Learning about your Family

Family genealogy projects are a great option for families sheltering in place.  And there are many ways to go about using the experience to have fulfilling history and geography lessons.  The particular project can be fashioned in an age appropriate manner, but here are a few ways to help your kids learn about their own family’s rich history:

  1.  “Interviews” with elder relatives.  Many families feel separated from older family members, as they seek to shelter elders from potentially hazardous exposures to younger family members.  Zoom meetings and other video chat options have become commonplace in many families.  Children can create a list of questions for grandparents and others and can offer them up in chat sessions with family members.  There are numerous books, some listed below, to generate possible questions.  Other publications offer the chance for elders to write letters to kids!   Check out amazon.com as a number of these books are “free” on kindle!
  2. DNA tests.  Many companies, including ancestry.com and 23andme.com offer DNA testing using saliva tests, one can do at home.   The process can be a science lesson for older kids, explaining DNA.  All kids (and adults) can enjoy the anticipation of results, which show one’s geographic roots.  This offers a terrific chance to do some at-home map study!
  3. Genealogy projects.  Using subscription services, like ancestry.com, older students can start the process of building a family tree.  Kids and adults can enjoy the process of detective work and learning about one’s background.  Likewise, older kids might enjoy watching programs such as Henry Louis Gate’s “Finding your Roots” on public television, which offer up detailed genealogical information about celebrities. 
  4. Writing one’s family history.  With online publication services, such as Blurb.com,kids can organize family stories or interviews with relatives.
  5. Becoming a pen pal.  While kids often communicate with cousins and others by way of texting, email or social media, what better time to encourage writing traditional letter?

Below find a few titles that might be useful in your search

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