The dates just swirl around in my head,” my daughter complained while we were studying history in our home school.
“Well, I don’t need you to memorize them. Just know how they fit together–what happened in the same general time period,” I comforted her. I’m not a big one for memorization a vast amount of dates if you don’t understand how they fit together.
When she gave me an exasperated look, I knew we had to get out a timeline, or better yet, make one.
Timelines have this amazing super-power to help history people, places, and events fit together in a way that makes sense.
How Timelines Work
Timelines allow our children to connect little bits and pieces of history together in larger framework that makes senses. It allows you to have a bird’s-eye view of an entire decade, century, or time period.
Even when students memorize dates, they still have a hard time fitting everything together.
When you lay the dates out on a long sheet of paper, you can see what things happen at the same time and how one event follows another.
Ways to Use Timelines in Your Home School
We have done timelines several ways.
We have enjoyed looking a pre-made timelines that are beautifully illustrated. We simply flip through the timeline book or open it up all the way on a long table and set aside 20 to 30 minutes to look at it, making comments to one another as we notice things about people and events.
We have also made timelines from scratch.
Creating Our Own Timelines from Scratch
My children have created their own timelines on a long roll of paper. You just get a discarded roll of paper from a print and unroll it on the floor or long table.
One time we unrolled a roll of paper from the front door to the back of the house for our Ancient History Homeschool Co-op. The children in our history co-op were assigned different sections of history from Creation to present-day. It was so fun for everyone to work on their own sections and then share it with one another.
Timeline figures can be simple or elaborate. Children can draw little pictures or create their own timeline figures online.
We like the timeline to go down the center of the page so you can add things on each side. This is important when more than one person is working on the timeline.
We offer several timelines with timeline figures for your family. Often we study history civilization by civilization, so we don’t realize how much is happening at the same time.
Ancient History Timeline by Meredith Curtis & Laura Nolette begins with Creation and ends with the Fall of the Roman Empire. We love this timeline because it starts with the 7 Days of Creation. Packed full of Bible heroes, ancient civilizations, wars, battles, inventions, famous people, and historic events. Purchase Ancient History Timeline E-book at PowerlineProd or in print at Amazon.
American History Timeline is jam-packed with timeline figures–probably too many for you to use. You will probably use them for several different projects.
Starting with the Reformation/Renaissance/Age of Exploration, the timeline travels through Colonial Times, the American Revolution, Early America, Civil War, Victorian Age/Wild Wild West, and the 20th Century.
I admit it, Laura and I got a little carried away with this timeline–there are so many timeline figures. But, we just love American history so much! Choose what figures are important to you and your family.
In our HIS Story of the 20th Century collection, both the high school and middle school workbook contain timeline pages and timeline figures so students can put together a timeline of the 20th Century.
Purchase HIS Story of the 20th Century High School Workbook E-book at PowerlineProd and in print at Amazon.
Purchase HIS Story of the 20th Century Middle School Workbook E-book at PowerlineProd and in print at Amazon.
I hope this has inspire you to make your own timelines or to use our amazing timeline books. They truly help history make sense.
We often work on our timelines while we watch a movie set in the time and/or place we are studying.
And remember: history is exciting and interesting. Teach History the Fun Way!
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!