Chickadee Thursday

Chickadee has really been enjoying all the Korean folk tales we’ve been reading this week in anticipation of the start of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics!



What We’re Reading–All About South Korea

Some of the books we’ll be using to learn about South Korea during this year’s Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang have already been covered in our “Learning About Asia” book list. I looked for some new titles (many by Linda Sue Park, who is of Korean heritage), with good reviews though, (to be honest, however, we don’t have them all at home, and I don’t know yet if we’ll be able to get them from the library), and also found a new cookbook, so we’ll be trying some Korean cuisine, as well!

Quote of the Day

“I declare the Games of the 31st Olympiad closed. In accordance with tradition I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in Tokyo, Japan to celebrate with us the Games of the 32nd Olympiad.” From the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics

A Final Olympics Feast for the Closing Ceremonies

Tonight, we had one last Olympics-themed feast. Originally, we were going to have one last Brazilian meal, but I ended up making that last week. And then I thought about making a Japanese meal, to signify the passing of the torch from Rio to Tokyo. In the end, however, I decided that I wanted to do something simple, since our first day of school is tomorrow, and I’ve been busy getting ready for that. So I settled on an all-American meal!

We started with a snack, just like we did the day of the Opening Ceremony. This time, I made pretzel rod torches that symbolize the Olympic flame being snuffed out. I also made a red, white, and blue “mocktail” that was a huge hit with the children. I added some Olympics-inspired Hershey’s miniatures, just for fun.

For dinner, we went with a traditional American meal…hot dogs, corn on the cob, potato chips, root beer, and brownies with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Easy to make, and something everyone likes!

I’m going to miss the Olympics. We’ve had a fun time over the last 16 days, learning about Rio, sampling some new foods, watching lots of sports, and keeping track of the medal count. At least it’s only about 18 months until the Winter Olympics!


With apologies to Charles Dickens, who I must quote (badly), because I hope this could be said about my Olympic spirit:

“And it was always said of her, that she knew how to keep the Olympics well, if any one alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!”

Olympics School–Day Six

Our 2016 summer school wrapped up today. We finished our overview of geography with longitude and latitude, and how to find a place based on its geographical coordinates. We learned more about some famous past Olympians. We also had an interesting current events discussion about the actions of some of the US swimmers, and I had an ethical/bioethical conversation with my oldest students about the issues surrounding runner Caster Semenya. The children had one last fun creative assignment…they each designed an Olympic medal for a future Olympiad.

We also tried one last Brazilian meal. We enjoyed the children’s two favorite recipes that I’ve made recently again: Pao de Queijo and the Brazilian lemonade. I also made Brazilian rice again, to go with a delicious Brazilian fish stew. Since I was feeling adventurous, I even made Brazilian collard greens, which sadly only Ladybug and I enjoyed, but at least everyone tried them! For dessert, we had a double coconut cake, which was delicious!



Our adventures in Brazilian cooking have been interesting. I’ve used a lot of black beans and peppers in the last two weeks, as well as coconut and coconut milk. I’ve really enjoyed learning how to cook new things, and teaching my children some cooking skills and wisdom (I don’t think they’ll ever forget that “ganache covers a multitude of sins!). I’m especially glad that everyone was adventurous enough to try (and mostly enjoy) everything I made!

Chickadee Thursday

Chickadee is really in the Olympic spirit. She loves gymnastics and has been having a great time coming up with her own “floor routines!”

Even though the rhythmic gymnastics competition hasn’t been held yet, we got a sneak peek of the ribbon at the gymnastics gala, and Chickadee has really been having fun making up performances with the ribbon I bought this summer:

And she had to show off her “gold medal” by our medal chart:


Even with all of that fun, I think the highlight of her day was Moose coming home from his first day of fifth grade!



Olympics School–Day Five

Our study of geography while we learn about (and watch!) the Olympics has continued. We’ve moved on to the geography of South America, as well as looking at Brazil in greater detail. I’ve had the children look through a travel book, and choose what their must-see sights in Brazil are. I was happy to see that they chose places that are a little off the beaten path. We also talked about each of the host cities of the previous Summer Games, and talked a bit about some of the issues unique to each Olympics.

We haven’t just been learning though…we’ve also been having fun and being silly! Four years ago, we “Bolted” and did the “Mobot.” Since we have seen both Usain Bolt and Mo Farah compete in Brazil, win their races, and do their signature moves, we decided to give it a try again:



During the London 2012 Olympics, one of our crafts was making rhythmic gymnastics style ribbons, which was fun, even if they didn’t work quite as well as I wanted them to. I decided to do better this time around, so I purchased a ribbon like you might see the gymnasts use. We’ve really had fun playing with it, and Chickadee discovered that if she’s really nice, she might even get her big brother to play with her!

We have a little more geography left to cover, another Brazilian meal to try, and one last craft to do before the Olympics are over…stay tuned!