Discussion Forums - Homeschoolers' Corner Homeschoolers' Corner

Topic: Teaching and learning about difficult Subjects

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Teaching and learning about difficult Subjects
Date Posted: 4/26/2008 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2005
Posts: 4,699
Back To Top

So I have been thinking alot about Teaching and learning about
Difficult subjects. The 2 that seem to be taking up much of my brain
space are Slavery and War. Our history starts to cover these more in
the next few years. In regards to War, I am specifically thinking of
WW2 and the Holocaust. Big important topics that can be difficult to
understand and explain.

I found 2 great resources on DVD that I have aquired because I know I
wish to use them to help me Broach and teach these subjects.

One is the documentary Paperclips. It is about a small Tennessee town
and their Paperclip Project to learn about the Holocaust. I first saw
it on Netflix. I have since aquired a copy of it at of all placed Big
Lots. I originally saw it with the 2nd DVD of special features. ( the
one I was able to purchase for $3 was only the Single DVD) I highly
reccommend watching the "special" edition(2dvd set). However the
regular version is still highly educational and touching.

The Second Movie is Amazing Grace. This is a new release. It is the
story of the song Amazing grace and Wilberforce, the British
Parlimentarian that fought for and won Abolition in Britian. It is a
period Movie and absolutely Brillant. A great and helpful Feature on
this one is the DVDRom features. They are a study guide and Discusion
Questions. It was just Fantastic.

Does any one else have any ideas, curricullum, or supplemental items
they might be willing to share? Have you covered this, will you? What
worked, what didn't? Any thoughts are always appreciated.

having Deep thoughts on important concepts and ideas from our past.


Last Edited on: 4/26/08 1:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/26/2008 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2008
Posts: 19
Back To Top

We have not covered these subjects yet but my husband And I have "a thing" for WWII an I would highly recomend a documentury called "The War" by Ken burns. I know you can get it throught blockbuster.com but I don't know about net flix. It is a long (6 disk) but but very well put together doc.

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 211
Back To Top

What grades are you teaching?  There is a lot of information about WWII and the Holocaust that's appropriate for most ages.

A good resource for Holocaust information is the Yad Vashem in Israel.  They have educational materials , and their online exhibits are also good teaching tools.


Last Edited on: 4/26/08 11:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/27/2008 3:28 AM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2008
Posts: 694
Back To Top

For slavery, I would recommend "The Last Safe House" by Barbara Greenwood.  We read this in our co-op to 2nd to 5th grade.  It is an exciting story of a family escaping from slavery, interspersed with much factual information about the time period.  We read it over several weeks and it really held their attention.  You can read about it on Amazon.


Last Edited on: 4/27/08 3:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/27/2008 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
Back To Top

Paperclips is an amazing documentary - great choice!

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
Back To Top

I think something important to discuss which was not taught to me when I was in public school and learned about the Holocaust was that even today that type of genocide is happening. I was somehow misled to think that once WW2 was over that element of humanity was wiped off this earth. I don't know how much you want to get into that but I think it is important to mention that in our country we are against genocide yet in other countries today it is still happening and is 'okay' with some people.

I was touched deeply by The Diary of Anne Frank. I don't know the ages of your kids and if that is yet appropriate.

I watched PaperClips and it was fantastic. That they killed homosexuals was something I learned in that documentary. Before you show it to your kids be ready for that discussion should it be picked up. Again I don't know the ages of your kids or if they have yet been taught about homosexuality. One moving thing about PaperClips was I was surprised when the teacher said in their area that topic was not taught. It has been taught in my area for years and years, maybe due to our higher percentage of Jewish people who live up here? I don't know. Anyway my point is I can't believe that the Holocaust was not being taught all over America.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
Back To Top

I was going to post about Ken Burns' series, too, but someone beat me to it. :-)  We watched it when it was on PBS a few months ago.  It gave my son (10) a great understanding of what happened in the entire war.  He asked to skip ahead in history (we were in the reformation at the time) so he could study it.

Thanks for the tip on PaperClips.  Amazingly, our library has it.  There's also a juvenile book.

Six million paper clips : the making of a children's Holocaust memorial / Peter W. Schroeder & Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand. Show details
by Schroeder, Peter W., 1942-
Minneapolis, MN : Kar-Ben Pub., c2004. c2004.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2006
Posts: 88
Back To Top

The Island on Bird Street is a great historical fiction about a boy who survives the cleaning out of the warsaw  ghettos, and then goes into hiding.




Date Posted: 4/29/2008 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 662
Back To Top

In 1981, there was an After-School Special on television called "The Wave."  The fictional program was based on an experiment done at a high school to help the students understand how the Holocaust could have happened.

You can watch the whole episode online at www.xenutv.com/cults/wave.htm.  (This site says the movie was released in 1991, but it's a typo.)

I had forgotten all about the program, but a mom at my homeschool co-op remembered it.  There is some great historical fiction about both slavery and the Holocaust written for almost every grade level.  Fiction can be a non-threatening window into a scary part of history.

Date Posted: 8/15/2008 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2006
Posts: 1,665
Back To Top

I just watched from the library I'm Still Here it's rated TV-14  The diary entries originally told in the book Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust were read by different celebrities, photos to music in both color and black-n-white (some of the photos showed death and malnurished unclothed bodies). One of the diary entries read used a-hole to describe Hitler, other than that there wasn't any bad language. There is a lesson plan for the movie at facinghistory.org

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
Back To Top

Research Irene Sendler, A Polish woman who helped save 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis. (more than Schindler). For every child she rescued, she put their name in a jar and buried in her garden. She just passed away this year.

Here's a couple of links http://www.irenasendler.org/facts.asp  http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6e0_1210820630


Last Edited on: 8/16/08 1:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/16/2008 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
Back To Top
I have a 1st grader and the Holocaust came up because I read her "Twenty and Ten". I can't easily find the book, it has disappeared into one of the kids bedrooms so you will have to look up the author. If one of your children is young, that might be a way to approach it. I don't have a good book suggestion for slavery. Jane