Before I get started talking about timelines, I want to let you know that soon you’ll have a chance to win almost every single one of these books, plus a basket full of resources to help you incorporate history timelines into your homeschool. Subscribe to my blog or follow me on social media to be notified of the giveaway next month!
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Keeping a history timeline has been one of my favorite aspects of homeschooling. We have had a timeline in some form or another for 9 years now. It started out with one super long strip of black tape stretching all across two walls. This lasted through our first 3 cycles of history: ancient, middle ages, and renaissance. When we hit American history, we took the whole thing down, and started using smaller strips that covered an entire door.
When our second round of history began and we restarted ancient history, I thought it would be more convenient to place the timeline in an accordion style book. Since I could never seem to find the perfect template with dates already added, I made my own, using Excel.
Keeping a timeline has helped us perceive time in a different way. Since we often study different civilizations independently of each other, it may not occur to us that certain events or lives from different civilizations overlapped, until we place the figures on the timeline.
For example, did you know that in the same year Robert Bruce became king of Scotland, the Mongols invaded India? And that during the years that Joan of Arc campaigned with the French army, the emperor Itzcoatl began to lay the foundations for the future Aztec Empire? During the short reign of El Cid in Spain, the king of Norway conquered several areas of Scotland and Wales, while much of the world was focused on the Crusades.
Timeline Day happens once every week or two. This is the day that I pull out the History Through the Ages CD, the Classical Conversations timeline cards, along with half a dozen or so other general history books.
1. We quickly review the stories, events, and people we have read about since the previous timeline day, making a list of what needs to be placed on the timeline.
2. We print out 2-inch tall images of all the relevant figures from the History Through the Ages CD. Sometimes, I will print out larger versions, like the two in the photo above, for a series on the early Roman emperors.
3. We look through the books in the photo above. Each of these books is arranged chronologically, which makes it very easy to see if we have missed an important historical figure or event.
- Commanders. Read more about this book and view my pictures here in my post about our person of the week wall.
- History of Britain. Read more about this book and view my pictures here in my post about Teaching British-European History.
- History of the World in 1000 objects. This book is packed with timelines and maps that make it easy to compare how people lived at different times and in different parts of the world.
- Timelines of Science. Read more about this book and view my pictures here in my post about a Unique Approach to Science.
- Timelines of History. Read about this book and view more pictures here in my review.
- Military History. Read about this book and view more pictures here in my review.
4. The last step is to check the wall chart. This huge 6-foot timeline is from the book Time Chart of World History. The chart compares events that took place in different parts of the world during the same period, and shows the rise and fall of empires and countries.
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