Genealogy can be fun not only for adults but also for our youth. Family history can help the youth gain an understanding and appreciation for the ancestors and the trials they went through. It can give them a sense of who they are and where they come from. In todayís world with so much bad influences, learning to do genealogy can give teenagers something to do with their time and at the same time give them satisfaction in doing something the whole family can benefit from.
Young children love to look at pictures. Take a poster board and design the basic outline of a tree. Paste pictures of the family on the tree with their names. Hang it up somewhere at the level where the child can see.
Create a scrapbook of your family history letting your kids participate. Pictures and stories about your familyís vacations, birthday parties, school events, and new family additions are among some of the things you can write about. This is a great way to showcase awards and graduation certificates youíve collected that your children have achieved throughout the years. They will enjoy going through the book and reliving the memories.
Taking vacations with your children to their ancestorís homeland is a great way to create a bond between them and their ancestor. Show them the place where they grew up, went to school and the road they walked down. This will make their ancestor ďcome alive!Ē
Google Earth is another FUN way to explore your ancestorís homeland from home. It is a free download and offers a lot of great insight to the world in which we live. Take a trip to Sicily or Africa. Find the Rocky Mountains in the western United States. Sit with your kids using a globe and trace the migration patterns your ancestorís used in their travels. Talk with your children on ways your ancestorís may have traveled; was it by car, horse and cart, boat or by simply walking? Stimulate their minds and get them thinking!
Take your children to the library and show them the research section. If old enough, show them how to use the microfilm. Explore the internet with your children using the genealogy sites.
Teenagers are old enough (and probably smarter than us on the computer!) to learn how to enter genealogy data into a database. Teach them how to read a census or document and record the source. Give them a book to read on the history of your family or place of heritage. If they are interested, take them to a seminar to learn more. Some of our children may really love family history and this can become more than a hobby to them; it can become their career!