Teaching certain parts of history to our kids can be tough because it’s uncomfortable to look evil in the eye. This is true when you’re ready to teach your kids about the Holocaust. It’s a topic that’s not just about history; it’s about empathy, understanding, and making sure we never forget the past.
There are many books that are helpful for teaching kids about the Holocaust. But sometimes it’s helpful to be more immersed in the individual stories and see it in an engaging format. That’s where virtual tours come into play.
We’ve compiled the best virtual tours to help your kids and teens learn about the Holocaust. But first, let’s talk about why teaching the Holocaust is so crucial for our homeschooled students.
My posts contain affiliate links.
Why Teach the Holocaust?
Teaching kids about the Holocaust is super important because it’s not just history; it’s a crucial lesson in humanity. The Holocaust shows the absolute worst of what people are capable of, but it also highlights the bravery, resilience, and kindness that can shine through in the darkest of times.
All of history is filled with heroes, villains, and the indifferent people in the middle category that stood by while evil was perpetrated. Just like in the time of legal slavery in the United States, we need to highlight to our kids that there were ordinary people who made a difference in their culture and stood up to the evil. These topics are hard to teach our kids – about slavery, about the Holocaust – but they’re necessary if we are ever going to learn from the past.
The Benefits of Virtual Tours
Virtual tours can open up a world of history and empathy for your kids. It’s one thing to read a book to learn about the Holocaust, but what if you could actually see where Anne Frank lived? What if you could see The Hiding Place or The Annex? What if you could put a face to a name in the horror that was the Holocaust? That’s where virtual tours are a helpful learning resource.
Tips for Incorporating Virtual Tours into Homeschooing
Incorporating virtual tours into homeschooling is an engaging way for kids to learn. And it’s a great way to teach multiple ages together. Every age will find a different a-ha moment in the virtual tour.
You’ll want to plan ahead, know what you want to focus on, and have questions ready. It helps keep the kids on track and makes the experience more educational. And don’t forget to discuss what you’ve seen afterward, ask the kids what they’ve learned, and encourage them to share their thoughts.
Plus, it’s flexible, so you can fit it into your schedule. Sometimes, a virtual tour can be your field trip for the day. And – you don’t need to leave home to benefit from virtual tours.
Lastly, make it interactive. Have your kids write about their virtual tour or maybe even create a virtual tour of their own about something they’re passionate about. It’s all about making learning memorable.
5 Virtual Holocaust Tours for Homeschoolers
Of course, as with any homeschool resource, you have to be sure that it is age-appropriate for your children. Some kids are much more sensitive to studying about these topics. You’ll want to preview all of these tours before letting your children use them. But we wanted to do the work for you and compile some of the best options in one place for you.
Corrie ten Boom House
My fifth grader is reading The Hiding Place this year, so when I saw that we could do a virtual tour of Corrie ten Boom’s house, that started this whole post in my mind!
The Corrie ten Boom House, also known as the Hiding Place, is a historic house located in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Her family, devout Christians, hid Jews and members of the Dutch resistance from the Nazis during World War II until they were arrested in 1944. She spent time in concentration camps for the remainder of the war.
The Corrie ten Boom House is now a museum, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of the ten Boom family and their courageous actions during the Holocaust. It’s an important historical site that serves as a reminder of the atrocities of the Holocaust and the bravery of those who resisted it.
In the Corrie ten Boom House virtual tour, you will experience 360 degree tours of the city square, the outside of the ten Boom house, and multiple rooms inside as a narrator tells the story of what happened here. This tour includes a total of 19 different places or rooms, including the actual hiding place!
Anne Frank House Virtual Tour and The Secret Annex Online
The Anne Frank House is only about 20 kilometers from the Corrie ten Boom House. Both are in the Netherlands. You can look around the home where the Frank family lived before they went into hiding. Then, visit The Secret Annex Online, which is the place where Anne hid for over two years and wrote her diary.
The Corrie ten Boom House and the Anne Frank House are Holocaust virtual tours for homeschoolers that are appropriate for all ages. These next few virtual tours might be better suited to grades 7 and up.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland offers a virtual tour that takes you through the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp. This tour provides a detailed and somber look at the history and the grounds. This tour is suitable for your teens who have studied the Second World War.
Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Their online resources include virtual exhibitions, survivor testimonies, and historical documentation. Here are some helpful resources for teaching your students about the Holocaust:
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum offers a variety of online exhibitions, including “Remembering the Holocaust” and “The Holocaust Encyclopedia,” which can provide valuable insights into this historical period.
Your students can take a virtual tour of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Holocaust: History and Memory is a virtual experience that includes nine different scenes from the Museum. This site provides a lesson plan suitable for grades 7-12 along with a worksheet to use with the virtual tour.
The Importance of Reflection and Discussion
While these Holocaust virtual tours for homeschoolers can be a helpful resource for teaching about this evil time in history, it doesn’t take the place of personal reflection and discussion with your kids.
Talking to kids about the Holocaust is a heavy but essential task. It’s like walking a tightrope – you want to educate them about this dark chapter in history, but you also need to be sensitive to their age and emotional readiness.
Reflection and discussion play a crucial role here. It’s not just about throwing facts at them, but encouraging them to think, ask questions, and share their thoughts. This helps them process the information and understand the human stories behind the numbers. It also opens the door for empathy and understanding.