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Timelines for Homeschool


A Tool for Seeing History

Timelines are an important complement to any homeschool history curriculum no matter your spine or educational philosophy. They are especially good for visual learners because they offer a view of historical events in a pictorial way.

Even very young children can use a timeline to see the span of time between events. Any historical person or event that you study can be placed on the timeline. So the timeline can integrate your studies in art, music, literature, and science, with your history studies. And you can include your own family's events such as births or marriages as well.

Types of Timelines for Homeschool


There are endless ways to make a timeline. But they can be categorized into four main types:

  1. wall chart timelines
  2. notebook timelines
  3. index card timelines
  4. mini-book or one page timelines

Introducing Timelines to Children

I love this idea from Montessori for Everyone. This free PDF shows how history is arranged around the life of Christ -- BC and AD. The term century is also used. This is a great visual aid for helping children understand how to read timelines.

Wall Chart Timelines


Wall charts offer an "at a glance" view of history, but require a great deal of wall space.

Pictured to the right is a wall chart timeline from Konos. It is a large, durable timeline that can be used with any curriculum. We've used ours for three years now, and even though we plan to start using a notebook timeline, we will keep our wall chart up for reference.

Knowledge Quest Maps also offers a 10 feet by 1 foot banner wall chart timeline for sale.

Using ordinary posterboard and address labels can produce a very adequate timeline as well.

For creating a timeline with sentence strips and bulletin board border, visit this wonderful blog entry with pictures!

Although most people think of horizontal lines for timelines, you can use vertical lines as explained at Eleven Oreos blog.

Another option that has the big view of a wall timeline but the convenience of a notebook timeline is creating a fold-away timeline which can be pulled out or put away as desired. These can be made on many different types of bases:

a display board,

sewing board,

sheets of posterboard,

sheets of foam board,


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file folders, or

legal file folders.

Notebook Timelines - Or Book of Centuries


The main plus of a notebook timeline is that it can be easily stored away on a shelf. In addition, each child could easily have his own notebook timeline. In Charlotte Mason circles, a notebook timeline is called a "book of centuries." You can see a book of centuries in action at Harmony Art Mom's blog and at Fisher Academy.


This picture shows Sonlight Curriculum's Book of Time. It is a notebook timeline with heavy cardstock pages. Each page has dates printed on it. You simply affix the timeline figures for what you are studying onto the correct page of the timeline notebook.

Beside the notebook are the timeline figures printed on adhesive paper. Sonlight offers these packages with their core progams. The images come from Homeschool in the Woods but are specially chosen to match their curriculum. Therefore, although The Book of Time could easily be used alongside any curriculum, SL's timeline figures would be useful only to those using SL curriculum.