Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

World World I, part 1:The Beginning, 1914

File:Norman Rockwell- Scout at Ships Wheel.jpg
Norman Rockwell
Scout at Ship's Wheel
, 1913
World War I (DK Eyewitness Books) 
timeline from
Homeschool in the Woods'
Time Travelers'
Industrial Revolution to the Great Depression
We used the Eyewitness WWI book as our main resource. This is more of a textbook style book but they do love the DK Eyewitness books because of all the pictures in them. We also used Heritage History's Story of the Great War by Roland Usher  and When Europe Went Mad; a Brief History of The First World War by Terence Finn as our main narrative style books. They both give a very complete overview of the war and briefly explains the causes and sentiments of the war, along with a comprehensive overview of the battle strategies. 

We began our timeline of the war.


We looked at the causes of the war, and the alliances made and colored maps. 


"In 1914 most military experts believed that the army that attacked first would win."
-When Europe Went Mad; a Brief History of The First World War by Terence Finn

We learned about how in October 1879, Germany and Austria-Hungary became allies and formed the Dual Alliance. On 20 May 1882, they were joined by the Kingdom of Italy in what was known as the Triple Alliance. This alliance was intended to be limited to defensive purposes. We also learned that only 40 years prior to World War I, France had been invaded by Germany and had lost Alsace and Lorraine. France planned to some day regain them. Russia was also afraid of Germany's desire for dominance in Europe.
The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers to form the Triple Alliance in August 1914. 

map of the alliances in Europe
Germany's strategy was to hit France fully, going on to Paris, believing that Russia could not mobilize its troops quickly enough to aide support. Once France was taken, Germany then planned to confront the Russians with a victorious army. But France had been preparing for war already and had constructed fort along the border with Germany.

Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom also has a good summary of the beginning of WWI.


  • A Serb student shoots Austrian Archduke Ferdinand. 
  • Austro-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
  • Due to her Alliance, Russia helps Serbia.
  • Due to alliances, Germany declares war on Russia.
  • Germany declares war on France.
  • Germany invades Belgium. 
  • Britain declares war on Germany.
  • Austro-Hungary declares war on Russia.
  • France and Britian declare war on Austro-Hungary.
German forces (five armies) crossed into Belgium, heading for France. They left two armies home to protect Alsace and Lorraine, and one army to protect the Russian border. Once Belgium's neutrality was violated, British sent their army to France.

Battle of Marne 

Germans pushed aside Belgians, defeated French and caused the British to retreat. By Sept. 3, the Germans reached the Marne River



"Savior of Paris"

France got taxi drivers to transport troops, 5 men at a time, to take the army to the front line. By this time, the German army was tried and had suffered numerous causalities  The largest problem, however was that they were desperately short of supplies, particularly food. 

"The Miracle of the Marne"

Germans withdrew to the high ground at the Aisne River and began to dig the 475 miles of trenches, from the  Swiss border to the North Sea.


The First Battle of Ypers

Britain lost all of its professional army. Britain and France retained control of a small slice of Belgium but the rest was occupied by Germany. The Germans were very cruel to the Belgians -they killed them, looted and burned buildings, which upset the British and the Americans, but Americans were not yet ready to enter into the war.
Two Russian armies attacked, crossing the border into East Prussia. The Germans crushed the Russians. This began the battles between the Germans and the Russians, which mostly resulted in Germany winning 

Turkey formally entered World War I on October 28, 1914, with the bombing of Russian Black Sea ports. The Triple Entente, or Allied Powers, declared war on the Ottoman Empire on November 4.


Ammo Belt Notebook page from Homeschool in the Woods' Time Travelers' Industrial Revolution to the Great Depression


We made this nifty Ammo Belt for their notebooks. It will hold the things they make during our study of World War I.


4 comments:

  1. Whilst I'm really enjoying the Middle Ages you and Ticia are really whetting my appetite for modern history. Great study! Oh and we LOVE the Eye Witness books, for the same reasons - lots of pictures and very nice lay out.

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  2. What great resources Phyllis, as always. We have studied WWII in depth but not so much WWI. I am going to show this to Keilee! :) Thank you for your amazing posts. You do the BEST things with your kids.

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  3. Now I've got about 4 more posts opened that you shared at the bottom. You do a great job of curating posts to share. I almost always check out at least one.

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  4. We loved study this period. We were fortunate to visit a few sites in France and Germany I did a whole series of post on my blog look under the month of August you can find them there, lots of interesting stories and pictures.:) http://lifesadventures-amb.blogspot.co.uk

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