Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How does The Family History Guide work with homeschooling?

The Family History Guide is a free, structured, and sequenced website dedicated to teaching about genealogy/family history. What this means from a practical standpoint is that every section of The Family History Guide is set up to be used either for self-instruction or for teaching. Let me give you an example. Suppose you wanted to learn about DNA testing. You could go to the Learning Paths at the top of each page and choose an associated topic. Here is a screenshot showing you exactly what I mean.

This is part of the Learning Paths menu bar and I have clicked on the topic of FamilySearch. Looking down the list, I can see Project 8 on DNA. We can see that the Learning Paths are divided into manageable sections called "Projects." Here is what we see when I click on Project #8 on DNA.

If I am either a student or a teacher, I can now look at the page for Project 8: DNA and see that there is a list of individual Goals that further divides the Project into manageable sections. These Goals give the student or the teacher the option of deciding whether or not they or their students already know the information contained in the Goal or not. If the student or teacher's students do not know the information, learning and teaching can begin from a further subdivision into Choices.

One of the concerns of modern education is referred to as "level-appropriate" or "developmentally appropriate" learning. Genealogy and Family History are, by their nature, somewhat complex and difficult subjects. However, an educational curriculum should not be aimed at the lowest and easiest level of learning. A school system that is mandated from a national level must take into account a broad spectrum of abilities. However, the smaller the class size, i.e. a family, can more appropriately determine the level of learning for each child. For example, in my own family, now that one of my grandsons who would be attending the fifth grade were the schools operating, is having the opportunity to learn pre-algebra because his parents recognize that he can understand and adsorb that level of information.

The Family History Guide provides thousands of linked resources supporting goals on a variety of subjects. As a parent conducting homeschooling, you can pick and choose from a huge variety of subjects and tailor the subjects to the level your child needs. Granted, the subjects deal with family history but you need to understand that "family history" is history and discovering your own family history is a necessary part of a balanced cultural and social outlook on your life. To expand this core knowledge about the tools needed to do family history research, The Family History Guide also presents a major geographic-based set of instructions and links that help everyone learn about the countries of the world.
 What about accountability? The Family History Guide also contains a sophisticated and extensive individual and student-oriented tracking system to measure progress in learning the information contained in the program. This tracking can be done and maintained online or on paper. This is the only part of the program that requires a login and password for each participant.
From this standpoint, The Family History Guide is a model of a complete, self-contained learning environment designed in a way that can be used at a variety of levels. Of course, we did not forget the need for fun and engaging activities. There are hundreds of family, individual, youth, and kids activities on the website.
I can assure you that the information in The Family History Guide is kept up-to-date as far as it is possible for a volunteer-run, non-profit, charitable organization to possibly manage. I can also assure you that the organization and structure of the website represent the best possible learning environment available today.

If you are an individual or teacher (parent) and you need a free, state-of-the-art learning experience with the potential of enhancing your life through involvement with your own or your students' family history, The Family History Guide is exactly what you are looking for.

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