Homeschoolers can use the Olympics as a jumping ground for discussions, unit studies and learning of all types.
The Gowen family of Lincoln uses the Olympics to teach values. Coleen Gowen said they started with reading the book, Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold, the story of an Olympic athlete who chose to switch events rather than run in a heat scheduled for a Sunday. They also watched Chariots of Fire, a movie about Eric Liddell.
Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold and Chariots of Fire helped teach children priorities and values, such as standing up for your convictions, persevering and being consistent, Coleen said. Olympians are willing to dedicate themselves to excellence, and they work hard to achieve a goal. But that doesn’t mean you’re always going to be number one. It’s important to be consistent in following your convictions as you pursue your goal.
“Those lessons apply to all of life, whether it’s schoolwork, piano practicing for a future career,” Coleen said.
You can use the Olympics across the curriculum. Here are some other ideas:
- Find the different countries on a globe or map.
- Chart the weather in the Vancouver area and compare it to ours
- Study how the judges determine the scores. A great way to learn about percentages and averaging.
- Have the children do a report on a specific sport or athlete, current or historical.
- Discuss the idea of sports: What makes something a sport? How have sports changed over the years?
- Talk about the health aspects of Olympic sports. How much exercise is too much? What about the safety aspect? How can sports be made safer?
How are you using the Olympics in your homeschooling? Feel free to leave a comment and tell us how you are using the Olympics to teach values or enhance your children’s learning.