The Summer Olympics only happen every 4 years so I wasn’t going to miss the education opportunity that they present.
There are lots of unit studies available online to learn about the Olympics and that is great for those that like them but it’s not our style. So instead of printing out stuff and creating worksheets and lapbooks I resorted to what is quickly becoming our favorite style of learning: good ol’ conversation.
I just have to semi-carefully pick an opening question or sentence and we are able to get an intellectually stimulating conversation flowing for at least an hour. We had one such conversation last Friday that ranged the gamut of Olympic history, sports history and geography. By the time it was done my sons were looking forward to watching the opening ceremonies that night. We let them stay up late to at least see the USA delegation in the parade of nations. They were too tired to wait another 2 hours to watch the Olympic torch be lit so we watch that online the next day.
Each day I list the sports that are having events that day and they choose which ones they want to watch. They have discovered that they enjoy watching sports that they had not seen before and get excited when the USA is competing.
The surprise take away? Watching their chosen sports is teaching them to recognize the flag and name abbreviation of many countries. If I had tried to teach that the “regular” way, it would have taken us weeks and would not have been as fun.
They are also learning about the scoring systems and rules for many other different sports. This is a time when I don’t care how much TV they watch because they are learning a lot from it.
The Olympics will continue until August 21st, 2016 and you can watch the most popular sports on TV on the NBC Family of networks, the rest are streaming streaming online at the NBC Olympics website.