Create Your Own Timeline

It has been SO fun to be able to pick the topics we wanted to learn about as a family and then place a picture of them on our homemade timeline.  We just used a roll of adding machine paper as our timeline and used the length of an entire wall.  We laminated it so we could tape our images to it and move them around, if needed, without damaging the timeline.


Some time periods had TONS of things to learn about, and others did not have as much.  So depending on the time period, our first year we wrote the years (in 1 and 10 year increments with lines and 100 and 1000 year increments with numbers) on the timeline paper. Then we taped images of what we were studying on the timeline as we studied them. (Remember, this covered the length of our wall, maybe 10-15 feet long. It was quite long and only about 3 inches wide.  The pictures were little 1 x 1 or 1 x 1 1/2 images and could go up (above other images, as well as above the timeline) and down (below other images, as well as below the timeline). As you can see below, our timeline really looked kind of like a ruler.)

After this first successful year, we realized that we would use this timeline for everything, so we did another one, but made it evenly spaced.

First Blank Timeline Example


We started with History as our theme for the year, which was a GREAT start, because we then had this amazing time-line on which to put EVERYTHING ELSE we studied in future years. 


We began with Ancient History, then Medieval, then Renaissance.  After three years, we got tired of History being the focus for the year, so we moved on to Science as the focus for the next year (or two, or three), then we chose Music, then Art, and so on. You get the idea...

With each topic we studied, we located an image to put on our homemade timeline. Underneath, we had the dates of that event or individual.  Here are a couple of facts about Euclid to show how we integrated other subjects into History.

 Drawing shapes with tan gram puzzles

Drawing shapes with tan gram puzzles


Fact #1 - Euclid is often referred to as the Father of Geometry (math).

One could introduce Euclid and geometry to younger children by learning about shapes and/or playing with tan gram puzzles.  With the different colors and shapes, one might see a relationship to "stained glass" (art) and want to learn more about it.  For one of our "projects" when we studied Euclid - we chose to learn the science of how to tile a floor, a useful life skill that tied in beautifully to Euclid and geometry. 

 Although we did not tile this floor, I chose this image to show how easily tiling relates to geometry.

Although we did not tile this floor, I chose this image to show how easily tiling relates to geometry.

 Example of an image that could be placed on the timeline.

Example of an image that could be placed on the timeline.

Fact #2 - Euclid wrote a book (literature) called "The Elements."
                Elements are found everywhere. Some examples below.


In his first book of The Elements, Euclid talks about postulates and about which includes: "To draw a straight line from any point to any point." 

Interestingly, the elements of art are listed as "the visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value."

Elements (in science) are "the building blocks for all the rest of the matter in the world."  Hence, the periodic table in chemistry.


To continue on with History... we made our own "Rhyme/Date" flash cards that we used to play history games with:
     MATCH (like concentration) - where the "cards" are all face down and you flip a date card over and try to match the correct "rhyme" event that goes with that date.
     I KNOW - where we used them as flash cards and we would hold up one card (either date or rhyme) and everyone would try and say the date or event that matched. The first to do so, got that card for that game. After all the cards were gone, whoever had the most cards at the end, "won."

We hope you see how fun it is to integrate other subjects into history.  It's so EASY to do. You can study ANYTHING (art/artists, math/mathematicians, science/scientists, events - including things like natural disasters, animals, places, etc.) and add them to your history timeline according to their date or the date of an event that included that topic! 

It truly is amazing to see how they all wind in and out of each other!