The best thing about owning a motorhome is the variety of places it allows you to visit, whilst the beautiful thing about learning is that no-one can take it away from you.... So we've been fortunate to stand with our girls in the WW1 trenches in the Somme, or listened to the Belgium guide in Flanders Field or even walked the beaches of the D-Day Landings at Juno Beach.... before arriving into North Yorkshire to see the award winning 'Eden Camp' (through our increasingly useful York Pass)
If you've never been, a trip to the actual battlefields really is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed. Especially as it's sometimes hard to gauge the true impact of WW1 & WW2. However, it's great that places like North Yorkshire's 'Eden Camp' offers an equally useful perspective back in the UK...
Created by 250 Italian prisoners of war in 1942, Eden Camp could hold over 1000 prisoners at any one time..... yet it now also offers a comprehensive overview of world wars within the original huts. These types of immersive learning environments really seem to encourage our girls to form their own opinions and the confidence to express these to others..... exactly what we're hoping to achieve on our wider European Roadschooling Trip.
Each of Eden Camp's 'Prisoner of War Huts' overwhelms every sense and provides a series of fantastic 'simulated' opportunities.. From dodging the Blitz in authentic London streets to facing a depth charge account in a German U'Boat... it's full of innovative ways to communicate just how tough war must have been to those fighting in it and those back at home.
If you''ve visited Eden Camp and enjoyed it, you'd probably also love Ghent's St Peter's Abbey with it's wonderfully, evocative ' War in Shorts' exhibition. Narrated through the eyes of children with brilliant displays and audio guides. Each of the children recount their stories via huge TV screens, whilst you're surrounded by memories of the war (from a children's perspective). The metallic artwork statues are amazing, but so are the heart wrenching stories! (click here for full article)
We love these types of valuable educational resources which really help bring history to life whilst also helping meet the requirements of the National Curriculum whilst we road school across Europe. Plus it's certainly full of sights, sounds and smells of life on the Home Front and the Front Line.
For us, it was great to see the personal touches from rationing books to evacuation schedules and name-lists. Bringing home to the girls, just how much bravery must have been shown by everyone back in the UK too.... Yet equally important was the examples of craftsmanship shown by the Italian/German prisoners for gifts for local children.... just another example of humanity enduring the hardships of war.
War is a hard, abstract concept to learn about.. but thankfully Eden Camp is full of short films, exhibits and fantastic interactive activities which helps make us appreciate the sacrifices even more.
Whilst we don't want to upset our children, visiting this exhibit over Remembrance Day weekend has ensured our girls realise just how much was done for them by previous generations… The debt of thanks we owe is significant and books, TV programmes and poems can be a fantastic way to help understand this, but nothing beats actual visits to places like Eden Camp.
Although our girls have grandparents who tell them about life in the war (as told to them by their parents) it's still hard to grasp the concept of what life was like. So alongside our 'History' section within our 'Get Learning' section, here are ten ideas which might help if you have young children wanting to find out more:-
Search by Categories
Search our blog articles
Search our Archives
Check out our contributions to
Follow us here