Back in college, I really just wanted to become a professional student. I loved learning all sorts of new things and thought it would be a dream job to just keep going to school to learn my entire life. If it hadn’t been such an expensive “career,” I would have probably collected several degrees by now. (Of course none of those would have involved history because history was not my favorite.)
Fast forward a decade and a half, and now I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do. Homeschooling was never on my radar before that calling hit me upside the head about eight years ago, but learning with our children has been my dream job. That doesn’t mean it’s always dreamy around here. (No-way, Jose!) But… it’s such a thrill to learn for a lifetime – and with those I love most! And here’s the deal. Now history is one of my favorites. I remember the day when my mind finally absorbed the fact that Biblical history is not in a separate dimension from “regular” history. Such a basic concept, I know, but I danced around the house that day celebrating my personal revelation that history really is His story.
Learning a chronological timeline is immensely valuable. Memorizing history sentences with songs is fantastic. But.. I think the single one thing that has helped me to gain a better understanding of history has been keeping a timeline on the wall or in a notebook. I’m such a visual person that it’s almost as if my mind needs an image on paper for abstract concepts like history to click. And my absolute favorite history resources for keeping a timeline are those provided by Homeschool in the Woods.
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With young children, time is an abstract concept. Tomorrow can mean yesterday and yesterday can mean a month ago. Sometimes it’s difficult even for adults to grasp the relationship or causality between events, or to recognize that civilizations were thriving and events were happening in North America as well as Europe during the same time period. With a timeline, we can see God’s hand in the story of the world – from civilizations and science to music and art. When we start to gain a better understanding of history through the ages, we can see patterns re-occurring, and it can help us to be wiser about the decisions we make today.
What is History through the Ages?
History through the Ages Historical Timeline Figures help to provide that mental picture of events happening across the globe throughout the ages. Whether building a timeline wall or a portable timeline notebook, these figures can provide a framework for recording the history of your studies.
Pictured above is the HISTORY through the Ages Timeline Trio, which includes a CD-ROM of over 1,300 historical timeline figures, a placement guide, and a beautiful Record of Time Notebook in landscape format.
The timeline notebook comes with a set of Olde World Style Maps
…and includes inspirational quotes by famous persons throughout history.
The timeline figures, which can be bought separately in digital or print format, are available as notebook or wall figures – with text or without text. We prefer the images with text to remind us of some of the details surrounding the event.
One challenge with keeping a timeline notebook is figuring out where to place a figure such as Albert Einstein. Do you place the figure at the date of his birth, at the date of his death, or at the date of some specific contribution or achievement? The Suggested Placement Guide offers a simple solution to those needing guidance in this area.
How do we use History through the Ages?
Our children are currently ages 13, 11, 8, and 2. The History of the Ages timeline set allows us to connect all the many pieces of information we are coming across in each of their studies not only from the Classical Conversations Foundations and Challenge B programs, but also from our poetry studies, missionary biographies, read-alouds, picture books, composers, artists, field trips, and 50-states-before-they-graduate trips. There are figures for Charles Dickens, Claude Monet, Beatrix Potter, George Muller, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Johannes Brahms, Alvin C York, the United Nations, just to name a few.
Although we’ve approached it haphazardly up to this point (#realitycheck), my goal is that we’ll revisit our timeline notebook to add new figures on a weekly basis. Of course, with the new Record of Time notebook, we’re in catch-up mode.
It won’t be long, though, because our history-loving teenager keeps sneaking off with the timeline notebook to add more to it.
Since rising to Challenge A & B, Stephen has really missed the study of history. This has been a great way to review the history of science, related Latin/Roman history, and Origins/Scopes Trial events studied in Challenge B.
Because history is so scaled back in Challenge A & B, working on the timeline has been a great blessing to him.
The timeline figures come with a listing of all figures so that you can search and find the figures you need when you need them. This is probably the most challenging aspect of using the timeline figures, but by searching the pdfs and image files, I’m usually able to quickly find them. The index in the placement guide has the figures listed according to their file names, which also helps to search sort through the figures fairly quickly. The images are also organized in over 30 helpful categories: Chronological, alphabetical, and several other classifications to assist with finding the figures you need.
We absolutely love the Homeschool in the Woods timeline figures. It’s a great way to review history and to connect the studies across a wide range of subjects. Adding in a hands-on element to our history studies builds lasting memories and helps to cement our history pegs into our minds. Building a timeline is a wonderful way to see all of history at a glance.
For those in Classical Conversations, the historical figures do not completely line up with the Classical Conversations timeline, although the majority of the history sentences have at least one timeline figure associated with them. The only significant exception we’ve found thus far is ancient African history. The ancient African history figures focus primarily on Egyptian dynasties, so we’re lacking some timeline figures for Songhai, Zanj, and Zimbabweans (as an example). However, with the vast number of timeline figures that extend beyond our memory work, it’s well worth it to just sketch in our own figure or search for an image online to fill in those gaps.
So… howzabout some freebies so you can check it out yourself?
Free Stuff from Homeschool in the Woods
- “Timeline Helps” provides helpful ideas for using the figures with wall and notebook timelines, suggestions for use in a variety of resources and games, and tips for coloring and gluing the figures!
- Free Resources, including Authors Mini Project-Pak, a sampler of Historical timeline Figures, and Olde World Style Maps, and projects, readings, copywork, and activities from each of their Time Travelers and Project Passports.
If you have any questions about these timeline figures or almost any other Homeschool in the Woods product, we’d love to provide answers. Just give me a shout by emailing me or leaving a comment!