August 22, 2011
By Deila Taylor
Timelines are a great way to learn about the order of events in history. We set aside two days a week to work on our timeline. I've been homeschooling for 16 years and we've had a number of different timelines.
The first one was a long white sheet, 3 feet wide and 20 feet long that was taped on the biggest wall in our home. I divided it into proportional time segments, and my kids wrote dates and drew pictures on it. We started from the beginning of time to the current date. It took four years to study the history of the world and as we did, we added events and people to our timeline.
The next time around we started a new one, much like the old one. The paper was just as long, but not as wide, and we kept it rolled up when we weren't working on it. We used pictures from the internet or just drew on the timeline -- things such as the Tower of Babel, Julius Caesar and inventions such as the telephone. Since we were using the Story of The World history book and workbook, we got some of the timeline dates and figures from that source.
The third time around we tried something new for our Timeline -- a software program called Timeliner XE by Scholastic. It was a nice change from the old method of writing, coloring, cutting and pasting. And best of all, my 13-year old son loved to work on it. He added the dates and pictures directly from the internet into the timeline. He even added movie clips for parts of the history. The software is easy to use and allows you to search the internet for photos while still running the program, and allows you to insert these photos right into your timeline.
Other options are available, but a timeline is invaluable for learning the order of events. We color-code dates, such as Book of Mormon events, Biblical events, Roman history, key figures and wars.
Use your imagination and have fun. Here are some sources:
Deila Taylor has been homeschooling for 16 years and has felt like a pioneer of Mormon Homeschooling. She has five kids -- the first two went through public school before she made the plunge. The last is now a homeschooled high schooler. You can catch her at Eve Out of The Garden and in her homeschool blog, Ridgeline Academy.