Monday, August 4, 2008

First Day of School!

Today was the first day of our 08/09 school year. Some years we have a special breakfast or take photos. This morning we simply had toast and sat in front of the TV watching the Today Show's coverage from Beijing. It was so cool thinking we would see those places ourselves in just 14 days!

Today we spent some time learning the history of the modern Olympic movement and practicing the Olympic motto, creed and oath. Last year the boys enjoyed (yes, they really did enjoy this, believe it or not) learning Greek and Latin roots, so probably the most interesting thing that they learned today is that "gymnos" means "nude," so gymnasium really means "a place for naked exercise." In the true fashion of 8-12 year-old boys, they talked about this over and over! We also learned that the word "stadium" is based on the "stade" which was the length of the foot race in the original Greek games, but somehow this did not bear repeating as much as gymnasium.

Each of the kids chose a sport and a country to prepare a report for to present tomorrow night to the family.

We did a few experiments from our "Sports Science" book - learning how the brain is the most important body part when it comes to success in sports. Our experiments were on reaction time (which involved dropping and catching a ruler with a partner - it turns out that Rebecca had the best reaction time)

and learning about balance (Nathan won the balance challenge!).

Probably the biggest thing that I learned today is that shots hurt!

Nathan, Terry and I had our hepatitis shot in preparation for travel. Since Rebecca has traveled to China before, she got to skip this ritual.

Speaking of ritual, we are watching a documentary tonight called "The Real Olympics" and learned that the first Olympics started with the ritual of animal sacrifice. I'm glad that won't be part of the opening ceremonies this year!