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! Print your own River Houses calendar for the whole year at riverhouses.org/calendars.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Massachusetts, and our COUNTRIES are Bolivia 🇧🇴, Bosnia and Herzegovina 🇧🇦, Botswana 🇧🇼, and Brazil 🇧🇷. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post will be up shortly.)
🌘 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is a waning sliver of a crescent; it will be new on Monday the 8th, making this a good week for stargazing! Track the moon’s phases each month at timeanddate.com, and dial up this week’s constellations with your River Houses star atlas (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 7 October) — Today is the 280th day of 2018; there are 85 days remaining in the year. Learn more about different kinds of modern and historical calendars on pages 351–357 in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books). ⬩ Today is also the birthday of the early American choral composer William Billings (1746–1800). ⬩ And the great Danish physicist and Nobel laureate Niels Bohr was born on this day in 1885.
MONDAY (8 October) — Today is Columbus Day, a federal holiday in the United States, commemorating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on this day in 1492. ⬩ On this day in 1956, New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series history. ⬩ Our poem-of-the-week for the second week of this month (8–14 October) is Emily Dickinson’s “God made a little gentian,” for all late-bloomers. Print your own River Houses poetry calendar at riverhouses.org/calendars and follow along with us throughout the year.
TUESDAY (9 October) — “Kepler’s Supernova” was first seen on this day in 1604. The brightest Milky Way supernova in modern times, it was visible during the daylight hours for three weeks. ⬩ Today is also the birthday of American businessman Charles Rudolph Walgreen (1873–1939), founder of the nationwide Walgreens pharmacy chain.
WEDNESDAY (10 October) — Today is the birthday of the great Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901). ⬩ On this day in 1845 in Annapolis, Maryland, the United State Naval Academy opened with 50 students and seven professors.
THURSDAY (11 October) — On this day in 1776, American naval forces on Lake Champlain under the command of Benedict Arnold were defeated by the British in the Battle of Valcour Island. Although it was an American loss, the Battle of Valcour Island successfully delayed the British advance down the Hudson–Champlain corridor for nearly a year and may have saved the cause of the Revolution.
SATURDAY (13 October) — One of the most beautiful objects in the night sky, the Whirlpool Galaxy, was discovered on this day in 1773 by French astronomer Charles Messier. ⬩ The cornerstone of the White House in Washington, D.C., was laid on this day in 1792.
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May difference of opinion never divide friendship.”
❡ Toasts are a fun 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 variety in toasting!”). Our current set of toasts are mostly taken from an old anthology called The Pic-Nic, a Collection of Recitations, and Comic Songs, Toasts, Sentiments, &c. (London, 1816). What will you toast this week?
🌎 EVERYTHING FLOWS: Brazil is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the the mighty Amazon, the world’s largest river. You can chart its course in your River Houses atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Amazon River entry in Wikipedia or perhaps on your next visit to your local library.
❡ Let the river run: 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 691–692), 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 Saturday this month! 😊
What do you have planned for your homeschool this week? 😊