We learn so much when we’re young. Hence the saying; “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Today especially is a day which young people are encouraged to broaden their horizons, expand their knowledge base and…you guessed it, learn new skills on World Youth Skills Day!
So why not use this as a way to introduce the world of genealogy to them?
You may find that it can be difficult, strenuous, and extremely fatiguing attempting to get young people to look at a list of names and dates, a family tree or listen to you talk for 20 seconds about your family history. Similarly, for children, it can be extremely arduous, mundane and a little bit stale. Yep! Fifty shades of boring which happen to cause many eye-rolls, yawn and ‘ugh’s’ (although this depends on their age).
Fortunately, there are always other ways to present and get young people involved in genealogy.
Here are a few ways on how to turn young people into potential #younggenies!
For most, the best way to explore a new hobby, interest or to learn a new skill is to get outside and do something.
Take a trip somewhere that’s significant to one or more of your ancestors’, organise your own little tour and slip in little facts along the way. It will make everything a lot more interesting and children are sure to remember bite-sized facts than a list of names and dates!
This involves going back to basics. Create a basic family tree structure, and if you have any, get the little ones to draw pictures of their ancestors using the family history photographs. It guarantees endless fun and mountains of giggles!
Storytelling is the world’s oldest art form, and in my opinion, the most enjoyable way to learn! If you haven’t already, try to write down your family history, and when it gets to bedtime, share these stories with your children. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate! It’s a good way to get them to ask more questions and they’ll be wanting to know more!
Take them to shows
Got a family history conference coming up? Whether you’re attending, exhibiting or even speaking, why not take the kids along?! Involve them in tasks like manning the stand or sitting in open meetings. If you’re a visitor, collecting leaflets or asking questions on your behalf is a great way to get young people involved. Not to mention, many shows offer free tickets for children under 16 (although this can vary), including THE Genealogy Show!
Involve them in tasks
As long as they’re age appropriate, getting young people involved in your research can help them learn new skills and expand their knowledge without them even realising! Scanning old photos is a great example as it sparks up conversation.
We hope that we’ve inspired you to discover new ways to get your children to enter the world of genealogy. With a little bit of practice and patience (on both sides) you’re sure to be successful! But, of course, if those eye-rolls and long sulky faces don’t disappear whenever you mention your x4 great-grandad Joe, you’re better off giving it a rest!