"'Education is the Science of Relations'; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of––
'Those first-born affinities,
That fit our new existence to existing things.'"

Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education
with a quote from The Prelude by William Wordsworth

Sunday, September 18, 2011

World War II

This is the subject Ds#1 wanted to study this year.  With Memoir '44 being his favorite board game it was hardly a surprise.  Between what I already had and the recommendations in For the Love of Literature by Maureen Wittmann (which I now have on my Kindle), I was able to easily put a unit together.

For spines I have several books. World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities by Richard Panchyk; and America: The Last Best Hope (Volume II) by William J. Bennett.  (I see that a Volume III is coming out next month covering 1988 to 2008.)  I also have a couple of OOP books for younger kids: The First Book of World War II by Louis L. Snyder and America Moves Forward by Gerald W. Johnson.

The Landmark Book series has a lot of titles on the subjects.  I own eleven of them, plenty to keep my kids reading.  If you are not familiar with this series, they are non-fiction books told in a story format.  They have too much fact to be historical fiction yet the details in the dialogs, for example, are made up.  I suppose you can consider them on the factual end of historical fiction.

Bethlehem books has quite a few WWII historical fiction titles that my boys are enjoying, like Penny for a Hundred for Ds#3, The Secret War of Sergent Donkey for Ds#2, and Enemy Brothers for Ds#1.  We own these.

Some of Maureen's recommendations include Twenty and Ten by Claire Hutchet Bishop.  We were able to borrow Miracle at Moreaux, the film based on it.  She also listed Against the Dayan out of print book by Michael Cronin that turns out to be the first in a series of three that can still be gotten cheaply through used book sellers. We're waiting for them to arrive.  She recommends some great picture books that I got from the library like The Snow Goose and The Secret Seder.

I purchased Saint Maximilian Kolbe: Mary's Knight by Patricia E. Jablonski and Saint Edith Stein: Blessed by the Cross by Mary Lea Hill, both in the Encounter the Saints series.  I even found a 1959 biography of Pope Pius XII by Richard Cushing in the juvenile section of a local library, though it was also in a college collection.  At 180 pages maybe Ds#1 could read it, but I'll have to read through it first.

I've put my husband on the task of recommending some classic WWII movies--John Wayne comes to mind but I am sure there's many more.  So far Ds#1 is reading the historical fiction faster than I can get them in, and that's a good predicament to be in.


Maria Rioux/TheHistoryPlace@yahoogroups.com said...

Awww. I sent in a nice long comment with additional resources for you, and it must have e-vaporated somehow. Happily, I copied most of it for my History Place readers. :)
Here goes again:
Hi, Kris! Your Unit Study looks great! Just a couple additional recommends for you:

Benny Hochman came to Benedictine to give a talk on his experience as a concentration camp survivor. It was excellent. His book is entitled, "From Hell to Here"and beautifully and honestly tells the story of this faithful, crusty, brave but also not invincible man. He's an immigrant from Poland, loves the USofA, his family, and his extended families: the band of brothers he fought and suffered with as well as the broader family of God. I could not say he loves his enemies, not even in the sense that we each ought, but our family suffered similar things, and I do understand how difficult it is to truly wish what is good for those who have done so much that deserves condemnation. My very next thought, however, is that that is each of us. The Bible tells us even the just man sins 7 times a day....which makes it pretty clear to me that I am not yet even a just man. I haven't killed anyone yet, either. ;)
Joseph Pearce's next issue of the St. Austin Review will include my grandfather's last letter, along with pictures and related articles. We decided against also putting it in his online version because some of my siblings thought it too personal, but I'd be willing to share it privately. If you want basic info on this, here's a link: http://www.historici.nl/Onderzoek/Projecten/BWN/lemmata/bwn1/mekel

My Om Juan wrote a book...a memoir, I guess....which includes his experience imprisoned in the labor camp adjoined to Beren Belsen, their liberation by American forces, his long walk home back to Holland...and so much more. He wrote this book for family members, but I would be willing to share with you those portions which would give you a personal take without a too personal one. :)
Lighthouse Communications has a talk by Anne Marie Schmidt which is absolutely awesome! I think it is titled, "To Hell and Back." It is so Catholic, so honest, so spunky....I love her. That's partly because, in some ways, she's so like me: She has an irascible nature, little tact but a strong faith. :) And she has so much more!
Landmark has a few other titles: Flying Tigers (Toland) is probably our favorite excellent, but here are some other options:
The Commandos of WWII Carter
The Story of the Paratroopers Weller
Medal of Honor Heroes Reeder
Adventures in Black Widder
The Seabees of WWII Castillo
Great American Fighter Pilots of WWII Loomis
The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler Shirer
The Story of the US Air Force Loomis
The Story of the US Marines Hunt
The Battle for the Atlantic Williams
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo Lawson
From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa Bliven

Terrific audiobook (and also read...if you have the time for that ;)):
Five Days in London by Lukacs
Kid Friendly Films:
The Five Riders
The Scarlett and The Black
Against The Wind

Not kid friendly, very good, but needs editing (IMO, even for adults. We have Clear Play.):
Schindler's List
Life is Beautiful
Escape From Sobibor
Shining Through

Oh, there's a terrific documentary on the Enigma machine and breaking the code. It's BBC, I think.

Off to start our school day!
God bless, Maria

Allison said...

INCREDIBLE resource! Once again, thank you SO much!

I am going to try searching for your recommendations of the colonization period next. Need some good living books type recommendations.

Kris said...

Maria, I'm glad you re-posted these resources--they are great! I can sympathize with having little tact but strong faith (you should stand next to me and then you will look like you have lots of it, lol!)

Allison, my two favorite living books for the Colonial Period are in this blog post, Colonial History.

Kris said...

I forgot to say that the two pictured are my two favorites!