Friday, June 15, 2012

Keeping a Timeline

Keeping a visual timeline has been one of our favorite pastimes - so much so that we not only have a Book of Centuries, we also have an assortment of accordion-style notebooking timeline pages, AND a timeline wall (though it is still in a shambles from when we were in the midst of construction last year). 

What these things look like:

Accordion Fold Timeline for Notebook
Timeline Wall in our garage
Closer view of Timeline Wall. Download a template here.

Our Wood-Trim Timeline Wall
Timeline Spiral Notebook

Placing Timeline Figures in Timeline Notebook
Our accordion timeline notebook
Though I do not have a picture, we've even used mini-timeline booklets in our lapbooks!

And I still can't keep track of the time!  (I didn't even realize we had crossed over into the month of June until about June 4;  I'd blame my lack of brain function after GeoDrawing camp, but I have a tendency to do this, anyway.)

When we first started our timeline obsession, we used The Timeline Project from Brandenburg Studies (download free at Currclick) to create a large timeline for the walls in our school room.  As we memorized and studied each historical event/person, we posted a picture representing it, usually cutting the clipart from our CC history slides. (We did not post people and events from the CC Timeline because I did not have the time to search for and download clipart for each timeline event; instead, we posted something from each history sentence, which was much more doable for us at the time.) It helped to give us a better idea of when events occurred in relation to each other, and it was something we all looked forward to doing!  We used some of the following Homeschool Bits freebies with The Timeline Project:  
This past year, we started a Book of Centuries.  To find out how to use a Book of Centuries and to download a free template, go to Simply Charlotte Mason.  At one time, we used a Book of Centuries Timeline Notebook offered by Guest Hollow because it is broken down into decades for the past few centuries (great for American history!).

Finally, we put together an accordion-fold timeline notebook because we love unfolding it and looking at the timeline as a timeline, and the lines make it neat-and-easy to write or paste illustrations into it.

However, if you don't want to make an accordion timeline, you can use our free timeline printable as a Book of Centuries and not worry about the extra effort involved! 

Beginners can also try this Book of Centuries and any of the add-ons previously mentioned.  Another option is to create a Timeline Wall somewhere in your home.  For ideas on how to make and use a Timeline, download The Timeline Project

For those who use the Classical Conversations Timeline.  Here's what it looks like when it is all posted on an evenly-spaced timeline.  Visit this page for more information about what we learned as a result of our timeline wall project!{For those wondering, I have a document with miniature-sized scanned images of the front side of our timeline cards. I cannot share the document due to copyright, but I have put in a request for Classical Conversations to make something like this available to the general public!}

Also check out this site, which describes wall timelines and portable timelines.  You can also visit Paula's Archives for a listing of various timelines.  To see a comparison between various timeline figures that you can purchase, go to the Timeline Comparison, also on Paula's Archives.

General Timeline Resources

Download clipart from:  (Click on American History, Church History, or Scientists and then select the time intervals on the left side of the screen for the images.)
A huge zip file of clipart from The Homeschool Shop (scroll down to where it says, "Download our Zipped Clip Art File... It's HUGE!"), but you will need to unzip the download and then convert each file to a usable format by either:  renaming each file to include a .tiff or .jpg extension, or insert the images into a MS Word document (or similar program). 
U.S. Presidents
Free U.S. Presidents Song on Classical Conversations Free Guest Public Library of CC Connected
U.S. Presidents Song and Video
American Presidents Cards Printable Packet
U.S. Presidents Resources
Home of Heroes Presidents e-book 
U.S. Presidents Biographies
Crayola Presidents Coloring Pages
American Presidency: A Glorious Burden
Coloring book with Presidents through the 43rd President provided by TLS Books
Homeschoolshare’s U.S. Presidents Lapbook
Presidents Day Lapbook
Presidents Day File Folder Game
Coin-Themed Unit Study Worksheets at LearningPage
White House Paper Model
Mount Rushmore (simpler)
Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads
George Washington’s World for Kids
Washington or Lincoln? Activity Cards
PDF of The Gettysburg Address
Presidents Crafts from DLTK
Baldwin, James. "Four Great Americans" Audio
George Washington's 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior
Notebooking, Creative Writing, Fact Pages, and Biographies at ABC Teach
Free President cards with colorful border
Presidential 4-in-a-Row Board Game
Presidential Paint Stick Timelines
Presidents Quotes Copywork
U.S. Presidents Calendar Connections
The inaugural addresses of the Presidents
Free President cards
Free President cards with colorful border
Homeschoolshare’s U.S. Presidents Lapbook
Coin-Themed Unit Study Worksheets at LearningPage
Coin President Flashcards: Who's on the money? 
U.S. Presidents Squidoo Lens 
U.S. Presidents Timeline Add-Ons 
US Mint sites

As I've mentioned before, the best timeline figures I have found are made by Amy Pak at Homeschool in the Woods.  (Download a sample of History through the Ages Timeline Figures here.) These include a fact with each person or event.  So... I'm going to bite the bullet this year and spend some money on timeline figures!  (Maybe we will actually get the timeline on our timeline this time around!) 

And, finally, for those who like a timeline hanging up on the wall without all that work, try Parthenon Graphics or Learning through History Timelines.


  1. Thanks for all the helps. I was just wondering if any one timeline goes well with the CC cycles then others. We are doing the Timeline on cards, but a notebook or wall would be nice. However, I would like it
    "go along "with what we are doing at CC . Any ideas?? Thanks

  2. That is awesome! I would like to do that in our family. Do you post family tree info on your timeline as well? I think that would be cool to see when and how great-great-great-grandpa "jack" was living on the timeline. :) Thanks for sharing this. Will be clipping and using.

  3. The timeline project has clipart you can use (though the images are small) or you can cut them out from the history slides on cc connected. There are no available clipart templates specifically for cc's timeline that I know of. But I think that the homeschool in the woods timeline figures should have clipart that can be used for our timeline.
    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  4. Great idea, Jackie! Thanks!

    When I taught middle school math, I had my students create a timeline of their lives for learning positive and negative numbers. They had to choose events from BEFORE their birth (negative numbers), their birth (zero) and events from after their birth to the current day and place them on a timeline along with photos or sketches. They had to learn how to convert months and years into fractions AND talk to grandma and grandpa and mom and dad about family history - it was great! Maybe one of these days I'll whip out with all my old middle-school-math teacher projects. I never thought about it till you commented!

  5. That is a great idea!! Very creative! Maybe we will try that this year.

  6. Hi Brandy, I guess I may have a similar question to that of Nancy. I downloaded and printed the Brandenburg Project but I'm completely clueless as to how it will work with Cycle 1 of CC. Should we just set it up on the wall with all of the dates and then plug in the clip art each week according to the CC timeline?

  7. Yes. The Brandenburg Projects really only provides the idea and some clipart that you can sort through to find things relating to our history sentences or timeline. Or you can just search the Internet for images you would like to use or use the clipart that is on the Classical Conversations History slides. In the past we have only added images from our history sentences. I've never actually included all of the CC timeline on it - especially because last year we had to tear down our wall timeline to build onto our home. I guess you could say I'm still taking baby steps after three years of homeschooling... :)

  8. After several hours and trips to Michael's, I've decided that the sketch book is the way to go as our first try with Timeline. I printed the Brandenburg Timeline Project and read it over and over again and even bought a roll of paper (50 ft) on sale for $1.80. But after I got home and reviewed the project with my husband, it just wasn't an option for us at this time:( Thank you for posting the link for timeline ideas through Homeschool In the Woods! It was there I saw how using a sketchbook is so much easier for us. I'm going to really try to have my son put pictures from our CC timeline but if it gets to be too time consuming, I'm sticking with your idea of just using our history sentences to post:)

  9. Thanks so much for replying Brandy. The use of history sentences in lieu of the timeline for clipart is a great idea.

  10. This is probably a dumb question, but it's driving me crazy! Let's say I want to put Martin Luther King, Jr. on a timeline. He was born in 1929. Should I put his picture there? But most of what he's known for was in the 60s. So it'll be weird to see him on a timeline page for the 20s, and have him missing on a page for the 60s. But if we put him on the page for the 60s, where to put him? Am I over-thinking this, or what would you advise?

  11. Good question! It depends on what you really want to highlight. If what's important is his date of birth, place the image there. If what you're trying to highlight / study is the civil rights movement, place it there. For time frames (e.g., wwii), we usually put ours at the beginning of that time period and write a date range underneath. You can also note that section in your notebook by highlighting the years you write under the timeline figure and continuing the line throughout those years. You can see how we did that when we had our original wall timeline - if you look at the pic closely, there's a line highlighting the renaissance period, for example. (If you want to highlight both dates, you can use two of the same figures - one at his dob and the other at the his contributions.)
    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  12. Thanks for the timeline resources. I won't use all the ideas, but I'm currently printing out a big old timeline template! I'm trying the accordion type because when we last did one on the wall, I started to get worried that my little ones might think it was okay to write on the wall :)

  13. Haha! Never thought about that one! So glad you're using the timeline! Thanks for commenting!

  14. I am just getting started and I was so happy to come across your website and all these wonderful resources! Thank you so much for sharing and all the hard work you have put into this! God Bless You!