You can help your kids learn many important things by using your family history. Not only will they learn about their own history, it can be utilized with other school lessons. Incorporating family information into their education will increase their interest in those subjects while learning more about themselves and their history.
Ancestry and History
The most obvious place to use family trees is when studying history. You can teach your kids about US or world history and include their own family members. Study about World War I or II and discover which family members fought in the war or helped out at home.
Find out which side of the Civil War your ancestors were on. If you have access to old resources, you might discover you’re related to a former president or other historical figure. Learning about Daniel Boone or Paul Revere would be more interesting if they’re “family.”
Don’t stop with history. Incorporate your family geneology into other subjects. For example, include them when studying about literature. Find out which family members were alive when famous literary figures were creating their stories.
Discuss what life would have been like for the ancestor in those days. Learn the history behind certain books or poetry and see how it correlates to your family history.
Science and Math
As you study about inventions, you can discuss what life was like for ancestors before those inventions were discovered. For example, they can imagine how it was for their great-great-great-grandfather before cars were discovered or how they would have handled having no electricity.
If your ancestor was in a particular field, it can often help introduce the school subject. For example, a doctor would have had to deal with polio until a vaccine was discovered. You can talk to kids about this issue and it will mean more if their ancestor treated the disease. Perhaps their ancestor died of some tragic illness that is no longer around. You can discuss how that discovery would have helped them.
Discovering Your Family History
To use your ancestry in teaching kids about other subjects, you have to start with helping them discover their own history. With the internet and the addition of many public records to online databases, finding out one’s family history is much easier than before. However, you still want to keep everything organized and within easy access. Family tree templates allow you to recreate family history and you can find the design which best fits your needs.
Include as much information on the template as you think is important for your purpose. You might add important dates and locations or you may focus on careers and other facts. Think outside the traditional use for these family trees when you’re using them in an educational way.
Teaching your kids about other facts and events is much easier when they can relate it to themselves. Using family history as part of the learning process brings the information to life and gives it relevance to the kids.
Suzie Kolber created Obituaries Help to be the complete online resource for “do it yourself” genealogy projects. The site offers the largest offering of family tree charts online. The site is a not for profit website dedicated to offering free resources for those that are trying to trace their family history.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of BK Reader.