Learning alongside the Olympics

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

The summer Olympics are now upon us, and the next two weeks promise excitement in many sports. Sounds like a good chance for families to take advantage of the natural learning opportunities this event invites into our homes, doesn’t it?!

My three kiddos–Trishna, Jonathan, and Elijah–stayed up late to watch the opening ceremony with Steve and me on Friday night, and it’s fun to see their enthusiasm building as they understand a bit more about what the Olympics are all about.

If you’re like me, you may have seen the same excitement from your little people. Looking for ways to translate that passion into learning? Here are some links and ideas for integrating various subjects with the Olympics.
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Weekend links

enjoying our fresh blueberries, now in season!

“It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its natural functions by artificial means. Thus we suppress the child’s curiosity and then when he lacks a natural interest in learning he is offered special coaching for his scholastic difficulties.” ~ Alice Duer Miller

Q&A Friday: How long do you plan to homeschool?

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

I remember soon after my daughter, Trishna, joined our family from India. I took her to the eye doctor, and he asked where she would be attending school.

“We’re going to homeschool,” I answered a bit nervously.

“Well, you’re not going to homeschool her forever, so where do you think she’ll go later on?” he replied.

Inside I thought, “Why wouldn’t we homeschool “forever?”

It’s been almost five years since that day, and I’ve learned and changed and grown throughout our homeschooling experience. I’ve also read a variety of opinions, in both blogs and books, about how to decide how long to homeschool.
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Encourage handwriting with a summer lunch menu

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

The idea came to me while I was busy making a list of what the kids needed for summer camp. Why not create a lunch menu they could order from?

It would be fun, yes, but with the added bonus that they would write their order down–thereby encouraging summer handwriting practice.

I had no idea I’d stumbled upon such a hit! Later in the week even the teachers at camp said, “So tell us about this lunch menu we heard about.”

Well, there wasn’t much to it–which is why I was actually able to pull it off! Here’s how you can create your own if you’re interested.
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Physical education for homeschooled teens

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

P E, phys ed, gym: whatever you called it, all of us public schoolers did it. Some of us dreaded it; some of us considered it the best part of the day. If you had to wear one-piece gym suits that zipped up the front, well, I’m laughing (and blushing) right along with you.

So how do homeschoolers handle PE? I am surprised at the number of people who ask me “Does [swimming, hiking, gymnastics, dancing] count as PE?” Of course! If your child is getting exercise, he is engaged in PE.

For most younger children, the need to move is innate.

What kid doesn’t want to climb the perfect tree or beg to go to the park? How many times have you heard yourself admonish your little kids to be still for a few minutes—to stop rolling around on the ground?

But as these same wiggly children enter the teen years, they would likely rather be on Facebook than running around outside.

While the inclination for physical activity is built into us, we have to be deliberate about providing opportunities for PE, especially as our kids get older.

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