Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Inside View of Olympics 2012

We have a special guest blogger to share what getting ready for the Olympics 2012 is like, from an insider's view... she's from the United Kingdom! 

"It’s 2012 and the Olympic year is finally upon us!

I had hoped for a long, long time that my country (England) would get the opportunity to host the Olympics at some point in my lifetime, and what a great point in time—while my children are young and home educated. It’s something we can experience and discover together and take with us forever.

I remember hearing about the bid and how surprised I was when I found out that England had been chosen to host the 2012 Olympics. It seemed like forever away. I remember the streets of London jam-packed with people celebrating the news and thinking how amazing it will be when the Olympics are finally here.

We hadn’t been home educating for long at that point, but it had already started off a little flame of interest that just needed kindling. We talked about how old they would each be by the time the Olympics came around, what sports they would participate in if they were in the Olympics, and how they thought the future would be by the time 2012 arrived.

Now 2012 is here, and the London Olympics are just around the corner! There is so much out there to capture our interest, and what an amazing learning experience it is going to be.
The shops and major and minor stores combined have gone crazy for merchandise and memorabilia, but then, so have we. The range is so extensive: there are toys, sweets, chocolate, bedding, teapots, artwork, clothing . . . the list goes on! 

I have a box full of goodies in hiding for the event, containing perishable and non-perishable items. Cadbury (one of the main sponsors) has brought out mascot-shaped chocolates, including Easter eggs! We have also purchased an outfit for the event—British themed, incorporating the red, white, and blue, be it little flags or just coloured sportswear! After all, it is the jubilee year too!

I have purchased a plush mascot for each of my younger children. Wenlock (the Olympic mascot) and Mandevill (the Paralympic mascot) are lovely, sleek, futuristic-looking creatures; just looking at them confirms we have reached 2012.

We are able to follow the Olympic mascots on Twitter and Facebook and visit them on their own section of the main London 2012 website where there are not only fun and games, but plenty of other online educational resources.

The whole event is very child-friendly, a subconscious form of inspiring our nation’s youth to be a little more patriotic and proud of their country. But it is a whole country event and it makes me proud too! 

I can’t wait for the torch relay; we’re using it as a learning event and tracking its progress throughout the country, from lands to the upmost Scottish islands and back down to London. We are lucky enough to have it pass though several towns near us. The dates have been shared among our home education community, and we will be turning out in droves. Certain schools have realized its learning potential and have chosen to either close the schools down for the day so children can attend with their parents or to go along as a school outing. What a wonderful memory to share with your children—to be physically alongside the Olympic torch on its way to the Olympics!

There is so much knowledge to be gained from this experience that we are going to need the rest of the summer to recover from it all!

I have already found supporting Olympic apps that will record times and dates of events and give you results as each event passes. Flag recognition apps to build knowledge for the opening ceremony, online craft ideas, as well as books and ideas to help us take part in World Sports Day—our own mini Olympics—a month before the Olympics on June 25. All I need now is an amazing unit study to collaborate it all!"

Nicolene Barnes, homeschool mum of 6, Derbyshire, UK

Thanks for your insider view into the preparations going on there in the UK, Nicolene. Wish we could join you!
Olympics 2012 is ready to help you bring it all together:  apps, activities, crafts, Internet resources, and four weeks of exciting, daily learning adventures.

Stop by our Facebook and Pinterest pages for more ideas.  Here are a few more great apps to get you started:

·         iLondon2012

·         LDN 2012


  1. Great view from the inside, Nicolene! It sounds like you and your family are going to have a wonderful time and make some great memories with the London 2012 Olympics. Wish I could experience it there with you all, but you have certainly given us a feeling for what it is going to be like. Many thanks for writing this!
    Amanda B.

  2. Wow! I want to be a part of your homeschool this summer, Nicolene! We had a summer Olympic Games near us the year after I got married. I know I would have been a lot like you if I had children at the time. :-) We are gearing up to enjoy it from our neck of the woods as much as possible.


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