8 Tips for Indexing with Your Kids This Summer

July 2, 2015  - by 

Do you dread the thought of hearing the words “I’m bored” from your kids this summer? Are you looking for something more productive and educational for them than playing video games, watching TV, or surfing the web? If so, indexing may be just what you’re looking for. FamilySearch indexing offers an endless variety of educational and thought-provoking, hands-on activity that will draw your family together and leave each family member with a great sense of accomplishment.

If that sounds more appealing than other summers you’ve experienced, try some of these tips to get your family excited about indexing this summer.

Before You Start

Go to FamilySearch.org/indexing to get started. If you haven’t done so already, sign up for a FamilySearch account, and then download the indexing program to your computer. While you are on the “Get Started with Indexing” page, take some time to look through the resources, tutorials, videos, and guidelines. These resources should help you and your kids get ready to dive in.

1. Earn TV Time

Before the kids sit down to watch TV or get on Facebook, you could have them index for a while. For every batch they complete, they could have 30 minutes of TV time or whatever they chose. Some youth who have been challenged in this way have actually adopted indexing as their new favorite activity in place of other activities.

2. Cursive Practice

Being able to read and write in cursive is a dying skill. Indexing is a great way for children to learn and practice. You could use the indexing handwriting helps to teach them how to read cursive. Can you turn it into a game of “who can be the first one to figure out what this word is”?

3. Summer Reading

Do your kids have assignments to read throughout the summer? Indexing is a great way to help them keep up their reading skills and habits. Your kids can learn some very interesting things about the lives of those who lived long ago by browsing through the documents they index.

4. Summer Service

Kids can learn the value of service this summer as they give up some play time to serve others through indexing. They can help others find their ancestors by digitizing these important records. Who knows, maybe indexing will become play time for them!

5. Family Activity

Whether you work together on the same project or have a friendly competition, indexing can be a fun way to bring the family together. If possible, have a couple of computers available so family members can index side by side and help each other. Once your kids are comfortable with indexing, have them teach another family member.

6. Celebrate

Set a goal as a family to index a certain number of records by the end of the summer. When you reach your goal, have an ice cream party, or go out and do something special.

7. Invite

Invite another family over for an evening of desserts and indexing. Or your kids could get together with their friends and index into the night. (You will probably want to supervise, but it’s for a good cause!)

8. Share

Take time to talk to your kids about the feelings you have experienced while indexing. Give them an opportunity to experience and share similar feelings. As they discover the joys of indexing and the good they are doing for others, they will stay excited about indexing even after the summer is over.

Above all, be creative! You know your children. Teach them how indexing is vital to helping people find their ancestors. Leave a comment below, or send us an email at fsindexing@familysearch.org, and let us know what you did to get your kids indexing this summer.

Personal Experience

“Our youth conference was on genealogy this year, and in one of the rotations we did indexing. I fell in love with it. The next day I downloaded the program and did over 200 names. Not only did I learn a lot at that youth conference, but I found something that I could do and loved doing. It is nice to be able to help others.”

—Caitlin M.

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  1. Just remember that the Indexing User Guide does say that the age for indexing is 13 and that kids 13-18 need a parent’s permission.