The long school vacation provides perfect opportunities to encourage the younger generations to develop an interest in family history.
Here are our top seven tips for encouraging them:
- Visit close family. Encourage the kids to learn a bit more about their nearest and dearest.
- Take them to meet more distant family members, and explain how they are all related. Encourage them to ask questions about the family history.
- Take family trips to ancestral towns. Walk around the area. Show them where the relatives lived, went to school and more.
- Visit history museums. Explain why history is important and try to make a personal connection to specific periods, such as when your family immigrated to a new country and why.
- Look through the old family photos. Demonstrate the connections between the people and the places where the photos were made. Do they look like any of the relatives? Point that out to make a connection.
- Introduce the younger generations to online research. Set challenges to find relatives using available resources.
- Learn from and be inspired by others - here are posts about David Krueger and Jeff Zeitlin, teenage genealogists from different countries, who shared their family research and amazing discoveries with our readers.
Maximize and make the experience more effective by creating challenges from these suggestions, and reward them after reaching milestones in their family research, such as discovering a new relative or a fact about someone they know.
Summer is a perfect time for family reunions. Maybe you can arrange one before school starts, so the children can share what they've learned. Children learn by example, so they will "catch" your passion and enthusiasm, and hopefully also get involved.
Do you have more tips? How do you inspire your own children to learn more about their past? We'd love to hear from you. Share your tips and ideas in the comments below.