The National Genealogical Society estimates that family history is the second most popular hobby in America (after gardening) and one of the most searched for topics on the Internet. As a hobby, genealogy has all the right stuff. It is fun, educational, addictive, and everyone (regardless of their age) can join in.
Six how-to articles (excerpted from the official Ellis Island Foundation publication "Do People Grow on Family Trees?") and a set of printable forms comprise this family history lesson from Family Education. The section on conducting family interviews is excellent, with advice such as "Start with easy, friendly questions." There is also a printable checklist of interview questions, not found in same section, but rather in Genealogy Forms. Look in the lower left-hand corner of the home page for the link.
For those ready to take the next step in their family research, Genealogy.com serves up eighty-five free online lessons to explore at your own pace. Classes are divided into four sections: Beginning Genealogy, Internet Genealogy, Tracing Immigrant Origins, and Researching with Genealogy.com (a guide to their subscription service.) Each illustrated lesson covers a specific topic (such as Pre-1820 Immigration) making it easy to find the information you want if you are looking for specific help.
The genealogy site at About.com hosts a self-paced four-lesson introduction to genealogy that includes interaction in a discussion forum, homework assignments and online quizzes. In addition to the class, this site has oodles of articles and reviews of other genealogy sites. Two great clicks are Genealogy Glossary and U.S. Vital Records (organized by state), both found in the upper left- hand corner under Essentials.
This five-star site from PBS is my pick of the day because of its quality and depth. Start with Records at Risk, and learn how to preserve precious family mementos. Next, improve your genealogical results by learning the five steps of basic research. Other gems are the databases listed in Online Search, the twelve printable forms (see Free Charts), the state-by-state resource guide and the teacher's guide (in HTML and PDF.) I also enjoyed Tips and Tricks, where enthusiasts share what has worked for them.
The primary purpose of RootsWeb.com is connecting people so they can share genealogical research. You can add to the hundreds of gigabytes of existing data by submitting individual facts, surnames you are researching, or entire family trees. Tools for communicating with other researchers including mailing lists, discussion boards and virtual sticky notes called Post-Ems. These virtual notes can be attached to individual records in the Social Security Death Index and other RootsWeb databases so future researchers interested in those very same records will be able to contact you.