Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Memories questions and history lessons

Recently, we have been putting information into our family tree on www.ancestry.com.au.

It's been interesting not just for us to collate all the various information we've been sent by relatives but also for our girls to see this information - rather than just have it sit in old envelopes tucked away in drawers.

The girls were interested to see things like - for example, the same first name being given to several generations of their ancestors. (They did think this was rather boring and unimaginative!! )


We also need to find a way to add the information we are slowly gathering from living relatives in the form of Memories Questions.  We live in the Far North of Australia, and our family and relatives are scattered across the globe, so our girls don't get to spend time with other family members very often.
So, every now and then, we email a question to various relatives on both sides of our families. We've asked things like, "What do you remember about your first bike?", "Did you ever have a pet?"  "What do you remember about going to school?"; "What toys to you remember playing with as a child?"  
We have tried to ask questions that relate to what our kids are doing, so that when the answers come back, it provides more interest for our girls to read what their great aunts, uncles, grandparents and of course us - their parents, remember of being their age, going to school etc.

Now that the girls are getting older, and have their own computers and emails, we will encourage them to email their own questions to the relatives.

Our eldest daughter just now at school (Grade 5) is looking at in history, whether life is better now or in the past.  I'm sure her grandparents would have an opinion on this and it would be a great way for her to research the subject for her school work.

Our younger daughter (Grade 3) is also studying history - with an upcoming visit to the local museum.  When we last visited the local museum a few years ago, I was amazed to see an old dial telephone there.  Our family had a telephone like that growing up - and to see it in a museum now reminds me quite how far technology has come along in the last few years (not to mention it makes me feel old seeing something from my childhood in a museum!)


When I was taking a look at our younger daughter's school curriculum for this year (Grade 3), I saw one of the Key Inquiry Questions written there is, "How and why do people choose to remember significant events of the past?" .

In asking our Memories questions to family members, we have noticed that some questions get very long interesting responses from some people, but others remember little or nothing.  It is interesting to see what things people do and don't remember  - what is important and relevant to them!   Hopefully asking and reading responses to these Memories questions, will help our daughter consider this question.

Do your kids get to spend time with older relatives?  Do these family members ever share memories or experiences from their past with you kids?  Are their questions you wish you had asked your older relatives - who perhaps are no longer here?
How are you preserving your family history and memories and are you kids interested in it?

Jill


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