We have undertaken various school projects, to see how we can make family history more interesting for younger generations. Our projects have been embraced by children, who have enjoyed learning about the characters behind the names on their family tree.
Suzie Colver of obituarieshelp.org, is a keen advocate on encouraging children to learn about their family heritage and how it can benefit them, even if they aren’t interested in family history yet.
According to Suzie, aligning family history research with a child’s studies can benefit them in three different ways:
1. It Makes History Come to Life
If your children are learning about World War I or the Vietnam War in school, it will be much easier to learn the facts if they can associate it with a real person. A great-grandparent or uncle may have served in one of those wars, which will make the information they are learning in school a lot more real.
Find out what era they are studying, and make an effort to find out how your family is connected. The further back you have to go, the more difficult, but it is possible to find family members from a century ago. Even if all you have is vague information such as your family originated in Ireland, it will make that country more memorable in world history.
2. It Teaches Children How to Research
Research is one task your kids will have throughout their school years. Many times, it will be on subjects they consider boring and irrelevant. Make research more interesting by having them help you find out about your ancestors. Teach them how to use the internet and other resources such as the microfiche film at the public library. Show them how to find information from the country records.
As they use these unique resources, it will make research more interesting. Instead of being a required project, it will be more like solving a mystery. As you add names to your family tree, they will feel a sense of pride in accomplishing a complicated task.
3. It Teaches Children How to Organise Information
It can be overwhelming to do a research project and then try to put it all together in a way that makes sense. It may be even more challenging if your child is a visual learner. A family tree is a great way to teach a child how to organise information in a way that makes sense and allows the facts to be relevant.
As your child fills in names and other information on the various people in your ancestry, they will learn how to develop associations. They will also understand how to format information so that it makes sense. Since there are so many different kinds of family trees, they can put as much or as little information as they want. With some, it may simply be a name on a tree. For others, they may include birth and death dates, marriage dates and a lot more.
A family tree project can provide an exciting way to help your child learn in school. It teaches them skills they will use throughout their lives, and it does it in a fun way.
Suzie Kolber created obituarieshelp.org to be the complete online resource for “do it yourself” genealogy projects. The site offers the largest offering of family tree templates online. A not for profit website, it is dedicated to offering free resources for those that are trying to trace their family history.
Taking Family History back to school
‘Name That Baby’ competition to teach children about family history