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 year at riverhouses.org/calendars.
🇺🇸 OUR STATE-OF-THE-WEEK is Indiana, and our weekly COUNTRIES are Honduras 🇭🇳, Hungary 🇭🇺, Iceland 🇮🇸, and India 🇮🇳. (Our separate Sunday States & Countries post for the week went up just a little while ago.)
🌒 THE MOON at the beginning of this week is a sliver of a waxing crescent — a very good time for stargazing! Dial up this week’s constellations with your homeschool star atlas (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 6 January) — Today is the 6th day of 2019; there are 359 days remaining in the year. Learn more about different kinds of modern and historical calendars on pages 358–364 in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books). ⬩ Today is also the birthday of the American poet Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).
MONDAY (7 January) — On this day in 1610, Galileo Galilei first reported that he had discovered several previously unknown moons orbiting the planet Jupiter — we now called them the Galilean moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Io, and Europa. You can see them from your backyard with almost any small telescope. ⬩ Today is also the birthday of the African-American writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960).
TUESDAY (8 January) — Today is the birthday of two great British scientists: the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913), co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the principle of natural selection, and the physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking (1942–2018). ⬩ And in another sphere of human accomplishment: today is also the birthday of Elvis Presley (1935–1977). ⬩ Our homeschool poem-of-the-week for second week of January is Gail Mazur’s “Ice,” for homeschool dads and all wintertime learners. Print your own River Houses poetry calendar at riverhouses.org/calendars and follow along with us throughout the year.
WEDNESDAY (9 January) — On this day in 1923, Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva made the first successful flight in an autogyro.
THURSDAY (10 January) — On this day in the year 49 B.C., Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river and approached the city of Rome with his army, touching off a civil war that led to the destruction of the Roman Republic and the eventual formation of the Roman Empire.
FRIDAY (11 January) — Today is the birthday of Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, whose portrait appears on our U.S. $10 bills. ⬩ It’s also the birthday of William James (1842–1910), one of the founders of the modern field of psychology.
SATURDAY (12 January) — Today is the birthday of the French author Charles Perrault (1628–1703), who gave the world Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and many other beloved fairy tales. ⬩ It’s also the birthday of the American journalist and author Jack London (1876–1916).
SUNDAY (13 January) — The National Geographic Society was founded on this day in 1888 in Washington, D.C.
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May our laws guard our liberties, and liberty our laws.”
❡ 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 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: Honduras is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the Choluteca River, which flows through the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the Choluteca 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 691–693), 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 will be coming on a Sunday this month! 🙀
What do you have planned for your homeschool this week? 😊