Discover your inside story. Save 20% on Ancestry DNA April 21-26

August 18, 2013

Much to My Surprise...

Much to My Surprise...
My Beta Genealogy Board Game
My two oldest grandchildren spend a few days every summer with us on the farm. They've been doing this since the oldest was 7 years old, so that makes 8 years. Every year I create genealogy activities for them, ranging from a Genealogy board game I created to ancestor stepping stones to Cemetery Hunts. Every year it is something different, but always with a genealogy theme.

They have listened to my genealogy stories on every car trip from their home to ours and back. Usually it's the same stories and they used to request specific stories each year... "Gramma tell us about our ancestor who walked Niagara Falls on a tightrope"

So I've been feeling pretty proud of my brainwashing. I figured my grandson would be the next generation genealogist as he was the most interested and the most fascinated by the stories.

My Ancestor Wall
What a shock yesterday to find out I've been deluding myself! We were sitting and having lunch and I casually asked "Can you show me one of your great great grandmothers on the wall" As a preface I should explain that we have dozens of ancestor photos in antique frames hanging on our walls and I've used those to play my own Genealogy version of I Spy called I Spy With My Genealogy Eye with my grandchildren for years. So yes I figured they would remember who was who.

Wrong. They could not name or even point to one of the three photos of their 2nd great grandmothers. They seemed puzzled when I pointed them out and provided the names plus the relationship such as "This ancestor is my dad's grandmother". Ali, my grandson, did say at one point, "Oh yeah I kind of remember that name."

What a shock! My constant and repeated brainwashing has not born fruit! I'm still hoping that at some point in the future there will be a glimmer of "Hmmm I think I  remember my Gramma telling me blah blah blah" But I don't want to risk losing my candidate for the next in line to take up the Genealogy torch. I do have a backup candidate in a younger grandson so all is not lost. But I'm  revising my strategies and coming up with a new plan. I haven't gone one yet but when I figure one out I'll share it with you.

Ideas and suggestions are very welcome!


Pamela Wile said...

Ancestor Flash Cards! Make them learn them by rote! Unfortunately, here is the definition:
rote 1 (rt)
1. A memorizing process using routine or repetition, often without full attention or comprehension: learn by rote.
2. Mechanical routine.

So, you have to come up with a way for them to comprehend :)

Peg said...

Don't fret -- my 18 and 25 year olds have begun to show some interest on their own -- so be sure the back of those photos are labeled so when they are interested they can pick it up. What is important that they enjoy the time with you and are proud of your work.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Pamela - yep I've done the Ancestor Cards. We played games and they made up their own games, that was a lot of fun. But I goofed and sent the cards home with them! Guess if I ever saw them again....

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Thanks Peg! That's a good point. I think they DO enjoy it here. Ali is 15 and his sister 13 and they don't have to come so I think it's a positive experience for them

Sonja Hunter said...

I don't know how often you get to see your grandkids, but it just may not be enough time for these things to sink in completely. Reading your post made me try to gauge how much I remember from that age. I can remember the big stuff and the generic day-in/day-out routine, but I'm sure there's a lot I don't remember. I think it's great that you do genealogy activities with them and when my daughter is a little older (she's 5 now) I hope to get her interested.
I'm sure you've offered information, though you didn't mention it here, about ancestors involved in anything they might study in school (wars come immediately to mind). I think I might have been more interested in them if I knew I had people involved.
Keep plugging away at it and hopefully you'll get at least one hooked!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Sonja - that's a great idea to tie ancestors in to school curriculum if possible.

I don't see my two oldest grandkids much - only 2, sometimes 3 times a year. And it is only on the one visit in the summer that I get to see them without a parent :-) So that's when I can fill their heads with genealogy talk!

I won't get discouraged but it did kind of take me aback somewhat!

Peg said...

If you have older ones, they may enjoy helping with "a" project for the website or a photography project. I have a daughter who loves taking beautiful headstone shots. Someday she may care more about the names, but she'll recall the locations and the field trips.

T said...

Patience! I got interested two years ago. I'll be 67 in a couple of months. Too bad everyone is dead. I'm doing it the hard way.