Friday, August 5, 2016

Happy First Day of Olympics Day...with a Geography Lesson!

I love the Olympics! Watching the games has been a fun time for me ever since I can remember. The history, pageantry, enthusiasm, human interest stories, and teamwork is great! Of course I had to introduce my kids to the Olympics when they were little, and the interest goes on when they sit to watch the events with me.

This time I even planned dinner around the opening ceremonies. I was enormously busy, as I've been all summer...hence the slow blogging, but never fear, I will catch up with all the wonderful stuff I've been experiencing! Anyway I was purging 7 years of accumulated paperwork yesterday and I was determined to conquer. Because we were all busy, I made dinner super simple. I bought lots of snacks at the grocery store after I picked my kids up from work, started heating them up at 7pm and by 7:30pm we had finger food to enjoy (think Sports Bar cuisine) while watching the opening ceremonies.

When my kids were little I used the opening ceremonies as a geography lesson. The globe sat on the coffee table so we could locate the countries as they marched through. It must have helped because my daughter developed a love for geography and both of my kids competed well in the National Geography Bee at the local levels when they were growing up.

Meanwhile the opening ceremonies was a great time for us all to learn more about culture as well. All the fun is seeing how each host country will present their history and culture. Of course the Olympics are not supposed to be about politics, and sadly that sadly pops in. But that always makes a great discussion point for analysis. Homeschoolers tend to take advantage of each moment anyway. 

Additionally the parade of nations is great for learning about all the other countries. Seeing the excitement of athletes who worked hard to get to this event is inspiring. Seeing how each country dresses their athletes is a peak into their culture. Seeing the language on each country's identification sign is a peak into the host country's language. Seeing the flags of each country sticks better for learning than seeing them in isolation. Oh yes, my kids notice that and are great flag identifiers. When we were in Washington DC last weekend they were digging through their memory banks to identify different lesser known international flags that we saw on display.

Then of course, seeing the creativity of how the entire show is put together. Who will bring in the torch. How will the cauldron be lit? So much fun. Finally...let the games begin!

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