I'm sure most of you have heard about TED talks. They are awesome. But let me introduce you to FRED talks-they are waaaay cooler!
FRED talks stand for: Family Research, Education and Development. My siblings and parents do these at our family reunions and WE. LOVE. THEM! Here's the theory behind it: We all have different specialties. We all have been learning different things, have different interests and live in different parts of the country. Why not share these things with everyone? If this sounds boring, I promise-it's not! We've learned what it is like to live in Russia, seen beautiful pictures from different hikes a family member took, and learned about different hobbies of various family members. It doesn't have to be academic (though it can be) or stuffy (which they never are!). But no matter the topic, they are always fun!
These are the family pictures we had taken recently. It was the first time we had all of us together in a long time!
Photo credit: Sherilee Olson
I hate to brag, but my family is really awesome (seriously!). We have social workers, educators, marriage and family therapists/college professors, lawyers, software developers, real estate investors, nurses, and more! I'll bet your family has similarly fascinating people. I want to learn from all these cool people, and FRED talks at our family reunions are a super fun way to do it.
The rules are easy:
1. You only talk if you want to. This way, FRED talks are super easy and low pressure.
2. Talk about what ever you want.
3. Talk or lead a discussion for as long or as short a time as you want. The ideal for us has been 5-10 minutes. It's not too long, and it doesn't take a ton of time to prepare for it.
This year, we learned about: our resident headmaster's efforts on the new school he has been developing, the LGBTQ legal history in the court system, how to properly perform the Heimlich and CPR, a new software tool that makes analytics for businesses super easy, a theory on personality types and finally, a particular epistemology in psychology that was really interesting.
It was so fun to learn new stuff, get to know my family members better, and have fun, interesting, and educational discussions that I might not otherwise have. Kids can chime in, too! This year Katie prepared a talk about what she learned about Mars in her science class.
Here's how we handle the logistics.
- Designate a time for the FRED talks. We like to do it at night after the little kids get in bed.
- Decide who is speaking. My family likes to do as many people as possible, so we try to do 3-4 people each night, so we aren't burned out and they stay fun. (With 10 original members of the family, plus in-laws and grandkids, we have to pace ourselves!)
- Props are helpful. Computers hooked up to TVs for slides or other visual/audio aids are really great.
That's it! Let the family love, bonding and learning begin!
Community Question: What awesome family reunion traditions do you have?
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