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Teaching Kids About Their Family History

At first genealogy seemed like such a dry topic with its pedigree charts and shelves of dusty records. When I had the idea to teach my kids about it, I was a little worried. How could I make this topic interesting enough to hold their attention?

But then I remembered something important: family history isn’t really about records and charts. It’s about stories. More importantly, it’s stories about them, where they came from, where they got their dimples or their laugh or their wild streak.

So I fished out some old family photos and invited my mom to help me. As soon as we started, it was like magic. The kids sat in spellbound silence as if they were listening to their favorite fairy tale. By the questions they asked and they comments they made, I could tell they sensed that somehow these people were important to them, an aunt, uncle, or grandparent they hadn’t met before. I was actually amazed at how much they valued the stories. To this day, they like to bring them up and ask questions about them.

If you’ve been aching to share your family history with your kids, how do you plan to do it? If you’ve already done it, what tips do you have for the rest of us novices?

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