Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter Olympic Resources

I love, love, love the Olympics. Every two years our normal routine stops so that we can watch all of the very talented athletes make their countries proud. I love rooting for Team USA or the underdog if we aren't competing in a particular event. I love watching the reaction of proud moms and dads as they cheer on their sons and daughters. And I love that for two weeks, the whole world comes together in one giant melting pot of athletic awesomeness.

We have fun learning about the country in which the games are being held. We love learning about the little details of the games like the torch, the medals and the mascots. We follow the medal count and even the weather at the venue. And we watch a lot of sports for two whole weeks.

We started talking about the Olympics last week during our Coffee Time. We talked about the places that the past Winter Olympic games have been held and marked the locations on a map. This was a lot of fun. I found a printable map online that had the longitude and latitude guides. Then using the info on this site, and an atlas, I gave the kids the coordinates of each location and they found it on their map marking it with the year. Talk about a fun way to practice map skills and learn a bit of geography. With help even the little ones learning to write their numbers can do this activity.

Below are links to several resources I will be using this year during our study. I have been researching and deciding what we will focus on this year. We will be compiling what we learn into a lapbook so we have a written record of all the learning we do. The most fun about doing the Olympic unit is the opportunity to learn about history, and culture that you would probably not get a chance to otherwise. And to remember that learning is supposed to be fun and inspire curiosity which leads to more learning.

The Games

Sochi 2014 - This is the official site for the 2014 games. is the official Olympic page. Here you can find out about past and future Olympics along with of course this year's Olympics.

NBC Olympics - If you live in the USA this site is a must. It has the television schedule for all the events. A must if you want to know when curling will be on. This is also where you can find out more about the athletes of Team USA.

Sochi Venues -  This video shows a quick look around where the games are being held.

The Mascots

Mascot Page -This is the official Mascot site. Here you can find out more about the The Polar Bear, The Hare, and The Leopard. You can also find out about the Paralympic Mascots The Ray of Light and The Snowflake. Clicking around you can also find the history of the mascots and past mascots.

Coloring Pages - This site has coloring pages of the Mascots.

The Medals

2014 Medals - Here you can find out about the key features of the medals... what they are made of... how big they are, and more.

Medal Unveiling - This link takes you to when the medals were unveiled. The close up pictures of the medals are well worth the click.

The Torch

The Torch specifics and designs.

Torch Relay firsts and fun trivia. From the depths of a lake to to outer-space this torch relay has had it's moments of glory.

Watch the videos of the torch going to the North Pole, blasting off into outer-space, plunging into the depths of the World's deepest lake.


Science and Engineering - This site by NBC Learn has several very cool videos about the science behind snow, ice, bobsleds and even half pipes.

Science of Winter Olympics -  The National Science Foundation has videos about friction, air lift, and drag just to name a few. We watched these during the 2010 Olympics and loved them.


So far this time for history we have been reading books about Russia that I picked up from the library. We have also read the Magic Tree House book Hour of the Olympics and used the Study Guide.

For some quick reference material I have used this site in the past.
Time for Kids has some pictures, quick facts and a few other fun things.

Activity Packs and Other Stuff

DLTK - A site full of  Olympic crafts and activities for Pre K to Early Elementary

Homeschool Helper Olympic Lapbook - I used this lapbook as a starting point when we started lapbooking years ago.

Printables for Kinder thru third these are some fun Olympic themed activities.

KidZone has some fun math pages with the Olympic theme.

Winter Olympics Pack this pack is huge and has something from preK through about third

Here is just a small sampling of what I have found so far. I will be adding more to this list throughout the games so feel free to check back often.

What resources have you found? I could always use more fun ideas.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2013 Word Love

At the beginning of 2013 I asked God to give me a word that would be my theme for the year. The word He gave to me came in the form of a sermon that Sunday.


My original plan was to write down what God had taught me about Love throughout the year so I could see how much I had grown in that area. But I found that it wasn’t a few big revelations about love but many micro revelations throughout each day. God’s love is so extraordinarily immense, so exceedingly enormous there is no way we can grasp the fullness of how much He loves us.

Every day (at least the days I was paying attention) God reaffirmed to me that I cannot come close to fathoming how much He loves me, you, and all His creation. He shows His love to us every day in the little pleasures and big problems. We just have to have our eyes open to seeing it.

At the end of a long stressful day you look at the sky and see the gorgeous sunset He painted making the stress just melt away, He loves you. God shows you His love in those little moments when you get to enjoy His creation.

You find that parking spot towards the front of the store after you battled just to get there, He loves you. God shows His love to you by making a hard day just a little easier. The tight budget that won’t make it to the next paycheck and you find a $20 in the pocket of your jacket. Sure you left it there 3 months ago but now you really need that $20 and you found it at just the right time, He loves you. God shows His love by providing just what you need at the very exact time you need it.

The peace and comfort given to you from a friend He placed in your life while you are going through the biggest storm you have ever had to go through, He loves you. God shows His love to you through the people He places in your life.

As a parent I love doing little things for my kids that make their day better in some way. It could be a day filled with constant struggle and strife and I will at the end of the day ask them to choose what dinner is. It’s my way of saying it’s okay, we’re good, I still love them even though their day was less than stellar. I love to lavish my love on them in the ways they respond the best. I show them love by spending extra time with them, doing things for them, giving them gifts, speaking truth into their life, or any combination of those. Knowing them so well that I know what they need to be confident in just how much I love them. God is exactly the same way with us.

How does God show you He loves you? I challenge you to be aware of the little things He does and the people He puts in your path every day to show you how much He loves you. Oh and I just scratched the surface. Let us not forget that He sent His Son Jesus to conquer death so that we might have life. That right there is the greatest act of love. I know that I have not come close to scratching the surface of just how much He loves me this past year. I know that I will continue to learn each and every day just how much He loves us.

John 15:9-13 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

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