I enjoy creating resources for homeschooling so much that I have done it again! This time I am offering a free cold war notebooking study with lists and guides.
This study is not just for homeschooled students (and other young people), but their parents as well. In these pages are suggestions for books to read, movies to watch, and essays to be written.
Please note: Due to the serious nature of this unit study, it is not recommended for children under the age of 12.
The Cold War has a significant place in human history.
It was unlike any other conflict, as it was fought (for the most part) without any shots fired or bombs dropped. It was more a clash of ideologies than a clash of nations, so it lacked a “front line,” making it rife with subtlety and intrigue.
The weapons used in this war were ones of ideas. Words like “propaganda,” “infiltration,” and the like were woven into daily vocabulary. The news we watched on our televisions did not reflect the true events the world was experiencing, whether it was reported in the West or the East.
Fear was one of the unconventional weapons used on the general public; fear of mutual nuclear annihilation, communist totalitarianism, and moral bankruptcy. During this time the art of public manipulation was honed and sharpened into the slicing saber it has become in our day.
And there were casualties. Entire economies were decimated, religious freedom and human dignity were obliterated, and governments fatally corrupted.
(Some have suggested there were over 100 million deaths under various communist regimes over the last 100+ years.)
The Soviets closed down, bulldozed, or refunctioned places of worship all throughout their domain. During this time, the underground church in the East flourished–in one area the Pentecostals grew from 10,000 to 100,000, even though many were impoverished, imprisoned, tortured and martyred for their faith.
Today it seems things have flipped; over 40,000 places of Christian worship in Russia have been rebuilt. Some have said that Russians are “running to Christ.” Russian media touts Biblical values, government officials there and in other former Soviet bloc countries refer to the scriptures in speeches. This is in contrast to the closing of churches and the destructive takeover of anti-Biblical values and practices in all strata of Western government and culture.
It is important we not forget the events of this war, because it did not end with the demise of the Berlin Wall. It has gone on, and in recent years has intensified. Some are suggesting we are witnessing the outcome of policies put in place by communists in years past as they vowed they would overcome our country and its influence without firing a single shot.
I actually spent some time with refugees from the Iron Curtain while being trained for a military intelligence role during the 1980’s. The lessons they learned are valuable because they can teach us how to weather the years before us with our faith in tact (see Rod Dreher’s book, Live Not by Lies). The stories of trial and triumph from these people have piqued the interest of our children, and so I thought an in-depth program would benefit all of us.
It is suggested You begin the study with two things:
- The movie “Dr. Zhivago.” This will explain the roots of the Soviet Union (keep in mind this includes a romanticized portrayal of infidelity).
- The book, “God’s Smuggler.” This will give the rest of the study more of a positive light, as the power of the Gospel was only accentuated by the sufferings of the precious Ekklesia of Christ in the Soviet Bloc and other communist regimes around the world.
From there, you can branch out to the other items for research and definition.
You will find a number of notebooking pages already titled and partially filled. These can be assigned and finished as is. There is also a list of other subjects that can be studied, with a few blank notebooking pages that can be adapted. Or, complete essays could be written and included in the final product.
It may be nice to use a three-ring notebook to place the pages in, or to have them bound together as a notebook that can be placed on a bookshelf to be enjoyed for generations to come.