Learning with the Olympics

learning with the olympics



What’s your favorite Olympic sport? I will admit that although I love hockey, curling maybe the sport I watch the most. I love the strategy of every shot.

Now, how can you use the Olympics as a learning moment?  I think if you asked 9 out of 10 people, the first answer would somehow revolve around geography.  That’s all well and good but there’s so much more.

The New York Times wrote several articles focusing on different topics like literaturescience, and history.

Have you been using the Olympics to spur interesting conversations? Let us know by commenting this post, on Facebook or Twitter.

What’s New at Funderstanding


Low Tech Tuesday
Step away from the computer. Get your hands dirty. Just like when you were a kid.


Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
Don’t underestimate the ability for seemingly small (and amusing) things to inspire, especially in kids.

Ask Funderstanding

A question via EmailMy teenage son has been diagnosed with ADHD. He’s constantly getting in trouble at school and he is getting discouraged. What can I do?

Answer: First of all, full disclosure – none of us at Funderstanding are qualified therapists. We are educators, and we can address this question from that perspective alone. Also note, our view does not necessarily align to the mainstream view!

One of my favorite articles on Funderstanding is on neurodiversity. The powerful idea is that like all forms of evolution, diversity in thinking is an opportunity. There are many forms of diversity in learning. ADHD kids present one form of diversity.

As you well know these learners have some terrific strengths! Force of will, ability to make associations, passion – these are all great things. And like most things, there is a downside that makes it harder for these kids to fit into the mainstream world at school. And when kids fall out of the mainstream they too often are set apart, and that never feels good for a teen or for his or her parent.

In regards to your son, the first thing you need to do is work closely with your son’s school. Let’s assume they have an excellent IEP program and the ability to support him. Consult with a specialist to assure all you need is built into the IEP.

Most importantly, support him. Help him find structure at home to make school easier. Continually remind him that his ‘gift’ comes with some good and bad, and that this is part of life. Let him know some harsh realities if true – that schools are more about the things he is not good at than the things he is good at. But encourage him to find the area of focus – of passion – where he can shine.

Stay tuned for a lot more content to come that will explore this issue further. And please contact us with any comments or suggestions.

Ask us your question by commenting this post, on Facebook or Twitter.

Technology in Learning

Recently, I read something that spoke to the notion that technology tends to be focused on efficiency and not creativity. (I apologize to the author as I have no recollection on where I read it.)

As a parent, it’s easy to get wound up about your kid not being technically proficient in computers. Let’s get away from that mindset and focus not so much on being efficient on a computer/device but finding ways for our kids to be creative while using these devices.

What’s more important – that your kid knows how to use iMovie so that her movie looks really cool or that she creates her own movie, no matter how it comes out?

If you do a search for ‘creative apps,’ you’ll find tons of ideas. iMovie, Adobe Ideas, Doodle apps. They all work. The key is to simply use them. Create.

G Whiz Moment

Too often, I am so obsessed with the dark side of things that I don’t look the other way. So last week, I took a paper, a pen and I did a ‘Best Possible Self’ exercise. The principle is to take a time period, 5 years for example, to think about what you expect your life to be then and write the details of what you need to accomplish to get there. To visualize yourself realizing a life dream is a great way to cultivate optimism, picture a bright future and see all the possibilities ahead.

In The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want, professor of psychology Sonja Lyubomirsky found out that cultivating optimism was one of 12 things happy people do in their daily life.

3 great links

Five ways to bring gratitude into homes and classrooms

Confessions of a child psychiatrist: Even I look for parenting advice online

Michael Sam, Masculinity and Teaching Tolerance

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