I love history timelines. There’s something about lining up the people and events of history in their places next to each other that is satisfying to me. I know it’s summer and for the most part the school books are put away, but setting up a time line is a project that you might consider “doing ahead” for next year.
There are two main ways to display a timeline: on a wall and in a book. We use both.
- The wall chart provides a particular kind of visual reference that makes it easy to see at a glance how everything falls together.
- A timeline in a book provides a compact way to record that kind of information.
The wall chart in our hallway displays the main events and people from the broad scope of history. I use the book, A Child’s History of the World, by V.M. Hillyer as my reference for which dates to include. At the start of the school year, or at least at the beginning of each twelve week term, I look ahead at the time period we’ll be covering, then cut out the corresponding cards and tape them on to the chart.
During the year, as my younger kids (grades 1-5) read through their various history books and come across a date, we look at the wall chart to find out where it fits in the broader picture.
The older kids (grades 6+) keep a timeline in a book. Following the example found at Charlotte Mason Help for how to keep a Book of Centuries, they record the dates as they come across them in their reading, and illustrate their choice of people and events with drawings or clip-art. They each have their own book, allowing them to make it a personal scrap-book of what they have learned.
As I mentioned earlier, putting up a time line wall chart is a good summer project. Two summers ago I printed out, colored, laminated, and mounted this beautiful vine chart that is included on the timeline figures cd from Hold that Thought.
It took some time, but I really like the way it looks hanging on my wall. It’s both functional and beautiful.
Donna Young’s Web-site has another example of how to do a timeline in a book, and Homeschool in the Woods has beautifully prepared timeline figures as well as a nice hard cover notebook made especially for displaying them in.
I’ve already started lining up our history curriculum for the fall, pulling together resources and book lists from CM sites such as TruthQuest History, Simply Charlotte Mason, and Ambleside Online. I’ll be sure to post our history plan when I’ve finalized it, or rather, settled on a rough draft. 😉
In the meantime, along with doing a little bit of math and writing, we’re working on Habit Training at our house, using SCM’s Laying Down the Rails handbook. I’ll share some of the lessons we’re learning from that in the coming weeks.
You can find the above-mentioned book, A Child’s History at amazon.com.
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