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History is a very important subject to teach. We need to learn from the mistakes in our past in order to strive for a brighter future. Unfortunately, learning history in the typical sense means memorizing places, dates, and battles. And while all of those things are important, they can lead to dry, boring lessons that lose kids interest fairly quickly. We have found that we enjoy using Time-Lines to make history come alive for our children.
We all know when kids are not interested in a lesson it makes it harder to learn, and we know that while teaching history it is often difficult to explain where everything fits in the big picture. So many events were happening all over the world at the same time, and the chronology of history and how things fit together can become difficult for kids to grasp.
And then sometimes, History isn’t taught in order, sometimes holidays or events change up what we are teaching. In February we go deeper into black history, March may involve some Irish history, May brings around Cinco de Mayo and a look at Mexican history, July is a time to learn more about America, and when the Olympics come around we take a look at Ancient Greece.
One thing that has been a game changer in our home has been the use of time-lines. Time-lines not only help kids to visualize when events in history happened, but also how everything fits together.
They can easily see the events from Creation to Rome, or events in the Middle Ages that led to Renaissance. Or the events happening before the Revolutionary War all the way into modern day History and the events in the life of your family. Seeing everything laid out is great for the visual learner.
Time-lines also add a hands-on element. Whether you cut and paste figures on a time-line, draw pictures of the events, or simply write in names and dates, it helps bring history lessons to life.
While you can make your own time-lines, there is a fantastic product from Home School in the Woods that makes keeping a time-line easy and fun! The Record of Time notebook from Home School in the Woods is a beautiful keepsake that your kids will come back to year after year, continuing to add to their book the people and events they study in every grade level.
Each time you study a new era in history you can print out figures (the figures are sold separately) and add them to the hard backed notebook. It is sturdy and will last for years.
Our family brings out the Record of Time Notebook and keep adding to it with each school year. It is like having a visual way to review everything we have learned in history over the last few years – right at our fingertips.
As we learn about a new person or event from our History, Science, Bible or language studies we can easily add them to our time-line book. We’ve also added our own family’s marriage and birth dates so the kids can see how they fit into the grand scheme of history.
Using time-lines in our history studies has made a learning history more fun for us! If you are looking for a way to organize and enhance all of the history your child learns, time-lines may be a good fit. They don’t take much time, and will last through the years. They also have wall chart timeline materials and lapbook kits.