Let’s build a timeline
I was asked about our timeline in last week’s weekly report. I went back through my bookmarks and found all kinds of fun links for timelines–if you think timelines are fun, that is. We happen to love them at our house. The Well-Trained Mind suggests starting a timeline in 5th grade when your child is beginning to make connections between historical events and needs a way to organize all the facts that he is learning. I had always intended to have A begin his very own timeline when he got to that point, but somewhere along the way, I thought it would be fun to have one that everyone could look at and enjoy as well, until they begin their own. They all enjoy looking at the scripture timelines published by our church, and I like being able to see the big picture of history and realize what was happening at the same time in different parts of the world.
Here are two excellent resources for making timelines:
- Paula’s Archives
- Homeschool timelines Squidoo page
- Ultimate Guide to Creating Timelines at Sprouting Tadpoles
I always wanted a long wall timeline that we could refer to on a daily basis, but let’s face it, I just don’t have that kind of wall space. Notebook timelines are more convenient space-wise and ultimately I ended up buying the Wonders of Old timeline book from Knowledge Quest on cd-rom (there’s a download option now.) I’ve had the Wonders of Old book sitting on my shelf for several years now and I really liked the look of the pages, but now I can print off as many copies for as many children as I desire. I still wanted a way to see the “big picture” so I taped the individual pages together accordion-style. Each page represents 10 years and unfolded, it runs about 13 1/2 feet for the years 1850-2010. (We’re studying Modern history this year.)
And in the end, it folds up neatly to fit on the history pile on the bookshelf. Occasionally we remember to put it back in a file folder for more protection.
Here are some free templates for timeline pages:
- Simply Charlotte Mason Book of Centuries download
- NotebookingPages.com free timeline pages
- Timeline forms on DonnaYoung.org (now a subscription only site)
- Ancient history timeline free download
- Nice lined timeline pages in landscape orientation from ContentedAtHome.com
- Accordion (or notebook) timeline pages–These are the ones we’re using this year (2016) because they’re lined! Hopefully they’ll be a bit neater for my boys. I mixed and matched pages from the different sets to get the year spacing that I wanted.
I also really like the Record of Time notebook cd from Homeschool In the Woods although it’s a bit pricier. We’ve used a few of their timelines included in the Time Traveler history cds along with their beautiful timeline figures. Speaking of which–
Where do I find timeline images? This year we’ve mainly cut and pasted pictures for our timeline that go along with our history studies. Next year I’ll expect A to begin writing more events on his own (in which case, I may wish I had gone with a lined-page option.) We started out with the pictures on the review cards from the Story of the World activity guide, but they took up a lot of room. I then printed off the timeline pictures from Hannah’s HS Helps Yahoo group. She has sets coordinating with each of the Story of the World volumes and they’re already in color, so they’re pretty! (There are quite a few other SOTW resources in the files section, so if you’re using SOTW, go join the group!) We’ve also added in the figures from our current Industrial Revolution Time Traveler unit and some I’ve printed off the internet from Google images.
I also like the look of this sticker pack for the classical timeline, but there are many sites where you can find free images to download (and resize for timelines) such as these:
- Clip art of famous people
- Classroom Clipart
- Clipart ETC
- The Homeschool Shop downloadable timeline clipart file
Ultimately I’d like to keep my own timeline book and come up with a color coding system for different categories of timeline events such as wars and political history, science and technology, art, music, literature, and church history and religion. But for now, this works for us.