I’ve got a confession to make.
Even though we are currently in our 9th year of homeschooling, and even though history is hands-down my favorite subject, I may have only recently begun to use timelines.
Shocking, I know.
I honestly don’t know why or how timelines slipped past my homeschool mom radar. I mean, I knew what they were and I knew that lots of people use them. Somehow, though, I never made the connection that when you approach history in a non-linear fashion as I do, a timeline is a crucial tool to bring everything together chronologically.
Since I don’t like change, I braved these new waters slowly by doing a “Book of Centuries” approach. I simply dated the tops of pages with centuries, and then listed things that happened in that time period underneath.
It was a good way for me to start. The fact that it was very basic helped me to get a little more comfortable in introducing something new into our homeschool routine. I also appreciated the fact that the Book of Centuries-style timeline is, well, a book, and as someone who has very limited empty wall space, that was another important element for me.
Recently, however, I was given the opportunity to try a more comprehensive timeline- an American history timeline, to be exact, and our timelines have now taken on a whole new meaning for me.
(Disclaimer- I received this product for free and was compensated for my time in writing an honest post. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are entirely my own.)
The Giant American History Timeline
(This post contains affiliate links.)
What is The Giant American History Timeline?
At first glance, The Giant American History Timeline by Sunflower Education may seem more like a workbook than a timeline, but it is so much more.
Whenever I used to think of timelines, I would picture a long strip of paper attached to the wall with names, dates, and possibly some pictures added to give it some color.
I’m telling you, I will never look at timelines the same way again.
Some of the features, which I’ll get into in just a bit, include:
- Activity sheets that each have the corresponding year displayed at the top
- Detailed instructions on how to use each activity sheet
- Detailed suggestions on how to display the timeline for each individual unit
- Unit Assessments
- Arrow templates to be used to signify transitions
How can this American history timeline be used in a homeschool?
While this timeline curriculum can easily be tweaked to fit any family’s preferences, there are two main ways that it can be used:
- To supplement your history curriculum, whether it would be textbook-based, living books-based, or a unit study
- As your history spine. I’m not even kidding. This curriculum is so comprehensive that you can easily use it as your main history resource.
How you display this timeline depends both on how you are using this curriculum and how much available wall space you have.
The fact that each unit contains several ideas for how to assemble this timeline makes things so much easier for us homeschool parents. And although this timeline is intended to be mounted on the wall, don’t let your lack of space discourage you from trying this out.
Some non-wall hanging ideas include:
- Mounting your timeline in a lapbook
- Creating a trifold book for each unit
- Creating a poster board for each unit
- Switching this out from unit to unit on a bulletin board
- Making a timeline notebook
How we used this American history timeline in our homeschool:
Since we are a large, relaxed homeschooling family, much of our learning is done together in groups. Additionally, because of the size of our families, the bulk of our learning happens through unit studies and living books.
Because of this, my four middle children have been completing these timeline worksheets as a group. They designate one person to fill the information out, but they all have to work at finding the answers.
When we first received this curriculum, we were reading through a book about the Pilgrims. I was pleasantly surprised to find several worksheets that corresponded perfectly with what we had been reading about.
As I mentioned earlier, we don’t have much empty wall space here, so what we did was start our own timeline notebook using the worksheets and arrow templates from this book, and we are so happy with the results. Rather than having a basic list of important names and events, our American history timeline notebook is so much more detailed and contains so much more information than your average timeline.
Since mere photographs cannot do the comprehensiveness of The Giant American History Timeline justice, I decided to do a video review so that you can get a better idea of just how awesome this homeschool resource really is.
From now through 2/7/18 at 3PM EST, you can enter a giveaway to receive a free copy of this product!
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