Lessons In Genealogy

Being a Stay At Home Mom, you are enjoying all the privileges of having more time with your children. One of the perks is having time to sit down and really talk with your children. Not rushed, not snatching a word or two here and there before you go to work in the morning or get back home in the evening, as you're dashing around trying to get dinner cooked and on the table. Instead---you have the time to enjoy the luxury of a good, long, sit-down conversation with your kids.

Most children never run out of things to talk about! Most children are an endless springs of curiosity, with questions bubbling to the surface about anything and everything. This is normal and natural. It's how they learn. After all, if they don't ask, how will they get answers to the things they want and need to know?

One subject that almost all children are curious about is their family....where they come from, so to speak. They love hearing stories about your childhood, for example, and the sorts of things you did when you were a child. They're fascinated to hear about the "old days" when you were a little girl, before iPods and Wiis.

Why not expand on this and talk to your kids about their aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents, and even further back than that if you have the information? They'll thoroughly enjoy hearing stories about all these relatives and long ago family members!

While you're telling some of the tales about your great-grandmother or another relative, this is a wonderful opportunity to work in a little bit of a history lesson, too. For example, maybe your great grandmother worked in a munitions factory, making bombs, during WWII. What a perfect time to incorporate some history and information about that war---what countries were involved and why, who started the war, who won, etc.

Or perhaps your great-great grandmother lived through the Great Depression. You can tell your children stories about the hard times across America during that period....what started the depression....what changes were made because of it, and so on.

You get the idea. You probably have a wealth of stories to share with your children about their family history. Now ask yourself this: How do you know these stories? Who told them to you? Think about it. You wouldn't have these family history stories to share with your children if someone hadn't taken the time to sit down and share them with you at some point in time.

If not for adults like you who were told these tales as a child to remember and then pass on to the next generation so that they, in turn, can pass them on to their children someday---think how much would be lost. All of the unique, interesting, funny, sad or touching stories about your ancestors would be lost forever if it wasn't shared and passed down within your family for posterity to hear and enjoy. Because it won't be found in a history book, will it? Your children won't learn about their families in school. Knowledge of your family's past history isn't important to anybody except your family. But it is important to you and your family, and it's important that your children learn about the history of your family and theirs.

Learning about the people in our family who came before us is exciting! If you're interested in finding out more than you already know, there are websites such as Ancestry.com where you can get a world of information about your family. Another great project for you and your children to do together!