Embracing a Healthy Family: genealogy
Showing posts with label genealogy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label genealogy. Show all posts

How Genealogy is a Good Elective Study in Homeschool Curriculums

I've been interested in genealogy for more years than I can recall. It started with my dad and perhaps his interest started with his dad probably in the 1960s and 1970s or even earlier. My mom is from England and I've only started really researching her family as it was a very small one and more difficult to trace. However, my dad's side is huge and very difficult keeping it all straight. When I find out cool facts, I share it with my children and encourage them to get interested because it's part of history. Since tracing some family members serving in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I and II, among many others, it provides them a bit more interest knowing that they had a family member serve. 

Another unique feature is allowing them to learn about key events over time like the Great Depression where they can see who was alive and learn more about the events that shaped that time period. It also provides them with additional knowledge on how to research online. They have been enjoying the things I teach them and seeing how the family lines work as well as how DNA works within the family trees. Of course, DNA opens a huge door into another segment of education that will be forthcoming. 

There are many resources online that can spark an educational opportunity with the different genealogy sites. Today as I was looking at hints on Ancestry.com, I found someone's research clearly showing the lineage to not only George Washington but one of the kings of England. Granted many cousins down the line and multiple X times removed but yet again, an educational opportunity and needless to say, they thought it was pretty cool!  We also have a not so famous person in our family who was the attorney general of Louisiana in the early 1700's and was later executed for treason when the Spanish took over. In addition to that family member, a couple even marched with George Rogers Clark in capturing Fort Sackville from the British in Vincennes, Indiana.

Even though it may not be easy to hunt down the family tree, it's a fun exercise and a great way to grow an interest in history, teach online research abilities and learn more about one's family.

Connecting Family History with Homeschooling

I've been interested in my family's history for as long as I can remember and I attribute that to my father. His father and other members of the family traced the genealogy of our family back when it was a bit harder than today. They actually had to travel and visit libraries, churches and governmental facilities and graveyards to garner some additional knowledge. The old fashioned pen and paper was instrumental in reaching out to others around the world in hopes of finding someone with a mutual interest and information that would unlock some doors. I still have a couple of the letters that my paternal grandfather sent seeking out members of my family and I have numerous photographs and handwritten documentation outlining the family tree. 

Thanks to technology, it's so much easier with online databases and sites such as Ancestry.com. I started out making my tree as a GED file and then gravitated towards Ancestry due to the flexibility of finding others. I not only stopped at ordering the service for my DNA but I added one for my mom. I find it all so fascinating. The two biggest issues I have with Ancestry is the cost and if you don't maintain a subscription, you lose the access to key documents you previously saved unless you saved them on your hard drive. Ultimately, I love using it and I have expanded to using many others mostly due to the DNA factor and trying to find other family members. My mom was an only child and after she left England for America, she lost contact with her cousins and grandparents. I have tried to find them with no luck. However, I have found so many interesting facts that I have been able to utilize many components with my children in the name of learning.

As most families, we have so many different lines that it's hard to keep track of who came from where. I have focused some of my research at times to utilize them as learning points. For instance, my mother's grandfather served in World War 1 for England. I was able to use resources such as maps of England and the various locations he served in the war. I was able to utilize history to further their knowledge about WW1. I was able to find out he was injured not once or twice but three times by gun fire. If that wasn't enough, he lost a 12 year old child while convalescing. These events help to provide a captivating edge to learning while personalizing them and providing a desire to learn more for them. By showing them the family line, they became interested in genealogy and wanted to learn more. 

On my father's side, we have a small tree that comes from France and one member of that family (a distant cousin) ended up becoming a prominent member of history in North America. Again, I was able to utilize history and geography to add a bit of excitement to what could have been boring subjects. I think my next project will be to create some worksheets to further enhance their knowledge of the family, the countries, the events and the time periods.

Have you ever incorporated your family history into a homeschool lesson?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...