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History Timelines or Why is there a cork wall down here?

February 12, 2007

Chers Amis,

When we bought our house 11 years ago I was pregnant with Caddie and had never even thought about homeschooling.   I  could not for the life of me figure out what to do about the floor to ceiling cork wall in our basement. So brown. So useless.  So ugly.   So, I ignored the cork monstrosity for almost eight years until fall of 2005 when I saw its true potential as a giant time line.  It is still very sparsely populated and you can see that most of our history has been since Columbus "sailed the ocean blue. "   Yet another  work in progress chez nous.

So, how do we use timeliness to learn about  history?  Both girls has their own book of centuries or history notebook that I made with Microsoft Word in 2005-2006.  A line runs across the middle of the page which is labeled with the century’s name, i.e. SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.  The line is divided in   segments representing different numbers of years depending on the century.  Some centuries have a two-page spread where each page covers 50 years.   Obviously, we need more room to cover the events of the 19th century than for the fourth!  Here is a sample page from our notebook. Download seventeen_centurymid.doc. I just changed the dates and titles and printed out the pages on white card-stock and placed them in plastic sleeves. The girls make a very short notation on a piece of paper as the enter a figure i.e. 1776 – Declaration of Independence.  Written narrations, reports, maps etc. for that century are filed behind the time line pages. If you haven’t seen a BOC before or would like an easy version here is a link to a downloadable version at Simple Charlotte Mason  Book of Centuries.

Many people purchase ready-made time line cards and I think this could be a big time saver, but we enjoy making our own by finding images on-line (and I am frugal).  We resize pictures we like with our printer’s softTimeline_figuresware (easy ), cut them out and paste them to these Time line cards. (This is a great site with excellent free notebooking pages)   
I start the week by giving each of the girls a page of six cards representing people, inventions, works of art, saints, events.  They have to identify and mark them with the proper dates.  Here is a sheet Scarlett finished that is awaiting scissors and a new glue stick to be mounted on the wall.  I also print a "contact" sheet of the same pictures in thumbnail form on full page sticker paper and the girls cut them out and use the little stickers in their BOCs.   
One resource we have found very useful is The Timetables of History by Bernard Grun.  This is a link to the newest edition, but I found a new, older edition for $4! 

History doesn’t have to be boring.  The girls love to see interconnections, which figures/events overlapped, who was born when and what artists/composers were famous during that era.  If you haven’t tried it yet, print out pages for the century you are studying now.  You don’t need to make cards or stickers, a little symbol or notation works well too.  We started with stickers because the girls were too little to draw that much!  You can also add maps, clippings from magazines – anything that will help you connect to time will work!  Just remember to buy glue and safety scissors!  For more ideas, check out the timeline discussion at 4RealLearning.

— Marjorie                                                      

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2007 5:19 pm

    I LOVE it, Marjorie! It’s great. You’re making me wish for ugly floor-to-ceiling corkboard! 🙂

  2. February 12, 2007 6:01 pm

    Just printed this entry out for my files! What a terrific timeline! And great links, too. Thanks!

  3. February 12, 2007 6:02 pm

    Just printed this entry out for my files! What a terrific timeline! And great links, too. Thanks!

  4. February 12, 2007 7:45 pm

    This is a great entry Marjorie! I love the little timeline cards. I am saving the links to my history folder online and printing a copy of the timeline cards.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share this.

    Theresa ♥

  5. February 13, 2007 7:22 am

    Much better than the brown cork, Marjorie! This set-up would definitely get me excited about History!

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