Paris a été libéré aujourd’hui! Say WHAT?

It translates, “Paris was liberated today!” and that’s what the world’s newspaper headlines shouted on this date in 1944. After more than four years of Nazi occupation Paris was liberated after an intense 6-day battle by a combination of French underground resistance fighters and their American allies- the United States 4th infantry.

That important event simultaneously marked the “end” of the Normandy invasion which began 2 1/2 months earlier on June 6th, and the beginning of the broad-based allied advance which resulted in Berlin’s unconditional surrender 8 1/2 months later on May 8, 1945.

By now you’re no doubt thinking, “What on earth does the liberation of Paris have to do with my homeschooling journey? Am I on the wrong blog!?” Good questions on both counts. Here are the answers.

1st- Yes, you ARE on the right blog!

2nd- There are three important lessons we can learn as homeschoolers.

The first is that while the French government gave Hitler their unconditional surrender on June 21, 1940 there always remained a determined underground French resistance movement. While many parents today have simply surrendered, giving up and allowing media and popular culture to define their childrens values, there have always been a few parents in the “resistance movement” who want to have meaningful input into the faith and values of their children.

Second- Like the French resistance fighters, you have allies! There are others who have also refused to surrender. You can gather strength from them by meeting for playgroups, praying together for your children, by using curriculum such as Five in a Row which have been lovingly created specifically by veteran “resistance fighters” for the benefit of a new generation of “resistance fighters,” and finally by getting daily encouragement for the fight from this blog and others with similar vision.

Third- you need to know that we WILL win in the end. The Bible assures us in 1 John 4:16-17 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.” We need have no fear if we’re found as part of the Lord’s “resistance movement of love” when that day comes.

Today might be a fun day to celebrate the liberation of Paris with your children. Tell them that 65 years ago today there was much celebration in the beautiful city of Paris. Have some French toast for breakfast, some French fries with lunch and some French bread with dinner. Decorate your dining room with a French motif for dinner tonight. Have your children find France on the map and then locate Paris. Review “The Giraffe that Walked to Paris” or “Madeline” if you’ve already studied those wonderful Five in a Row stories. If you haven’t done the Madeline Fold&Learn™ today would be a wonderful day to let your children show off their creativity.

Let your children make their own French flag and wave it proudly- just as the flag was waved in streets all over Paris 65 years ago today. (Note- the French flag is EASY to make! The left 1/3 is blue, the middle 1/3 is white and the right 1/3 is red.) Make your flag out of construction paper or white paper colored with crayons. Or take a piece of fabric and color the red and blue portions with markers, fabric paint or a quick dye made of food-coloring or Jello. Let your flag dry and then thumb-tack the left edge of the flag to a broomstick, tomato stake or yardstick. Have your children wave their flag proudly since they too are a part of the underground resistance movement today!

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