Monday, September 13

The Winged Watchman & Netherlands Unit Study

September 17-25, 1944 - Operation Market Garden

In May 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, which had been a neutral country.  The royal Dutch family fled to London and Canada, and the people were left under German occupation.  Those who tried to resist were sent to concentration camps.

From 1941 to 1944, the Germans demanded 'contributions' from those living in occupied territory in the form of food, work, and information.  Nearly 70% of the Jewish population was exported to extermination camps.  While the southern part of the country was liberated by mid-1944, the northern part was still under occupation.  

On September 12, the Allied troops, wanting to strike at the German industrial heartland of the Rühr, mounted Operation Market Garden, the biggest airborne attack ever attempted. After that, the liberation of the rest of the Netherlands was expected to soon follow, but the Germans put up a much tougher fight than expected.  Much of the region suffered from famine for the rest of 1944 - a time that came to be known as Hunger Winter.  In May 1945, the whole country was liberated.

Our spine read for this unit is:
  • The Winged Watchman
    • This acclaimed story of World War II is rich in suspense, characterization, plot and spiritual truth. Every element of occupied Holland is united in a story of courage and hope: a hidden Jewish child, an "underdiver," a downed RAF pilot, an imaginative, daring underground hero, and the small things of family life which surprisingly carry on in the midst of oppression. The Verhagen family, who live in the old windmill called the Winged Watchman, are a memorable set of individuals whose lives powerfully demonstrate the resilience of those who suffer but do not lose faith.

Snag the ENTIRE UNIT in Beautiful Book Studies!

Each unit addresses a new topic, including science, history, and geography.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the topic to life.

Table of Contents

  • The King’s Fifth
  • Red Falcons of Tremoine
  • Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan
  • Red Hugh of Ireland
  • Calico Captive
  • The Story of Eli Whitney
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • The Lost Kingdom
  • The Secret Garden
  • Heidi
  • Girl of the Limberlost
  • The Winged Watchman
  • When the Dikes Broke
  • Using the Good & the Beautiful in High School

The books selected for these unit studies can be found in the upper grades areas of The Good and the Beautiful Book List.  However, Homeschool On the Range and Sparks Academy are not employed by or affiliated with, nor do they receive any compensation from, The Good and the Beautiful.  It has simply been their curriculum of choice for many years.  These unit studies are not endorsed by The Good and the Beautiful or Jenny Phillips.

Get the entire World War 2 Bundle!


  • The Book Thief
  • We Were There at the Battle of Britain
  • Number the Stars
  • The Winged Watchmen
  • We Were There at Pearl Harbor
  • We Were There at the Battle of Bataan
  • Island War
  • Red Stars
  • The Night Witches
  • Mare’s War
  • We Were There at the Normandy Invasion
  • Code Talkers
  • We Were There at the Battle of the Bulge
  • The Light Between Us
  • We Were There at the Open of the Atomic Era
  • A Merry 1940s Christmas

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