Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Timeline Ideas

The following ideas are by no means uniquely mine, but bear repeating because they work! Creating a history timeline and Book of the Centuries have been two of our family's most valuable history activities. We've seen timelines of all sorts -- in binders and on poster, straight lines and curves -- ours currently runs like a wallpaper border around our kitchen. Likewise, the possibilities are endless for just what to attach. We use holy cards and pictures and are planning to add book covers (scanned and reduced, the idea coming from a wonderful friend) to help the children visualize where their reading fits into the broader picture of history. As a family project, such a timeline just can't be beat. It's very inexpensive, yet offers visual support to everything we do. It has also helped me and my husband to connect all the little pieces of history that we were taught in school.

Our Book of the Centuries is a binder with page divisions marking 50 year increments. Just how to divide your book will depend on the age of your child(ren) and how specific you want to be. We've chosen to make a separate binder for each of our children, though we know some families who've made one binder for all the children to share. Our pages include narrations about famous scientists, saints, explorers, etc. Pictures and maps can be inserted as well. Again, as with the timeline, each new addition forges more connections among what is being learned.

For us, these are both works in progress. They span many "school years" and don't get set aside for the summer. They give us, as home educators, a sense of continuity, and help make our study of history a continuing quest.

contributed by Mary from Wisconsin

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