkers of the early computer age, who envisioned something like the World Wide Web all the way back in 1945 (he called it Memex). 🖥 And since this is the second Saturday of the month, we’ll introduce you to one of the Great Stars of the northern hemisphere night sky. This month: Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major and the brightest star in earth’s night sky. 🌟
Sunday (12 March 2023) — Daylight Saving Time begins this morning in most U.S. jurisdictions (the second Sunday in March) at 2:00 a.m., when you should set your clocks ahead to 3:00 a.m. 🕑 ↻ 🕒 Today is “Girl Scouts’ Birthday,” commemorating the establishment of the first American girl scout troop by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia, in 1912. 🍪 ☘️ And our Sunday States & Countries for next week will be Texas 🇺🇸, Malta 🇲🇹, the Marshall Islands 🇲🇭, Mauritania 🇲🇷, and Mauritius 🇲🇺.
🥂 ⚔️ OUR WEEKLY TOAST is for the Texians of 1836: “Remember the Alamo!”
❡ 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: Malawi in southeastern Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Lilongwe River, which flows through Malawi’s capital city of Lilongwe. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Lilongwe 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 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. 🗓
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