August 13, 2008

Our Timeline

As some fellow homeschool moms and teachers have requested, here is our timeline from last year when we studied American history. I pulled this picts from early in the year, but by the end of the year we had filled most of the slots.
At some point in my children's education they will complete a full timeline, whether on a wall (which we just don't have the space for now) or in a book (so that each of them can have their own as a reference). I like the options from Five in a Row and Hold That Thought. And I like the notebook variety, such as History Scribe.
For now, this works for us. My kids are on the younger elementary age, so a detailed timeline isn't as important as a simple grasp of basic chronology is fine.
Hanging on our wall is a postcard display, purchased from Oriental Trading. Instead of postcards, we use colorful 4x6 index cards.

The display rests on three easy-to-remove sticky hooks by 3M.

Each card is made by one of the kids so that they all contribute to the overall timeline.

In Word, I created a 2-column 4x6 paper, with 1/2" margins. On one column I place the picture, chosen by the child, from Google Images (though pre-printed characters, such as those from Homeschool In the Woods, would work well, too). One the other column, I type what the child tells me about the historical event.

We print the Word document, cut and glue it onto the index card. The child then draws and illustrates a 4x6 picture regarding the historic event or person. We glue that on the back.

The kids enjoyed making this sort of timeline. We could take the pictures out at anytime for review and then the girls could put them back in, testing their chronological knowledge. During the course of study a child may have an interest in another person or event, so we'd add that in too. Even though we focused on US history, K had some questions about Napoleon, so she did a bit of research on him and made a card just for him. M enjoyed learning about artists of the time, so she contributed a cards on Audobon and Serat.
One thing that bothered me about even attempting this sort of timeline was: what would I do if I needed to add an event between two well-placed cards? And you know what? It was never an issue. The girls and I enjoyed taking the cards out to review and rearrange to include the new date. My excited girls were very motivated to keep this timeline because, for the most part, it was their own work with their own interesting historical tidbits on it. So a little ownership goes a long way with the wall hanging.

This year, however, history isn't our main focus, but geography is. I had thought about making cards for each country we study, but we're doing that in our notebooks already. One of my goals this year was to begin going through the Veritas Bible cards. So I now place those cards in the holder as a perfect and useable display.

So many companies offer a great variety for the use of timelines. And so many creative moms have made exceptional uses of wall space and notebooks. I'll post a few other links as soon as I remember where I saved them. But please share what your doing (or what you'd like to do) with your kids in you schoolroom. :)

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Mrs. Darling said...

I toally love this idea for a timeline. Many times I have wnated to do one but I couldnt figure out how to make it not so detailed for Tink. The cards are a lovely idea. Tink will be able to get a better grasp of things this way then just a line with marks and dates. Im totally going to use this concept. And using it for a Bible timeline? Girl you're pure genius! :)

PresleyFamily said...

Great job! Very original. I love your ideas.

Jennifer said...

This is SUCH a creative idea, Melinda!! I plan to translate it into use for my preschool class. Not a timeline, though, but for tons of other uses:)! Great job!

Alison Nugent said...

Excuse me, I'm sorry this is off topic, but I have been looking for plastic holders like the ones on these pictures for weeks. Is there any way you could let me know where to get one? I would be so grateful. :)