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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 Mississippi, and our COUNTRIES are Indonesia 🇮🇩, Iran 🇮🇷, Iraq 🇮🇶, and Ireland 🇮🇪. (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 waxing crescent — a good time for both stargazing and moon watching! Dial up this week’s constellations with your recommended homeschool star atlas (riverhouses.org/books).
🗓 TODAY (Sunday, 13 January) — Today is the 13th day of 2019; there are 352 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). ⬩ The National Geographic Society was founded on this day in 1888 in Washington, D.C.
TUESDAY (15 January) — Queen Elizabeth I of England was crowned on this day in 1559. For an illustrated outline of the historical period named for her, turn to pages 260–261 in your homeschool history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books). ⬩ Our poem-of-the-week for the third week of January is James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (1900), for American minister and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., born on this day in 1929. Print your own River Houses poetry calendar at riverhouses.org/calendars and follow along with us throughout the year.
WEDNESDAY (16 January) — On this day in the year 27 B.C., the Roman Senate conferred the title “Augustus” on the general and de facto dictator Octavian, thereby marking the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire.
THURSDAY (17 January) — Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on this day in 1706. ⬩ One of the most important battles in the Southern Theater of the American Revolution, the Battle of Cowpens, took place on this day in 1781 near Cowpens, South Carolina.
FRIDAY (18 January) — On this day in 1788, the first convict ships from Britain, now known as the First Fleet, arrived at Botany Bay, Australia. ⬩ And today is the birthday of the Polish-British mathematician and historian of science Jacob Bronowski (1908–1974), creator of the pioneering documentary series “The Ascent of Man.”
SATURDAY (19 January) — Today is the birthday of the polemical American freedom-philosopher Lysander Spooner (1808–1887). ⬩ It’s also the birthday of the spooky American poet and short-story writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849).
SUNDAY (20 January) — There will be a TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE tonight (20–21 January), visible across all of North and South America. It will be a homeschool event not to be missed! 🌕 And fittingly, one of the first two men to walk on the moon, American astronaut Buzz Aldrin, was born on this day in 1930.
🥂 YOUR WEEKLY TOAST: “May you live all the days of your life.”
❡ 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: Ireland is one of our countries-of-the-week, so our Weekly World River is the peaceful River Shannon, Ireland’s longest river. You can chart its course in your recommended homeschool atlas (riverhouses.org/books), and you can read more about it in the River Shannon 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!
What do you have planned for your homeschool this week? 😊