Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Listen My Children....

While most of my students learn history in a school setting from educators like myself, we cannot emphasize family history enough.

It IS important.

Family history helps students to realize their place within their families as well as how they fit in with historical events. Learning family history can answer questions regarding when relatives first arrived in North America and where they settled. Details regarding everyday life can be internalized, and the effects of certain events can help us connect to events we didn’t live through such as the Great Depression or World War II.

While there are many ways to go about learning family history one of the best ways to go about it is merely to listen……listen to those older members of your family. I don’t mean merely nodding your head at them, smile, and wonder when you can escape them. I mean really listen….and that means to listen with a purpose so that real communication takes place.

StoryCorps provides a fantastic opportunity for generations from the same family to communicate regarding family history. Their main goal is to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening.

Find out more about the fantastic work StoryCorps is doing over at my other place…….Georgia on My Mind.


Theresa Milstein said...

I interviewed my husband's grandmother for a history report I wrote in college. As a result, her perspective on family history was preserved. Looking back, I wish I had done this with my grandmothers.

Your idea to do a StoryCorps assignment with students is wonderful. I'm sure the interview will be remembered for decades to come.

Geena said...

Learning about my extended family, thanks to a high school speech assignment, opened up mental door for me. Finding out that some of my ancestors were successful entrepreneurs and writers made me realize I had the right to move beyond the toxic borders of my immediate family. I now share the lives of my anscestors with my children.