Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lessons from the Olympics

News of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada has captured the headlines everywhere with tragedies, successes, tears, and shouts of joy. I found myself thinking about lessons homeschoolers can learn from these athletes.

Setting goals: None of these men and women would be at the Olympics if they hadn’t set goals.  In our homeschooling, we also need to set a target. What do you hope to accomplish in character building this year? In academics? Like the old saying: Aim at nothing and you're sure to hit it.

Hard work: The athletes put in many hours of hard work to sharpen their skills. They willingly sacrificed the day at the mall for their dream. None of our children will gain excellence with half-hearted attempts. Working even when they didn’t feel like it is what propelled the Olympians to Vancouver.

Overcoming obstacles: Everything from broken bones to a death in the family barred their path to the podium. They persevered, pushing through the tough times. (I don’t think I need to give you the analogy here.)

Dealing with the unexpected: I’ve watched how the athletes deal with mistakes their teammates make, or even an unheard of mistake by a coach that got a gold medalist disqualified—a real heart-breaker. Are you teaching your children how to deal with siblings who makes mistakes? Instead of blaming the referee when he makes a bad call on your son's team, use it as an opportunity to teach your child that life isn’t fair.

Winning/losing with grace: I’ve read about medal favorites who didn’t end on the top podium reacting with sour grapes, and the corresponding winner answer with grace and kindness.  Your children won’t learn character qualities such as humility and graciousness without God’s Word, examples, and training.

The Olympians strive for excellence and gain their moment on the podium with the honor of representing their country. We train our children for a far great reward with the honor representing the King of  Kings and Lord of Lords.

Starting today, go for the gold!

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