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.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Texas, and our COUNTRIES are Malta 🇲🇹, the Marshall Islands 🇲🇭, Mauritania 🇲🇷, and Mauritius 🇲🇺. (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 waning — 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 (12 March 2023) — Today is the 71st day of 2023; there are 294 days remaining in this common year. Learn more about different modern and historical calendars on pages 357–363 in your River Houses almanac. 📚 Daylight Saving Time begins this morning (the second Sunday in March) in most U.S. jurisdictions 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. 🍪 ☘️
Monday (13 March 2023) — Today is the birthday of the American businessman, mathematician, and astronomer Percival Lowell (1855–1916), who inspired generations of science-fiction writers with his (mistaken) claim that there was an extensive network of canals on the surface of Mars. 👽
Tuesday (14 March 2023) — Happy 𝝿 Day! (3/14, that is.) 🥧 And happy birthday also to the great German-Swiss-American physicist Albert Einstein (1879–1955). Learn more about him on pages 416–417 in your homeschool history encyclopedia. ⚛️
Wednesday (15 March 2023) — Beware the Ides of March! 🗡 On the ancient Roman calendar, the 15th of March is called the “Ides” or midpoint of the month. On the Ides of March in 44 B.C., the dictator Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, and several other Roman senators. Their ultimately unsuccessful coup led to the consolidation of the Roman state as an empire under Caesar’s successors and its decline as a republic. 🏛 And speaking of bewaring, our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the third week of March is “The Ides of March” by the modern Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933), for, um, the Ides of March! Print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar and follow along with us throughout the year. 🗡 And our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to Banc d’Arguin National Park in Mauritania. 🇲🇷
Thursday (16 March 2023) — Today is the birthday of James Madison (1751–1836), “the Father of the Constitution” and the 4th President of the United States. 🇺🇸 And on this day in 1926 in a field in Auburn, Massachusetts, Robert Goddard (1882–1945) launched the first experimental liquid-fueled rocket. 🚀
Friday (17 March 2023) — Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Erin go Bragh! (Ireland forever!) ☘️ On this day in 1776, British forces evacuated Boston after eleven months of siege. It was George Washington’s first victory in the American Revolution. 🇺🇸 And our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the garrulous Crows and Jays (Part I). Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅
Saturday (18 March 2023) — Today is the birthday of the great World War I poet Wilfred Owen (1893–1918). 🖋 And on this day in 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov (1934–2019) became the first person to walk in space (for 12 minutes). 👨🚀
Sunday (19 March 2023) — According to tradition, this is the day each year when the swallows come back to Capistrano (the San Juan Capistrano Mission, that is, in Orange County, California). 🐦 (No, that’s not a swallow, but it’s the closest we can get with today’s primitive emoji technology.) 😊 And our Sunday States & Countries for next week will be Iowa 🇺🇸, Mexico 🇲🇽, Micronesia 🇫🇲, Moldova 🇲🇩, and Monaco 🇲🇨.
🥂 🎂 OUR WEEKLY TOAST is in honor of Einstein’s birthday: “Here’s to the clever: may they be with us ever.”
❡ 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 collection that appeared in the Thesaurus of Epigrams (New York, 1943). What will you toast in your homeschool this week? 🥂
🌍 🇲🇷 EVERYTHING FLOWS: The arid nation of Mauritania in northwestern Africa is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is Oued Seguellil, an intermittent river or wadi that flows during the rainy season. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Oued Seguellil 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. 🌎 🌍 🌏
🙀 AND DON’T FORGET: Friday the 13th comes on a Monday this month!
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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