Homeschooling with the 2012 Olympics

The Olympic games are great fun to watch. They can also be a great learning experience for the kids and the whole family. We always do an Olympics unit study. We learn about the food and customs of the host country. Sometimes we have learn the rules for new sports. How much time you spend on this will depend on your family and the age of your kids.

 

Homeschooling  and the Olympics

We always spend time learning about the host country, which is England this year. A study of  England will naturally lead to the independence of the United States. You can cover both World History and United States History at a level appropriate for your kids.

As interesting things come up during the Olympics, we learn about other countries. I like to keep a globe in the room with us while we are watching the Opening Ceremonies. That makes it easy for the whole family to see where the countries are located. Don’t have a globe? Use the computer to look the countries up. You’ll actually get more information about the countries that way.

We’re also making lapbooks this year. Yes, even the teenagers! The one we’re using (linked below) is for high school, too.

Another fun learning activity is for each child to pick a country to root for. They can learn about that country and share with the rest of the family. Have the kids keep track of the medals won by their countries by making a chart.

 

Decorating for the Olympics

We also love to decorate for the Olympics. Pull out any flags that you have and the room will feel festive right away. Paper chains are fun to make and hang across doorways or windows. Use red, white, and blue or the colors of the Olympic rings. There are several links below that have coloring pages that can be hung as decorations. One year, I had the kids draw different world flags on index cards and hung them up. The kids loved it when they recognized a flag they had drawn while watching the Olympics.

Here’s my favorite Olympic decoration that we have.

Olympics flag decoration

It’s a pennant made in Vacation Bible School by one of my two oldest kids. This was made in 1992, and we’ve used it every Olympics since then. It would be very easy to recreate. Red felt, white felt on the left hand side had a dowel glued to it. The rings are also made out of felt. The words are silver fabric paint.

Check the Linda’s Lunacy Olympics Board on Pinterest for more decorating ideas.

 

Food and the Olympics

As part of our Olympics study, we always try a few foods from the host country. China and Italy have been some of our favorites. Two dishes that are popular in England are fish and chips, and bangers and mash.

Fish and chips are breaded, fried fish and french fries. Use your favorite fish and make some fries. Kids will only eat fish sticks? That’s ok. You can still serve them with french fries (from the freezer section, too, if you want).

Bangers and mash are sausages and mashed potatoes. Another easy meal. Serve your favorite sausage with your favorite mashed potatoes. Make sure to tell the kids they’re bangers and mash, though. An interesting tidbit, during the war, the sausages were made with less meat and with added water. So when the sausages were cooking, the water would explode and they would “bang”, and that’s when they started calling them bangers. (That’s from a video I watched online on how to make bangers and mash.)

There are a lot of ideas for Olympics food on Pinterest, I have several pinned.

 

Now the links:

London 2012 – the official London 2012 website
London Torch Relay
Free Ebook – Olympic Activites for Kids – free with email subscription
Books About the Olympics – a nice list for all ages

Olympic Learning – lots of free resources to download
Olympic Activities
Summer Olympics– lots of printables, puzzles, and activities
Easy Kids Olympic Crafts with Mod Podge
Quick Craft Olympic Memory

1960 Olympics video includes Wilma Rudolph
Olympics lapbook and other printables

Free Resources – a ton of ideas, printables, information, crafts
Study Ladder free printables
Follow your favorite athletes on Facebook
Michael Phelps free printables
Ancient Greeks and the Olympic Games

Teaching Resources – Some free
Lapbook free printables
Lots of free printables and information
Printable Big Ben to put together
Lots of great ideas and printables – including charts to keep track of medals won

And don’t forget to check the Linda’s Lunacy Olympics Pinterest Board for more ideas.

 

If you don’t find any free resources that will work for your family, there are also quite a bit of items for sale. These are from Currclick, where all items are downloads. (These are affiliate links)

The Summer Olympics 2012 Lapbook with Study Guide – Grades 2-5– I bought this one, but we are using the one below instead.
2012 Summer London Olympics Lapbook Grades 3-10, This is the one we’re using
2012 Olympics WebQuest and Enrichment Pack with Learning Menus
Summer Olympics Matching Cards
Summer Olympics Notebooking Pages
Summer Olympics Pack
Olympic Hisitory
Politics and the Olympic Games
Olympic Craftivities Pack
Planet Explorers London– A Travel Guide for Kids
Travel to London Unit Study
Science Jim’s Olympic Physics – Speed
Science Jim Olympic Physics – Gravity
I also saw a few more Science Jim Olympics items.

 

Amanda Bennett has a great unit study titled Passport United Kingdom Passport United Kingdom that we are using. We’re also using her Olympics 2012 Olympics 2012 unit study. She also has a unit study called Athletes in the Bible that looks great and would go along with the Olympics. We haven’t used it yet, though.

 

 

Let the games begin!

 

 
Linked at Back to School Monday

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy something, I will earn a small commission.

Super Duper Publications HearBuilder Auditory Memory – Review

As part of The Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received Super Duper Publications Auditory Memory software program to review.

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Join Recall Agents Kim and Joey to save MemoryTown from Dr. Forgetsit while practicing important auditory memory, closure, and comprehension skills. HearBuilder Auditory Memory teaches key strategies for remembering numbers, words, sentences, and stories. This research-based software includes five essential listening activities:
  • Memory for numbers (3–7 digits)
  • Memory for words
    (3–5 words organized by syllable)
  • Memory for details (1–4 details)
  • Auditory Closure (Sentence Completion)
  • Memory for WH Information
    (2–3 sentences/2–4 questions)
Each of the multi-level tasks in HearBuilder Auditory Memory takes your students on a different mission to foil the wacky plans of Dr. Forgetsit. The humorous and captivating adventures will keep your students motivated as they develop and strengthen their abilities to recall verbal information.

 

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Hear Builder Auditory Memory is software for grades K-8. I used this with my almost 12 year old son who is starting 6th grade. When I saw this, I thought it would be great for my son. What 11/12 year old boy doesn’t need help with auditory memory? Think about it, how many times have you told your child to do several things, and they only remember the first one?

Dr. Forgetsit, the main character in the software, makes the work fun for the kids. My older kids would gather around the computer while Zach was working, what they heard made them curious. Since the home edition can be used for up to 4 students,  I think I’ll have some of the others work with this program when we go back to school next month. I just might give it a go, too!

Zach loved this program. As soon as we opened the package, he grabbed the cd and started. He didn’t even wait for me, he put it in and took off. There is no long set up process like educational programs often have. Within a couple of minutes he was working away, and had to catch me up with what he was doing.. And I was in the same room with him when he started! lol

As you can see from these screen shots, the pictures are bright, colorful, and fun.
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While the graphics and animation are not as “high tech” as software you may be used to seeing, don’t judge the quality of the program by the pictures.  This interactive software really does work to increase children’s memory. As my son worked with this software, I could see how much he progressed. The program is fun, too, so he didn’t feel like he was working hard.

The program keeps track of your students progress. If you have more than one computer, make sure to use it on the same computer all the time as the info is stored on your computer. This provides an easy way to monitor your child’s progress. There are even printable progress reports. Good reinforcement for those children that need it.

Here’s a video so you can see for yourself how the software works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMKg3HQajkA&feature=player_embedded#!

Try Memory Builders yourself! There are 6 different sections to try on that page, so you’ll really get a feel for the program and see how it would work for your children.

HearBuilder Auditory Memory Software home edition is available for $69.95. Right now, HearBuilder is offering a coupon code:       BLGAM30     Use it to save 30%  on your purchase.  Coupon expires 8/31/12.   The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed several other Super Duper Publications products, click the graphic below to check out the other reviews for more coupon codes,

 

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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a free cd  in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. My opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”