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Teaching Children About Their Heritage
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Teaching Children About Their Heritage

Knowing who you are and where you come from helps define how you see yourself and how you live your life. Parents can encourage children to learn about their heritage by telling stories about family members, explaining social customs and favorite holidays, or sharing family recipes. Introduce your children to important family members who can share this information; when these members are gone, some parts of your heritage may be lost forever.

Family History Book
Begin a family history book and include everyone in the project. Start with a family tree and reach as far back as possible. Assign each family member a code you can use with a database to pull together birthplaces and dates, parents, important life events and professions. Collect pictures of family members and label them with names, dates, occasions and their family codes. Add stories about how your family migrated to your present location and why. Include favorite family stories about your family or cultural stories your family likes to share. Compile the book in a large family album, or create electronic files you can share with family members.

Family Holiday Traditions
Your family traditions can reveal many things about your cultural heritage. Your family may celebrate events with cultural significance, such as Jewish feast days or Hispanic holidays. Discuss why your family celebrates these holidays, and how your holiday traditions may differ from how others celebrate the day. Create a special book of holiday recipes or ideas for future celebrations.

Where Do We Come From?
In the United States, almost every family has a story of where it came from and how it arrived. Locate the names of the first family members to arrive in the U.S. and identify why they immigrated. Find their original home on the globe and write down other identifying information your children should know. Use the Internet to pinpoint the location and trace any family members you could contact. If the immigration occurred in the last generation and family members remain in the original location, make contact with the family to gain more information about the culture and family history.

Preserving Family History
Record family history on video or audio for future generations. Ask grandparents, aunts or uncles to tell stories about the past. Have the children interview family members and ask questions, such as what happened on the day the child was born or the kinds of toys the family member had as a child. Ask the family member about life as a child, teen or young adult, and how things differ today. Share stories of deceased family members, especially those who may have lived or died under unique conditions, such as someone who served as a missionary or pioneered an industry.

Source: ehow.com