Our home education journey
What we're reading
November was the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, so naturally last month we focused on reading a lot on the subject - sadly I also only had a couple of books in my library so this also meant I got to have a bit of a book buying spree (any excuse...)
Lizzie and I used these books for her lessons on Remembrance Day. 'Poppy Field' was a beautifully moving story and prominently features the poem 'In Flandres Field' and was a wonderful way to introduce our poppy work. 'Where The Poppies Now Grow' is a lovely rhyming story that covered the first world war in a child friendly manner. And finally 'The Poppy Lady' was a lovely story telling of how the poppy came to be the symbol of remembrance.
Here are the three other picture books that I fell in love with, all of these have been added to my home library. 'The Best Christmas Present in the World' is a touching story around the 1914 Christmas truce, told in classic Michael Morpurgo fashion and guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye. 'One Boy's War' was an amazing story based on the life of one real solider (who came from a relatively local town), a touching story that really helps children to understand the war. And finally Michael Foreman's 'War Game' which again tells the story of the 1914 Christmas truce but is packed with information, told in an engaging narrative way. If you were only going to invest in one book of these I would defiantly make sure you had this one.
Obviously I had to feature some children's novels in this feature too. 'Private Peaceful' is one of my all-time favourite books, it's raw and heart-wrenching and has you crying all the way through. Along with Michael Morpurgo's 'War Horse', which is an excellent choice for children who prefer to read animal stories, both provide children with the knowledge and connection needed to this time period. I love the way the stories are told from both 'sides' and help children understand there are no winners in war.
I also read 'True Stories of the First World War', this book was amazing, each chapter told a different story featuring a different aspect of the war, I personally learnt so much from this book and will defiantly be including it in Lizzie's curriculum when she comes to studying the First World War.
And for myself these are the books that I read as well, I've had 'All Quiet on the Western Front' on my shelf for nearly a year (meaning to get to it), but our poppy and Remembrance Day lessons on the 10th were what I needed to spur me on. Once I picked it up I couldn't stop. I read the entire book through the day of the 11th. It was a moving and poignant read, I was expecting it to be a much tougher text, language wise, but found it surprisingly readable. It left me with many poignant memories and probably the best understanding on the subject I could have hoped to read.
I also chose a couple of poetry books to accompany the month. 'Poems from the First World War' is a beautiful selection of poems written at the time by people affected by the war, it includes the 'classics' as well as lesser known gems. I shared many of these with Lizzie during our Poetry time, and will defiantly be keeping it to come back to when we study the First World War again.
I also bought this stunning penguin clothbound edition of Wilfred Owen's Poems. Such a stunning copy and a classic book of beautiful poetry.