I have taught history with timelines for a long time and I truly believe that this is the best way to teach all ages. In the course of my homeschooling journey, I have found a lot of ways to implement timelines in history studies, but as a Charlotte Mason educator, I favor some ways over others.
In our homeschool, we use timelines in two ways:
- Lesson Plan Resource – Find people and events to study during a time period we want to study
- Lesson Plan Record – Record our studies
The way we use timelines, requires us to have a timeline that is full of great information to glean from for our studies and a method to recording our studies.
How to Teach History with Timelines
Lesson Plan Resource
Each school year, I have a time period of history we desire to study, which can include Biblical History, World History and/or American History. For my younger children, I use the Wall Chart of History to find people and events to study for the year. As my children become more independent in their lessons, they use the timeline to find people and events that are interesting to them to study for the year.
Once we find the people and events we desire to study, we use the library or our own books on our shelves to read and learn about the history of the things that we selected.
Lesson Plan Record
I have never been a fan of the timeline on the wall, but that is me and the influence of Charlotte Mason on our homeschool. Our preference is to have the children make their own timeline, from the people and events that we pulled from our resource timeline and enter them on their personal timeline as they study them.
We have tried several ways of doing our own timelines and trust me, I do have my preference, but you should always find what works best for your own family.
Timeline Record Options
- A blank one for the wall – You enter your own items, as you study them. This is a family resource, not an individual timeline.
- Boxes with Index Cards – You use one index card for each entry and separate the time periods in the box or boxes, if you out grow one. We sketched or used our favorite timeline figures on the front and used the back with lines to write a narration.
- Binder Books – We love using Binder Books and this is our favorite method of using timelines to teach history. We draw a timeline at the bottom of each binder book and add either our timeline figures or sketch our entries. We love how these fit neatly in a 3-ring Binder and can be stored wonderfully, making them amazing keep sakes. Each child has their own binder books, so they are very personal to them.
History can be fun and full of creativity and with timelines and timeline resources, to make it easy, it can be!