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.
🌏 🌑 🌞 AN ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE will be coming up next month (October 14th) across North America. If you live anywhere near the path of annularity it will be worth traveling to see it. (People in other areas are guaranteed a partial eclipse.) Mark your calendars now and get the details at the timeanddate.com eclipse page.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is New Jersey, and our COUNTRIES are Australia 🇦🇺, Austria 🇦🇹, Azerbaijan 🇦🇿, and the Bahamas 🇧🇸. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries lesson for the week went up just a few minutes ago.)
🌒 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is a waxing 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 341–356 in your current world almanac. Browse through our regular homeschool astronomy posts for even more.
🗓 TODAY, Sunday (17 September 2023) — Today is the 260th day of 2023; there are 105 days remaining in this common year. Learn more about different modern and historical calendars on pages 357–363 in your recommended world almanac. 📚 Today is Constitution Day! On this day in 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia by the members of the Constitutional Convention. Why not pay a homeschool visit to the original Constitution today at its current home in the National Archives. 🇺🇸 Today is also the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam in 1862, one of the bloodiest days in American history, with more than 22,000 Union and Confederate casualties. ⚔️
Monday (18 September 2023) — 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. 🏛
Tuesday (19 September 2023) — 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. 🏔
Wednesday (20 September 2023) — “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.” 🐟🐟 Absent an unexpected shower of fish, our Wednesday tour of World Heritage Sites this week will take you to the Sydney Opera House in Australia. 🇦🇺
Thursday (21 September 2023) — 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. ⚖️
Friday (22 September 2023) — It’s Hobbit Day! 🌋 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). ⚡️ Our Friday Bird Families post this week will introduce you to the tasty “Gallinaceous” birds (the chickens, turkeys, grouse, quail, and their allies). Print your own River Houses Calendar of American Birds and follow the flyways with us throughout the year. 🦅 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 2023–2024 homeschool year. 🍃
Saturday (23 September 2023) — 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). 🗓 Today is also 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. 🏛
Sunday (24 September 2023) — Today is Na·tion·al Punc·tu·a·tion Day!@*&(#)&*@!! ❣️ 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 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 wonderful educational tradition for your homeschool lunch or dinner 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: Austria in central Europe is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Traun River, one of the principal tributaries of the Danube. You can find its location in your recommended homeschool atlas, and you can read more about it in the Traun 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, or start with the river lists in your world 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. 📫
❡ 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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