Hello from the Edwards family. Andrew, myself (Kirsten) and our three girls are a homeschooled family living in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
I created this resource due to a love of history and wanting to pass this love on to my children. Timelines are a wonderful way to visualise history and a simple image can really engage students. After spending many hours creating a handmade timeline covering 7000 years of human history, I looked forward to sharing the joy with my children. Alas, It wasn’t to be! The timeline looked like a long bit of paper with sporadic pencil marks which they never gave a second look. Not deterred, I sat down at the beginning of another homeschool year to rethink the timeline issue. This resource is a result of that “rethink”.
Firstly, the long piece of paper had to go. Instead, I felt it would be easier and more manageable to concentrate on a timeline for the historical period taught that year. Five timelines were created that neatly carved up history into five ages. Now there was plenty of room to record events and notable persons, and plenty of wall space to accommodate one or two timeline posters per year.
Timeline entries were the next hurdle to overcome and to make it more organised, the timelines were divided into four sections: PEOPLE, EVENTS, WARS, and PROGRESS. Now entries could be lined up instead of all jumbled together. I felt it was also important to study local history as well as world history, so a second section was created to do this. My timeline “rethink” was slowly coming together.
The most important item to make the timelines successful in a homeschool environment is the entries. Parents can spend hours pre-reading and working out which entries should be added, or this task can be left to a student. I personally found, that when left to do this after lesson readings (either by myself or with a student), it became very haphazard - if time were short, it would not get done. The key was to sit down with a history text and work out which entries were needed chapter by chapter. Once the entries were worked out, a small card was designed with the text and an image.
The timeline rethink has produced this resource, but it will always be a work in progress. I hope these resources will help you save time and make studying timelines a more fulfilling and engaging task for your family.
I have a BA undergraduate degree majoring in History and World Religions, (and a little Classics for good measure) from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
If you have suggestions for a history spine or for the actual timelines, please contact us.