One day, I logged onto my Facebook to see a link posted by Cyndi’s List to the Washington Post article by Michael Alison Chandler, “Study: Teen’s knowledge of family history a sign of social-emotional health.”
…and I couldn’t agree more.
Through my own dedicated genealogy research and experience, I have learned of the benefits from teens’ family history knowledge.
I’ve written in the past about my belief that teaching our kids about their heritage and family history enhances their learning experience in school and makes them more active in their studies, obtaining better results.
It also can act as a way to instill basic tools for success in low income families and individuals, minorities, and the disengaged.
Between Mark’s and my ancestries, we have had a broad and rich heritage to draw from to engage our kids.
It was evident throughout their school years as their family history knowledge (and questions) provided real interest in the work they were doing, and I do believe it improved their performance and marks.
Although Mark will sometimes roll his eyes when I discuss my latest find in our genealogy, when we watch any of the history shows we like on the educational and public television channels, he can’t help asking questions when the subjects or characters are familiar from our family histories.
It has also affected me in the sense that history has become more real and emotional to me.
Before my genealogy research, I had no interest at all in war, soldiers, and military history. I’m sure I rolled my eyes a few times, until I started researching our ancestors who perished in (or survived) war – and we had ancestors who were active in every major war throughout history.
This personal connection has instilled a sense of pride in me and I am actually the one to suggest watching historical war programs, before Mark even has a chance.
Now, this is a major turn-about for me and a much more personal example of how learning about our genealogy broadens our horizons.