Saturday, June 7, 2014

World War II ~ England

We had a great time studying how World War II affected England. We kicked off our study of England by watching 1940's House. This is an awesome PBS special. From the show, we were able to decide on the things we wanted to learn the most about England.

One thing that fascinated the kids was incendiary bombs. It is hard to imagine that everyone was trained how to remove them from their homes and workplace in the event of one crashing through the roof. We studied how they removed the incendiary bomb and put it out. Then, we replicated this lesson using a smoke bomb. The kids found it much harder to pick up than they expected it to be. Realizing that the real thing would have caught on fire within a minute or two was a frightening thought!

We then practiced using a fire extinguisher. I had one that had been left outside in very cold temperatures this winter. I just didn't feel confident that it would still work properly and figured it was better to practice with it instead of just throwing it away. The kids enjoyed this activity. Sure hope they never have to use one for real!

We also learned about some of the games and activities people did during World War II to pass the time. We tried our hands at Tiddlywinks. This game is much harder than it looks (at least for those of us who lack eye hand coordination). We only learned the simple rules which is to take a squidger and propel the winks into a cup before your opponent squops your winks. I just love English words. They crack me up!

We also tried SPAM. Yes, I managed to get to 41 years of age without having had it. But Spam was a real lifesaver to the British during the war years. It was a popular food during the ration years and even up to current times. We fried our Spam and ate it with noodles. It was salty and I will probably not race out to buy it again. However, it was not at all as bad as I expected it to be. But it sure isn't the grass-fed meat we usually put into our mouths.

We also made a model of an Anderson bomb shelter in lieu of the real thing. I just wasn't willing to dig a deep hole in the back yard. What kind of a homeschool mother am I anyway? LOL!! This was a much easier way to learn about how a shelter was constructed and then we bombed it with rocks. The kids had a fun time bombing it while it lasted.

We are done with school for five weeks so I will pick up on our studies of World War II when we return to school. We still have the home front (America) and Japan to go. I also may do a bit more with the African countries that were involved. So far, we only listened to an audio tape that was set in Africa. 

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Love all the ideas you have shared about WWII. We have studied that some this year, but I need to go back and add in some of the fun things you have done. Great job!

  2. Love the English words. Thanks for including them in the details!

  3. Fantastic job! So many good ideas in one study. I can't believe you'd never had Spam before :)

  4. I treasure in my heart the days of home schooling when we were all discovering, and you have caught the moments so well. On my post about cards, the letter that I found from my boys on running away had on it...I haven't finished my math! Oh I laughed, I am sure that was one of those home school days that had run on and on and on...not one of the fun days. I am now going through all their home school stuff and saving the precious pieces that we can touch. Enjoy, enjoy!!

  5. What wonderful ideas. I may steal them this year when we get into WWI and WWII. I've never had Spam either. The Spam museum is actually only 20 minutes from here. That will be a field trip that we will take during this study. Thanks for the ideas. Have a wonderful week!

  6. You have such great ideas all the time. I really need to keep a log of them for when we study this era next. Letting the kids use the fire extinguisher was brilliant. We have one that is just about needing to be recharged from sitting too long. I should let Amber try it. Hope you are having a good week.

  7. I was certain I left a comment about Spam being a childhood staple in my home when my dad was out of work, but it seems to have disappeared! My dad could make the most delicious dishes from a tin of Spam!

  8. You're not the only one who's never had Spam..... I've avoided it like the plague because I read enough books as a kid that made disparaging comments about it.