**This article originally appeared on Raise the Good, a website of inspiring resources for families that “educate the heart” in fun, easy, and meaningful ways.
I’m sure most of you have heard about TED talks. They are awesome. But let me introduce you to FRED talks-they are even cooler!
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 whatever 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 interesting, and educational discussions that I might not otherwise have. Kids can chime in, too! This year my daughter 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!
QUESTION: Think of your family members and their various expertise and talents. What would you like to learn about from each of them in a 5-10 minute FRED talk?
CHALLENGE: Propose the idea of FRED talks for an upcoming Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering!
Image from Shutterstock; graphics by Anna Jenkins.