Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Netherlands, Part 1

What a fun week studying the Netherlands!

First off, did you know that, technically, it is incorrect to call this country Holland? True - Holland is actually just a small part of the Netherlands in the southwest. It sounds like the Dutch are pretty laid-back though and don't take too much issue with this common error.

So here's our week:

Our absolutely favorite book:

What a joyful story! A destitute little girl in post WWII Holland receives a series of gifts from a little girl in America and makes the decision to share with her whole town. Based on a true story - the American girl was actually the author's mother! So inspiring.

In relation the this book, we talked about generosity (2 Cor. 9:6-8) and thankfulness (1 Thes. 5:16-18), worked on fractions using a chocolate bar and learned how to write a friendly letter. Little Man learned the four seasons and we talked about sending our own boxes overseas via Operation Christmas Child. There is a wonderful unit on this book at Homeschool Share.

We also enjoyed Father, May I Come? by Peter Spier. It's a tale of two courageous sea rescues off the Dutch coast - 300 years apart. And this amazes me - since 1824, the Royal Netherlands Rescue Society has saved more than 30,000 lives! It is completely funded and manned by volunteers. My boys loved this book!

Of course we had to read the story of the heroic little boy who saved the town by plugging a hole in the dike with his finger. Ours was in Around the World in 80 Tales but there is also a version in The BOOK OF VIRTUES by William Bennett. We were amazed to find out how much of the Netherlands has been reclaimed from the sea. And there are plans underway to reclaim even more. We learned how the dikes are built and then the water is pumped out - initially by windmills. We had to make some:

Now, how cute are those? The plans are here. And can I just say that I LOVE crafts whose materials list is limited to "printer, paper, toilet paper roll?" Yeah - I can do that.


  1. What an awesome wife you are.

    Big Daddy

  2. We read this book, at least once each year - usually near to Christmas. We also like to do Operation Christmas Child in conjunction with it - it's a favorite for the whole family. Thanks for sharing your ideas for it!