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5 Days of Homeschool Essentials: Timelines

All this week, the members of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew are continuing our Homeschool Essentials Blog Hop. Today, I would like to talk about our #1 homeschool history essential, timelines.

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

When I was in school, history was probably my least favorite subject. I found it fascinating to learn about different peoples and times, but the issue I had was that history just never “clicked”. Early in our homeschool experience, I feared that my sons were doomed to this same fate. That was, until we introduced timelines into our history studies.

Why are Timelines Important?

We have found that timelines eliminate the confusion that I found in history as a child. I could never seem to relate what was happening simultaneously in different parts of the world. To me, history was a mash-up of events and peoples, but never seemed a cohesive story. Timelines solve this problem by giving students a visual aid of what was happening throughout the world in a given time period. Once the students see the various events on the timeline, they are better able to understand, and then remember, historical facts. Timelines make it “click”.

Timelines We Have Used

When we first began using timelines, we started with The Human Register Timeline. This is a basic outline that I would consider especially good for younger students. As time went on, we saw the need for a more detailed timeline, and decided to make our own. We found some wonderful History Through The Ages Timeline Figures from Homeschool in the Woods, which we mounted on our timeline that we constructed from craft paper and poster board. This worked quite well for a while, but ultimately both boys wanted their own timeline, which they could each personalize to his own liking. So, I created lined timeline pages for each of them, which they keep in a 3-ring binder, and can personalize as they choose. We still use some of the timeline figures from before, but with the lined pages, they are also able to add notes and additional facts as they see fit. For those interested, you can download the blank  timeline pages I created HERE.

Other Timeline Options

There are MANY timeline options available out there, so I couldn’t possibly list them all, but here are a few options that I have found to be especially helpful:

  • Adams’ Chart of History – a massive, detailed history of creation through the late 19th century
  • Record of Time by Homeschool in the Woods – made to accompany the Timeline Figures, this is a very nice, printed timeline, with dates already in place. They also offer a placement guide to help in setting up the timeline. Great for those who want a notebook timeline, but need it printed ahead of time.
  • Add-A-Century – this is a new resource to me, but it looks like a fantastic way to create a unique, customizable timeline.
  • Knowledge Quest Easy Timeline Creator – this is an excellent software program that enables you to create and print your own personalized timelines.

Whatever you choose, I hope that you try using timelines in your homeschool as a way to reinforce and help students understand the relationships between historical events. We have definitely found them indispensable.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our timeline essentials. Please come back for other “essential” posts coming throughout the week. Please also take a few moments to visit a few of my team members’ blogs this week to learn about some of their Homeschool Essentials as well!

Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

LaRee @ Broad Horizons

Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

Amy @ Counting Change. . .  Again

Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Gena @ I Choose Joy! 

Adena @ AdenaF

Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue

Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker


5 responses »

  1. I love having the printable History Through the Ages figures, we’ve used them several different ways and I know we’ll keep using them even more as the children get older! We’re getting ready to start world history and I’m toying with turning the slanted ceiling in the school room into one huge timeline 🙂

  2. We’ve used a lot of timelines too – some of the same ones you mentioned! Currently I took about 21 pieces of construction paper representing about 100-150 years each, drew lines on them, laminated them and hung them in a long line on our walls. We label things as we cover them – in books we’re reading, events we discuss, etc. I think this has been the most effective one yet! Gwen – 🙂

  3. Homeschool in the Woods is one of my favorite companies! I love her artwork.


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