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"Find out about the holocaust before next week" This, to a class of nine year olds - where do I start without scaring the living bejaysus out of DS?

(25 Posts)
Doodlez Wed 01-Dec-10 19:40:15

Maybe this would be better off in AIBU - just feel nine year olds (Year 5) are too young to know about this stuff yet. Surely, secondary school is more appropriate for this? They've done WWII - how evacuees lived but didn't cover the actual fighting on the front line or the politics behind the war.

The Holocaust though - it's heavy duty, serious stuff and I don't want to send him off to bed with nightmares - any tips or good web resources to cover this subject with primary aged children?

Goblinchild Wed 01-Dec-10 19:44:37

There are some good book resources, not sure about weblinks though. s/dp/0688063713
is excellent. k/dp/1561452084

southeastastra Wed 01-Dec-10 19:46:10

it's too young imo

thisisyesterday Wed 01-Dec-10 19:47:15

i agree, far too young. we learned about ww2 in primary school, but not the holocaust. i don';t think its appropriate at all for that age

please tel me they aren't reading the boy in the striped pyjamas too

honeybeetree Wed 01-Dec-10 19:48:29

could you just talk about how hitler and the nazi government didn't like some people and keep it simple....... just talk about Ann Frank and a little about what she didand her life and what happend when they were found?

Goblinchild Wed 01-Dec-10 19:49:08 es/index.cfm?mode=searchdisplay&id=91
This is the text of a KS2 assembly, with a synopsis of what happened. Other than that, I'd google Holocaust, but add KS2 and you may get more appropriate sites than a general search.

Matsikula Wed 01-Dec-10 19:51:11

I would also recommend 'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' by Judith Kerr. It's about a family of Jewish refugees, rather than a graphic account of the Holocaust. I guess from there it's only a short step to explaining what these families were fleeing from.

The book is obviously sad, but I am sure I read it at primary school and knew about the Holocaust, and I don't remember being affected by it the way I was affected by books like When the Wind Blows. I guess that was because I knew these things weren't going to happen to me.

honeybeetree Wed 01-Dec-10 19:51:17

there is also a good Usborne book about Ann Frank I would just look at her life....

TheCrackFox Wed 01-Dec-10 19:51:17

I have a 9 yr old son (and also a degree in history) and TBH I think he is a little bit young.

TBH, you really need to learn about the run up to WWII and why the Nazis were elected first. The Holocaust really needs to be set in context.

CommanderDrool Wed 01-Dec-10 19:52:28

You could try this Anne Frank Trust

southeastastra Wed 01-Dec-10 19:53:48

the school shouldn't just be sendng you off to find out about it yourselves either. i'd talk to them

Matsikula Wed 01-Dec-10 19:55:38

The family in Pink Rabbit make it to England by the way, so it might be easier dealing with this than with questions about what happened to Anne Frank.

COCAcolachristmasadvert Wed 01-Dec-10 19:57:22

You don't need to go into huge detail, and I would steer clear of photos as they really stick in the mind. Strange as it sounds the latest Harry Potter film led us into a conversation with dd1 about Nazi Germany.

Doodlez Wed 01-Dec-10 19:58:12

Right - I'm just following some of your links - thanks for all assistance with this.

I've just emailed his teacher too! She doesn't teach the class history, so I've explained what DS has just asked me and then I've asked her for any tips or resources, websites etc she could recommend! Basically, alerting her to the fact that this (appears) to have been chucked at her form class!

zapostrophe Wed 01-Dec-10 19:58:32

Message withdrawn

CommanderDrool Wed 01-Dec-10 20:00:31

This is meant to be suitable from ks3 (with guidance)

Zipitydoda Wed 01-Dec-10 21:33:13

I really don't think it is parents job to do this. I don't think 9 is too young if taught by appropriately qualified trained people who know about the appropriate approaches and likely issues to come in with such a difficult area with children but not parents who might not know how to answer difficult questions most appropriately.

thebelletolls Wed 01-Dec-10 21:45:18

Depends so much on the child and how the subject is addressed. When I was about the same age, maybe younger, my father had very adult conversations with me and my sister about the Holocaust as nearly all my mother's family had been sent to the gas chambers and he wanted us to understand how lucky we were to live in this country - only 25 miles across the Channel from where my 18 yr old Grandfather had escaped never to see his parents and sisters again. He's an historian, and didn't want to upset us, just to understand where we had come from and to be grateful that my Grandfather had been given refuge here.

If it can be done without guilt or fear, then children can handle most things. I've talked about it with my son in a very general way but wouldn't go into horrific detail. I can barely bring myself to watch the 10 o'clock news myself sometimes.

QueeferSantaland Wed 01-Dec-10 21:51:56

Oh I nearly started an AIBU about this last year when it was DDs christmas homework to do a power-point presentation on the causes of WWII. She was 7.

I was really uncomfortable about this, and cross that they weren't prepared to discuss it at school.

In the end we spent christmas day with a family friend who could talk the hind legs off a donkey, and whittered on about Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the nazis all day. Great topic over christmas lunch.hmm

FreudianFoxSquishedByAPouffe Wed 01-Dec-10 21:58:50

I'm really not sure if it's too young. My DSDs handled it very well at that age, in fact the school invited a concentration camp survivor to talk to them and it was fine.

As a rule though I do not much like the "find out about xxx" HW if it's overdone - DSDs school did that so much as a replacement for actually teaching them stuff.

The worst thing they were told specifically to google was sex education

Thank fuck their older brother was with them to filter out all the porn!

PixieOnaLeaf Wed 01-Dec-10 22:51:12

Message withdrawn

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 03-Dec-10 14:40:34

I don't think it's too young. If there are Jewish children in the OP's class, they may already have begun to ask their parents why their granny and grandad get so upset about talking about their parents and aunties. For many kids of Jewish origin in the UK, the Holocaust is still a current issue within families and communities, and it's good for children from non-Jewish families to understand that.

nlondondad Fri 03-Dec-10 15:01:54

I must have been about nine when I saw a dramatisation on the BBC of "The Silver Sword" by Ian Serreliar(sp?) I remember this prompted me into asking my parents about the Holocaust. They had vivid memories of how, as the allies advanced after the liberation of France terrible rumours started to spread, and then official reports started in media like the radio about concentration camps; and the stories so awful that people dismissed them as anti Nazi propaganda. And then the soldiers started to return home on leave, who had seen the camps, and who had witnessed the indescribable with their own eyes. And how people felt when they realised the stories all true.

Interestingly the way they conveyed the horror to me was not by telling me anything about the camps, but about people' reactions to them. And how our neighbour, who at the age of 18 had been one of the advance guard to Belsen was never the same again.

I dont recall this causing me any psychological problems; it did help develop a dislike of sectarianism, or racism if you will, of all kinds.

Summerbird73 Fri 03-Dec-10 15:10:07

i remember being fascinated by learning about how WW2 was fought at home (ie rationing, Blitz, Land Army, Evacuation and mums keeping the house going etc) and i was around that age. I really cant remember learning about the holocaust then - however i learnt about it somewhere and we werent taught much about WW2 after that.. so maybe we were taught then. I think if it is dealt with sensitively then she may have a sympathetic understanding rather than upset (agree that Anne Frank is a good start).

I do however remember being made to watch 'Threads' at school when i was 15, christ that gave me nightmares for months!

minimathsmouse Fri 03-Dec-10 16:18:13

I don't think 9 is too young, I have a son 9 who has known a bit about the holocaust for some time. I considered it my responsibility to raise the issue (my father /family is Jewish)

I do however think 9 is too young to cover it in school and certainly after completing homework on the subject. Whilst some parents will skip the horrors and give a brief over-view , others will give too much information and others may even make derisive comments about jews.

I remember my history teacher telling us that the Jews brough it upon themselves and that he believed that most German people would have supported the mass exterminations. confused however at 14 I was in a better position to argue and question what I was being told.

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