Thursday, April 14, 2011

Andrew's Dresden

Andrew had a special assignment for school.  It was MEANT to be a three week school project, but he came home last weekend and told me he had a Power Point presentation due on Dresden that Monday.  He wrote the essay and we added the photos the morning of my birthday.  (Which might sound really lame, but for all who know me, was actually not a bad birthday gift for me!)

With ANZAC day coming up here - and inspired by Lindsey's piece on peace (!!!) - I just wanted to show what homeschooling can do.  Although we learned a lot about Dresden as part of a homeschooling project, Andrew's essay shows me that just talking about things informally at home, exposing kids to complicated ideas and encouraging to think about them, goes a long way.

It also shows that they ARE listening more than you think they are. 

And that it is never too early to start teaching kids about peace!

I feel really lucky that Andrew's teacher is carrying on the same lessons at school that I teach at home.  (And yes, Andrew wrote those last few pages himself.  I was actually trying to get him to tone it down or even delete some of it but then realized that was crossing the line from editing to censorship.  Hmmm....might be Andrew has the same preachy style as his mother!  But then again he is only nine!) 

Some photos have been omitted in the interests of time.  It's Andrews WORDS that I am so proud of!

By Andrew Connor

My Opa was born in the nearby town of Rathen two weeks after Dresden was bombed. 
(This is us visiting Rathen.)

His Mum, my Ur-Oma, saw only dust and fire.  Dresden was bombed by the Americans and British because they were fighting the Nazis who ruled Germany at that time.  The Nazis were the bad guys.
(This is me in front of the Golden Horseman, a statue of August the Strong.  He was the Kaiser of Dresden in the 1700s)

Before the bombing Dresden was as pretty as today.  It has a famous Opera house.   It has paintings by famous painters like Rafael.  Martin Luther even studied there!  (This is me near a statue of the great Martin Luther.)

A lot of the buildings are fixed.  Some are the same as before and some not.  Good paintings burned and are redone.  This is the Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady.  It was completely destroyed by the bombs.  Today it has been rebuilt.  It is a symbol of hope.  A piece of the old church has been kept standing to remind people of the bombings.  Ryan and Matthew stand in front of it.  (Photo omitted.)

Of course many people died.  Some also survived.  The survivors had even more pain than the already dead people of the bombed city of Dresden.

Dresden shows us all how terrible war is.  How much pain it can cause, how deadly it is and how not fun it is.  (This is the Elbe River that my Opa played and swam in as a little boy.)


  1. I'm so glad you posted this - how proud you must be! I'm proud and I've never MET Andrew :) Please pass along my compliments to the little writer.

  2. THANK YOU! I AM proud. Even if they are playing with plastic guns at home, they know what is real and they know how I feel! Raising as many 'peaceful warriors" as I can!

    Thanks again - CHristine