When I first started teaching at a private Charlotte Mason school, one of the first, and most daunting, tasks, was setting up a timeline in my classroom. I took one look at the beautiful timelines in other classrooms, and I immediately shied away from this endeavor. It went to the bottom of my to-do list, until a kind aid who had set one up before came into my classroom to put up the important date and figures.
This beautiful timeline was a helpful tool for us all year long. I loved getting to remind my students of an historical figure just by pointing to the wall, or to help them get acquainted with a time period in history by talking about the people who inhabited it.
Since those days in my classroom, I've wanted to have a history timeline in our own homeschool room, but not surprisingly, I once again felt overwhelmed by it. That's why I was thrilled to try out the Printable Essential Timeline Library by Homeschool in the Woods.
What is a History Timeline?
A history timeline can either be displayed on a wall or tucked inside a notebook. It often contains pictures and a description of the person from history, and they are placed in an organized way upon the timeline (either on the wall or in a notebook).
Last year, we began keeping a book of centuries. This was so helpful to get a grasp on the times throughout history, but it was a little tricky to keep up with and even harder to keep organized.
The Printable Essential Timeline Library
The Printable Essential Timeline Library came as zip files. One of the files included a list of all of the historical figures and dates included in the timeline. I printed this out first to give me an idea of what to include on our timeline wall.
This timeline library includes almost 1,500 important figures and events to place on a timeline, beginning with creation and ending in modern times. These can be printed out either wall-sized or notebook-sized (or of course, both!)
Setting Up Our Timeline
It was easy to unzip and get all of the files. I did struggle a little figuring out which items to print out for the timeline I envisioned. The wall sized images weren't big enough to be seen on the wall, so I chose the file marked "figures with text."
When I first printed them out, they were too large for my wall (I used the side of a bulkhead in our basement). So, I printed them 5x7 size, and then selected "shrink to fit." This was perfect!
Then, I cut out all of my pictures and backed them with cardstock. I didn't have to do this last step, but I knew that it would look nicer for the long term to do this.
Choosing the timeframe for our timeline was tricky. I decided to use 12 inches for 500 years. This would work depending on how many items you want to put up, and how big your space is. Currently, since we've only studied ancient history, we aren't going to need a huge space for our timeline. I did leave us some room to grow, though!
I wasn't sure what would make the best line for our Printable Essential Timeline Library. Yarn seemed like a good idea, until I realized I would have to staple it into the wall, and my husband, the dry-wall mender, wasn't very fond of that idea. So, I found black craft tape at a hobby store (it's similar to washi tape) and this solved the problem. I also bought double-stick tape to help hang up the pictures.
I found a straight-edge cutter was helpful for getting the pictures ready to hang, too. The cardstock was left over from another project, and any color you have on hand would do!
Using Homeschool In The Woods History Timeline
Our new timeline has been so helpful for history lessons! I'm already realizing that it's a useful tool for review. When I added a new figure and discussed it with my daughter, we talked about what we had learned about that person and where he or she fit into the history curriculum we use. As we continue to keep our history timeline notebook, I'll print out figures to paste in there as a beautiful record of what we've learned together.
If this sounds like a good fit for you homeschool, use the discount code 10off50 for $10 off $50 at Homeschool in the Woods.