Friday, August 8, 2008

The Olympics--Homeschool Style

We completed our first week of school today. We didn't do every subject, but it was a nice week of easing back into our routine. Tuesday night I suddenly remembered the Olympics were starting today (Friday) and decided to cover the Olympic games with the girls. This is the first Olympics either of them have been big enough to know what is going on. And, it's the only Olympics of Sweetheart's elementary school career. Isn't that crazy?

So I found some free stuff online and made it fit our needs. Here is Sweetheart's (age 8) lapbook:

The middle flips up to show this:

We still have a few things to do inside of hers. And here is Little Bit's (age 4). I just wanted her to understand the basics.

We also made Olympic torches:
I know tissue paper would work better but we didn't have any, OK?

And painted small paper plates for the rings on the Olympic flag:
We were most amazed to learn that in the first Olympics the runners ran naked in the race. Wouldn't you want to, as they say, "gird up your loins" for such an event? Oh well. History is interesting. And learning about the Olympic games lends itself to LOTS of geography. I just had Sweetheart find the places where the games have been held in the past with her finger on the world map. Simple and easy. Towards the end, she was remembering the continents without me having to tell her. We also watched Kerry Strug's famous vault where she hurt her ankle on YouTube. Gotta love technology.

This morning we had the 2008 Family Revised Backyard Olympics. The girls did not compete against each other as that would have been completely unfair. I just made these charts for them and they put a sticker next to each event as they finished it.

First off was the Yard Stick Throw. (Think javelin)

Little Bit needs a little work on her technique. Can you see the yard stick in the picture there?

Next we had a "run" across the yard. (Couldn't call it a race!) Go Little Bit! Sweetheart was too fast for my camera to catch her.

Then we had a Ball Kick. They were supposed to be aiming for marks on the fence but it seemed like they were trying to hit the coach/photographer.

Grandpa cheering on Little Bit.

OK, I know it's not even 9:00AM but it's HOT out here! Let's do some pool events. Little Bit just had to jump in and run around throwing all the floats out of the pool as fast as she could.

Sweetheart also threw out the floats, but she had to swim there and swim "laps" back to the ladder in between each one. I think there is a size requirement on pools for it to be considered a lap, but oh well.
I wanted at least one team event. Here they are running a relay race with a cardboard paper towel tube. I think that's funny.

At the end, we had the award ceremony. I'm happy to say they both got the gold! The gold center cut out of the middle of those plates that we used to make the Olympic rings. How's that for recycling? It was totally unplanned.

Now, lest anyone feel badly after reading this post. (Which the thought of that makes me laugh, but I know how I feel when I read other people's posts...) I'm going to keep it real here. I may have had it all together on homeschooling this week (or not), but while searching for a missing library book, just look at what I found under my bed.

Yes, those are packing peanuts. So I thought really hard to remember where on earth packing peanuts could have come from and then I was from Little Bit's birthday present...LAST NOVEMBER!!!! So, obviously I'm on the "once a year" plan for cleaning out from under our bed!

Have a good weekend everyone!


  1. See, this is what I like about your blog. :) I'm going to take the going back to school party idea and the Olympic games idea and combine them together! And all of our fun will be due to you. :)

  2. This just makes me so happy!!! Yet another reason I love having the opportunity to homeschool! Great ideas, Brenda!

    By the way, what you do with all the lap books the kids make when they are done?

  3. Oh, we just pile them here and there....wait! I mean, I file them in file boxes where the children always have access to them thereby when they revisit the things they have made, instant review is built in.

    That's how it's supposed to work anyway.

  4. I love your Olympic unit! I think you did a fabulous job and truth be told by the end I did feel bad! I read your post with envy! But that is okay, I cleaned out from under my bed just to make myself feel better!

    We DVR'd the opending ceremony and every gym or swimming event so I still have time to do an Olympic unit!

    I love your blog!

  5. You are awesome!!! Looks like so much fun.

  6. I loved this post! It looks like you all had so mch fun. Your girls are simply adorable.

    Oh, I enjoyed your duet post as well. Only had time for one comment and this Olympics post really grabbed me. You are a wonderfully creative teacher. Your girls are blessed.

  7. That IS a great idea---we might use this one too. But where did you find the Olympic printables for your lapbooks? I especially want to know about the page that flips up.

    Many blessings...

    (PS-love the picture of under the bed--you are good at this 'keeping it real' thing!

  8. I found them at all for free! :)

  9. That is so cool! I love your creativity!

  10. I just found your blog and I am so LOVING YOU! :) what a great idea!! I will be adding you to my reader for sure!!

  11. This is awesome! We did a lapbook on the Olympics as well. My boys had a blast. It was a good way to burn some of that endless energy they have too!

    I'm adding you to my feed! Great blog!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)