Creating your family history not only improves family life but did you know it could actually help your child improve their grades and have better success in school? Researching the history of your family requires many skills that your child may already be learning in school. When youth research their family history, it allows them to practice a variety of these skills in a fun and meaningful way; and, as a bonus, help them improve their education in these areas.
Let’s take a closer look at 5 subjects or skills that your child can improve by learning family history.
1. Family History can boost your child’s knowledge of, well, history.
It’s right in the name, folks. Family history is the history of your family. It’s knowing how your family fits into the rest of history.
Good family historians research local, regional, and world history so that they can get an idea of what the world was like when their ancestors were living. By studying the history of the location where they lived, you get a better idea of what life was like for them. The farther back you research, the more history your student learns.
2. Creating family history gives your child lots of opportunities to write.
Does your child need help with writing skills? Family history is very writing-intensive. Children can improve their writings skills by:
- Writing basic reports on the information they have found about their past relatives
- Journaling the experiences they’re having in their own lives (creating memories for their future family to read)
- Writing life stories featuring the relatives that they have learned about
3. Good students need basic research skills.
Good research skills are a great foundation for successful learning in the future. Learning how to ask questions or identify a problem to be solved, and then find the best resources to find the answer will give your child the keys to life long learning.
Researching the history of your family uses the same process, and a lot of the same resources, that students should be using to learn more about any topic. Libraries are a family historian’s (and a student’s) best friend. Being able to navigate through databases and search library catalogs are just a few of the valuable research skills that your child will learn.
4. Boot up the computer skills; research can be done online.
Doing research on your family used to be incredibly laborious. Everything was done by mail and microfilms. Very tedious and very time-consuming. Now, every day the big names in the industry, such as Ancestry and Family Search, are indexing old records and creating massive databases that can be searched online. So much research can be done without even leaving your living room!
Kids can practice:
- Safely navigating websites
- Creating digital research logs
- Basic word processing
5. Teach them about genetics and DNA with their own DNA.
Genetic genealogy is taking the industry by storm. Every year it grows and evolves. There is so much science to learn and keep up with. Blow your child’s mind by teaching them about genetics using their own DNA!
If you’ve ever done a DNA test, then you know what reading your test results can be like. Once, I talked my grandpa into doing a yDNA test to see if it would help me learn more about his side of the family. I was completely deflated when I got the results back and the report might as well have been written in a foreign language. Learning how to interpret those results was a great learning experience for me. Turn your child into a genetic expert just by helping them take a DNA test and then learn what the results mean.
- Family History in the Classroom from Genealogy.com
- Here are some more great insights from Ancestry.com! Family History Goes to School