Our unschool family adventure in Normandy, began with hunting tanks.
We figured as difficult as the concept of war is to talk about with young children we could not visit Normandy without taking the opportunity to learn about it.
We visited the memorial de montormel museum, near Chambois. Showing the children the tanks, photos and maps explaining what happened here in the Falaise Gap, during the second world war.
It’s free to visit the tanks outside and only costs a few euros each for entrance to the small museum.
It is a beautiful spot high on a hill with a tragic but inspiring story. The final blow that took place here on 19-22nd August 1944 destroyed the strength of the opposition and was the decisive factor in the victorious ending of the second world war.
Although it feels like a lifetime away for us, it’s crazy to think what it was only 70 years ago.
As hard as it is talking to the small people about war, I dont think any subject of learning can be taboo. Personally for us, one of the most important lessons that future generations could learn is the danger of dividing groups of people against eachother, and creating separation and scape-goats in society.
The children had lots of questions like what is war? Who were the good people and the bad people? Does a tank need petrol? Why were people fighting? Do we need to fight anyone now?
Our visit fuelled interesting discussions about what is good and bad, different ways we resolve conflict, how it can sometimes be easier for people to act unkind when they are part of big group and how even when things are scary, people still find ways of standing up for what they believe in.
We found the whole visit to be a very moving and thought provoking day.