Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

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

World War II, part 2: 1941-1944: War in Africa to The Battle of the Bulge

Timeline and Maps

1941-42: War in Africa

  • Allied troops are sent to Africa to fend off Germany and Italy's advance on Egypt, first in 1941 and then later in 1942's Operation Torch.

1942: War in Pacific

  • Nazi's come up with the Final Solution to the "Jewish problem" and work out the details of the death camps.
  • US and Filipino forces surrender and captives are forced to walk 63 miles to a prisoner of war camp. Many die of starvation and disease in the camps.
  • US sends a squadron of B-52 bombers over Tokyo.
  • US dive bombers sweep down on a huge Japanese fleet near Midway Island in the North Pacific, resulting in huge Japanese losses.
  • Meanwhile German armies assault Soviet stronghold of Stalingrad, but Soviet push them back.
  • Jews in Warsaw Ghetto begin an uprising, but the rebellion is quickly crushed.

1944: The D-Day Invasion and The Battle of the Bulge

photo from (Our) Life's Adventures
  • Allied troops invade German-occupied France, some from ships across the English Channel to the  eaches of Normandy and some US paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines, giving the Allies a crucial foothold in Europe. (Our) Life's Adventures has a wonderful series of blog posts about their field trips to Normandy...St. Mere Englise, Point du Hoc and American Cemetery in Normandy.
  • A German colonel plants a bomb in Hitler's headquarters, but Hitler survives the blast. Hitler orders the death of 5,000 possible conspirators.
  • US returns to the Philippines. Japanese begin the use of kamikaze, or suicide pilots to crash into US ships to sink them.
  • While Allied forces regrouped before their advancing into Germany, Hitler orders a counter-attack of a tank offensive through the Ardennes forest in Belgium, surprising the Allies. It punches a bulge in their lines, but the German advance is stopped and is forced to retreat.

Coastal Defense

We went to Fort Miles, Delaware and learned a lot about the coast defense during World War II. The boys learned all about the different types of guns, how they worked and what they were used for.
As a follow-up to the field trip, I had the boys do an activity from World War II for Kids in which they needed to plot how they would defend a coastal land. They were given a list of the guns they had to place and their ranges and angle of fire.
Using a compass and protractor, they shaded the areas that would be covered by the guns.


We have been playing Battleship. I used to play this game on graph paper as a kid. We just put an X on the squares we wanted to place our ships.

New Recruits Go Through Basic Training

The Homefront

Make a Care Package

If you would like to send a care package to our service men overseas, this page from Our Military has a list of organizations you can contact. They also tell you what you can and cannot send.

Victory Garden

Americans were very proud of their Victory Gardens and they planted them wherever there was enough soil, sunlight and water. In 944 Victory Gardens supplied more than 40 percent of the nation's fresh vegetables.
May 14, 2013


  • The Cats In Krasinkski Square, Karen Hesse; picture book for grades 2-5 set in Warsaw in 1942

sources and inspiration:


  1. You planted a victory garden- how cool! Has your family read the "Mitchell" series? I think the first book is called "5 for Victory". We haven't studied this time period yet, but my boys really enjoyed the book. I'm going to have to get that activity book for next year. It sounds like a great resource. And that looks like a great field trip!

  2. I can't remember if I commented or not, so just in case. I love the defense activity, what a great way to combine history AND math.

  3. I love the way you do History!! Fort Miles looks wonderful, I have never taken Keilee to a fort before, she would love it. The Victory Garden is such an amazing idea. We saw a lot about them when we visited the WWII Museum in New Orleans. Of course you can feature Keilee's video! She would be honored.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means so much.