Our daily walks have become an extreme sport lately. Every driveway with even the slightest slope becomes a half pipe to the Younger Fives, who spin and twist with little regard for what the judges think. Five Spice and Five String know exactly where to point the finger: the Winter Olympics.
While initially uncertain about how much to incorporate the Sochi Games into our homeschool, we decided to tune in for the Opening Ceremony and have been hooked ever since. There is of course plenty of history to review for the Olympics, including a great resource from BBC Primary History. The kids have also really enjoyed watching a series of videos put out by the National Science Foundation explaining the science behind the events. As you may have already deduced from the picture above, the physics and engineering of a snowboard half pipe was a big hit.
The Games are also a great opportunity to discuss a whole range of current events. We have had the chance to talk about criticisms of the games themselves, of the host country, and of countries criticizing the host country. It has also been interesting to learn more about the lives of the Olympic athletes themselves, including the challenges US athletes face since they receive only corporate and no government support.
Thanks in large part to Rick Riordan novels, the Younger Fives are obsessed with all things Greek and Roman. Since Greece has only a minor presence at the Games (though 6 athletes participating is nothing to scoff at), Team Italy has been our team of choice. The Italian flags lie ready on the couch, waiting for an Italian competitor to appear on the screen. They got their moment to shine when Italy took Bronze in the Men’s Luge (which was incidentally also their moment of almost being waived to pieces).
We were also pleased to discover Mexico’s flag has the same background as Italy’s, so we are also showing our host country pride as we cheer for a country a continent away. If we are able to catch the Men’s Alpine Skiing event, you can be sure the flags will get plenty of use cheering on Mexico’s only Winter Olympian, who at age 55 has the most appearances of any alpine skier in history. ¡Viva