Friday, August 22, 2008

Watching and Learning from the Olympics

Wow! That's what I have to say about watching the Olympics this year with my kids. It has been a great 2 weeks and we have learned alot. We have had many discussions about different sports and athletes, as well as about good vs. bad sportsmanship, graciousness in winning and losing, etc. Academically, we have done very little, but it has been a great time of learning together.

Have you ever heard of handball (not the kind in a racquetball court) on a field with a team before? That was a new one for us and now my son is hoping to get a homeschool handball team together. We are looking up the rules to learn them and learn about a sport that is very young in the U.S. We didn't even have a team in the competition - but there is hope to have one in the future.

And my kids are VERY interested in learning different swimming strokes and taking lessons - Michael Phelps is such an inspiration, as well as many of the other swimmers. And, of course, my daughter has always wanted to do gymnastics, so this has spurred her on even more.

Beach volleyball and basketball have been the favorite sports of my son and he is very intense when watching, even if we already know who wins:-)! He learned tons about these sports and how they differ from those played in the U.S.

We have played the trivia game daily that is available on DirecTV (don't know if everyone had access to that on MSNBC or not).

There were moments like Bela Karolyi watching Nastia Liuken's performance that were priceless and very entertaining. He is SO uninhibited - a joy to experience! If you haven't seen the clip, please go over to NBC Olympics website and watch it - it is so amusing and uplifting to watch his enthusiasm for the athletes.

If your kids are still small, plan to set aside time to watch the next summer Olympics in 2012. My kids are now almost 12 and 14 and it has been so much fun and so educational for all of us. Sometimes we were up till all hours of the night to watch a game aired live, but it has been so worth it! I am SO glad I set aside the books and just let our learning be about the Olympics and watching and experiencing these games together. Next time around, they may be too old to enjoy to this degree or off and running with their friends. It only comes around once very four years, so this was the time to enjoy it together.

And let me just say that overall, our U.S.A. athletes were great sports - whether winning or losing. There were a few exceptions, of course, but there were so many stories of graciousness and good sportsmanship, that I think these outweigh the few "bad apples". We have a terrific bunch of athletes of all ages and sizes representing us in China at the Olympics this year - WAY TO GO!

For more great homeschooling articles, visit The 139th Carnival of Homeschooling hosted by Life Nurturing Education.

1 comment:

Renae said...

I have such fond memories of watching the Olympics with my mom. I will take your recommendation and make an effort to watch them with my children next time around.