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Branching Out: Genealogy for High School Students: Lessons 1-30 Paperback – April 20, 2012
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I started with the 1st-3rd grade books and then compared each set of increasing age groups. These books are focused on helping the teacher/ parent to learn the basics for themselves and then using readings and activities to educate and involve the child. The lessons include such topics as "What is Genealogy and Why should I care?", Genealogy Databases, Timelines, Sources and Citations, Direct and Indirect Evidence, Interviewing Family, Research Plans and Logs, Vital Records, Census Records, Social Media, Health and the Causes of Death, Occupations, Probate Records, Land Records and Maps, Military Records, Religious and Cemetery Records, Immigration, Naturalization Records, Newspapers, Examine it Once, Twice, and Again, Travel and your Family History, and Storing and Organizing Paper and Digital Files. Reference materials that are required are kept to a minimum and are typically available at your local library.
There were a few points that I really liked, such as, using stepparents in the family tree if the student feels closer to them. As a child of divorce I have often identified well with my stepfamily. I was pleased to read that students will be encouraged to question "facts" and determine for themselves what is true. Encouraging the student to write a diary and to develop their own timeline was a great way to get them invested. I really enjoyed Jennifer's use of her own family documents which had great names, villages, and photos. Overall I thought it was a great starting point for young children to understand all the different documents and memorabilia that one life can generate.
As the age/ grade increased there was a more detailed and challenging curriculum in the workbooks. These books could be used simultaneously if you were homeschooling and had a 2nd, 5th, and 9th grader. The readings and exercises vary, but the nuts and bolts of each lesson are consistent with varying degrees of detail within each age group. There are many great websites used in these books and I found myself enjoying learning about a new source for forms, memoirs of a Civil War veteran and even a helpful guide to the old medical terminology used. Even though I have been researching for a number of years there were valuable tidbits throughout the books that I will use in learning more for myself.