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Timelines for Homeschool

Updated on June 9, 2015

A Tool for Seeing History

Timelines are an important complement to any homeschool history curriculum no matter your spine or educational philosophy. They are especially good for visual learners because they offer a view of historical events in a pictorial way.

Even very young children can use a timeline to see the span of time between events. Any historical person or event that you study can be placed on the timeline. So the timeline can integrate your studies in art, music, literature, and science, with your history studies. And you can include your own family's events such as births or marriages as well.

Types of Timelines for Homeschool

There are endless ways to make a timeline. But they can be categorized into four main types:

Introducing Timelines to Children

I love this idea from Montessori for Everyone. This free PDF shows how history is arranged around the life of Christ -- BC and AD. The term century is also used. This is a great visual aid for helping children understand how to read timelines.

Wall Chart Timelines

Wall charts offer an "at a glance" view of history, but require a great deal of wall space.

Pictured to the right is a wall chart timeline from Konos. It is a large, durable timeline that can be used with any curriculum. We've used ours for three years now, and even though we plan to start using a notebook timeline, we will keep our wall chart up for reference.

Knowledge Quest Maps also offers a 10 feet by 1 foot banner wall chart timeline for sale.

Using ordinary posterboard and address labels can produce a very adequate timeline as well.

For creating a timeline with sentence strips and bulletin board border, visit this wonderful blog entry with pictures!

Although most people think of horizontal lines for timelines, you can use vertical lines as explained at Eleven Oreos blog.

Another option that has the big view of a wall timeline but the convenience of a notebook timeline is creating a fold-away timeline which can be pulled out or put away as desired. These can be made on many different types of bases:

a display board,

sewing board,

sheets of posterboard,

sheets of foam board,

cardboard,

file folders, or

legal file folders.

Notebook Timelines - Or Book of Centuries

The main plus of a notebook timeline is that it can be easily stored away on a shelf. In addition, each child could easily have his own notebook timeline. In Charlotte Mason circles, a notebook timeline is called a "book of centuries." You can see a book of centuries in action at Harmony Art Mom's blog and at Fisher Academy.

This picture shows Sonlight Curriculum's Book of Time. It is a notebook timeline with heavy cardstock pages. Each page has dates printed on it. You simply affix the timeline figures for what you are studying onto the correct page of the timeline notebook.

Beside the notebook are the timeline figures printed on adhesive paper. Sonlight offers these packages with their core progams. The images come from Homeschool in the Woods but are specially chosen to match their curriculum. Therefore, although The Book of Time could easily be used alongside any curriculum, SL's timeline figures would be useful only to those using SL curriculum.

Many other curriculum providers offer their own timeline notebooks. If you use a certain curriculm, check to see if that company offers a timeline package. It will probably be worth the expense because of the great convenience you will find with custom designed set.

Winter Promise's notebook timeline pages

Pick and choose what will work best for you. For years I used the Konos wall chart with Sonlight's timeline figures.

There are retail options and free downloads with which you can "do it yourself."

Index Card Timelines

Yet another option is an index file timeline. Each event is put on one index card. The cards are then filed away in chronological order in a box or basket. The cards can also be strung on a line with paperclips or clothespins for a hanging timeline.

Visit Buntglas for some amazing timeline activities. These go beyond index card timelines into a whole different dimension. Just go see for yourself. The blog is in Italian, but there are lots of photos, and you will quickly see how this family uses rope, clothespins, and timeline cards to make an elaborate timeline. Here is another post, this time a music timeline.

Consider variations such as colored index cards or various sized cards to categorize your events.

Mini-book or One Page Timelines

If your unit study or weekly lessons lend themselves to it, you may want to create a specific timeline on a small scale. Minibooks can be a creative way to make timelines. Or a simple one page timeline can be made if notebooking is your style.

Read this article about teaching children to make timelines for a book report or a unit study. Or try some of these online timeline generators:

Amy Pak's Timeline Figures

Homeschool in the Woods

When shopping for timeline figures, the one name you'll come across again and again is Homeschool in the Woods. And there is good reason.

Homeschool in the Woods is the business created by Amy Pak, a super talented artist and homeschool mother. She is known for her beautiful art and well made resources.

She sells sets of timeline figures to put on your own timeline. The figures work for wall timelines, notebook timelines, index card timelines, or for many other homeschool projects. The complete CD, although quite an investment, will last you throughout your homeschooling career. The images can be manipulated to be used in many other applications such as notebooking pages and lapbooking projects.

Most of the figures seen on the timeline in the photo to the right are Amy Pak's work.

Bible Timeline Resource

Because the many events of the New Testament spanned such a short time period, putting timeline figures on a wall chart or notebook timeline may be unrealistic. Instead, you can make a separate timeline just for Bible events. This book is a great reproducible resource for images of major events in the Bible.

Free Timeline Figures Online

There are many options for FREE timeline figures. You can search the Internet for images related to the events you study, or you can use some of these free online timeline figures or clip art resources.

Retail Sources for Timeline Figures

Besides Homeschool in the Woods products featured above, there are other options for buying timeline figures.

Articles about Timelines

If you'd like to read a bit more about timelines -- their uses and how to make them, visit some of the sites below.

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    • lrdl3535 profile image

      Richard Lindsay 17 months ago from California

      Great post, lots of good helpful information for homeschooling.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 3 years ago from Guatemala

      This is such a great resource! We are just starting to do timelines with my kids and I love them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome resource! Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      EXACTLY what I hoped to find all in one post.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great resource page. I'm going to pin it for future reference as I'm shopping around for free to inexpensive timeline figures for our timelines this coming year.

    • aliciamaggie54 profile image

      aliciamaggie54 5 years ago

      This seems like a great way to learn. Love the options you have here.

    • AHERMITT LM profile image

      AHERMITT LM 5 years ago

      Thanks for a great homeschooling lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens! I love maps, charts, and timelines so I'm thrilled about doing this with our children. Thanks for all the great resources!

    • profile image

      demiki 5 years ago

      Awesome!! What a great lense! Thank You for all the wonderful info. We are just starting our hs journey (dd5yo). This is a true asset!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks! It's a great help for my LA project.

    • profile image

      SnoopyGirl1 5 years ago

      What a great resource! Thanks Jimmie!

    • wadsworth lm profile image

      wadsworth lm 5 years ago

      Awesome, it is like Pintrest meets scrap booking.

    • profile image

      ScrollSawChuck 5 years ago

      We were homeschool parents, and are now homeschool grandparents. Thanks for the great lens and the information.

    • profile image

      CPDInteractive 5 years ago

      wow, this is great information!!! Thank you for writing this :)

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      Wall charts are good for describing events in history. The horizontal line works great over the vertical line approach because it allows students to see the times easier from past to present.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      Homeschooling: The Last Best Hope of America.

    • MyTimeAlone profile image

      MyTimeAlone 5 years ago

      Too bad most kids at school don't have the same opportunities that great homeschoolers get. Nice lens.

    • LisaGraceBooks profile image

      LisaGraceBooks 5 years ago

      Very nicely organized with lots of options. I home schooled my daughter for one year (she's in second grade now) and see plenty of tools I would use if I decide to home school her again. Thank you.

    • profile image

      pianolessongirl 5 years ago

      This is a wonderful resource, I wish I would have had this when I was younger. I absolutely had the WORST time with timelines....thanks for such great knowledge.

    • profile image

      RobinDM 5 years ago

      I love having this fabulous information all in one place. What an encouragement and a help in planning!

    • markettrol profile image

      markettrol 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed your lens....great info....Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Holy Schmoly! What an incredible resource you've compiled here! Thanks so much for such thorough info.

    • CarolineS01 profile image

      CarolineS01 5 years ago

      reading this information about timelines is a nice thing to do. I really enjoyed it.

    • seeker2011 lm profile image

      seeker2011 lm 6 years ago

      i enjoy timelines and still use them for various things. i use one in my family tree to give historical events so that i can see what ancestors would have been reading about at there time. nice lense

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      added this lens as a featured lens to my Epic ballad of Poetry lens.

    • MoneySavingEnth profile image

      MoneySavingEnth 6 years ago

      I'm a certified teacher. Those timelines are very impressive.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Wonderful! We used both the long timeline on the wall (when the children were younger) and the timeline notebook in our homeschooling.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Glad I stopped by this very nice resource of information. Blessed!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      Excellent ideas. Children don't learn enough about history now days. My children are grown, and I still feel like I am teaching them history.

    • profile image

      Light-in-me 6 years ago

      I really love how you used pictures to show the different types of timelines.

      excellent lens, thanks for sharing.

      Robin :)

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      Back to school angel bus stopped by w/ a blessing!

    • AngelDey profile image

      AngelDey 6 years ago

      This is cool. We have them in our history book, but making them lifesize and interactive is a great idea. I always love it when you can make something interactive. It makes learning more fun.

    • TeacherRenee profile image

      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      Thank you for highlighting this important teaching tool. Timelines are fantastic because they help visual learners "see" the information in a different way than just reading it on a page. Timelines are a fantastic learning tool!

    • Shanir LM profile image

      Shanir LM 6 years ago

      hmm, homeschooling has always interested me and I always wanted to try it! never happened though lol, great lens :)

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 6 years ago

      Reminded me of my school days.Nice collection of pictures as well to create such a lens.....Awesome..........

    • profile image

      YourFirstTime 6 years ago

      Seeing this makes me nostalgic. I remember my teachers doing a lot of these activities.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I found your timeline page in the midst of our homeschooling timeline creation project! Thanks, inspired me to keep on with the project and add great new ideas. I can only echo what JoshK47 said "Awesome resource for homeschoolers!"

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Awesome resource for homeschoolers!

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      Fascinating! Here's a small blessing for well done job...!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This was a very thorough and helpful page about timelines. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I have opened more than half your links to read more! :-)

    • profile image

      ShellB 6 years ago

      Great timeline ideas!

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Keep sharing always. Please PRAY for JAPAN by visit on Squidoo!!

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      love the indexed card timelines! great lens! cheers

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      Great lens. I appreciate all the links you have included. I am always intimidated by timelines, but might give it a go for next year's history.

    • JulieS LM profile image

      JulieS LM 6 years ago

      I'm not sure if my comment went through??

    • JulieS LM profile image

      JulieS LM 6 years ago

      I am a timeline junkie so I love this lens! In the first 8 years of homeschooling, we used the Konos timeline and faithfully added the characters as we studied units. Later we used Homeschool in the Woods set which is great. Please visit me at

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for this detailed post. I love sharing how I keep our homeschool fun at http://www.examiner.com/homeschooling-in-greenvill...

    • profile image

      aace234 6 years ago

      wow this is awesome! I never thought of time to work in that way awesome work here! i would love to track time in the present and see how i did when I get into the hour future using my time tracking app form tsheets thanks again! Great post! More!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have been reading and following the links in this article for hours! Thank you SO MUCH for all of the research you have saved me. I greatly appreciate your work and will refer back to this article and share it often. Great job!

    • profile image

      daisygreen 6 years ago

      Nice article and i get help from your article

    • profile image

      daisygreen 6 years ago

      nice article, get help from you , and want to own it!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Such an inspiring page my dear -- cannot wait to see your marvelous ebook! Merry Christmas my dear ... still thinking "merry" you know? May you have a blessed rest of the year and a very Happy AND Blessed New Year that is all that you could want it to be!

    • profile image

      lilgirllapbooker 6 years ago

      Hey! Do you know where I can find a free wall timeline? Thanks! Nice Lens!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Great way to teach history

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Home Schooling is hard but what are the benefits over regular schooling?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      It a lot of work to home school. Great lens!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a great resource! I am recommending your lens to my son and daughter-in-law. They homeschool their children. I believe this is a resource they will use!

    • rwoman profile image

      rwoman 6 years ago

      This should be very helpful to all sorts of teachers!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens. Thank you.

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 6 years ago

      I wish I had you as a resource when my son was younger. This is beautifully put together! I love the way it so well explained and the arrangement of the photos makes it visually impressive. Thank you!

    • profile image

      resume-analyst 6 years ago

      Very constructive lens. Keep up the good posting.

      Grtz

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 7 years ago from USA

      Very helpful! I love these ideas!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      Great info about Timelines. Love all of your homeschool lenses!

    • Kristenph profile image

      Kristenph 7 years ago

      Great timeline tips Jimmie. I was looking for a way for my son to make a timeline on the computer. Did you run across anything like that?

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 7 years ago

      Wow! This is great!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Nice to get kids (and parents) involved easier. Nice post, thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you for covering timelines so in depth and with links. Very fortunate to find your website. I am a bit overwhelmed by all the choices. But I really like the notebook and mini-notebook options. Now who to buy from?!

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 7 years ago from Texas

      I liked timelines as a student and now as a certified teacher I think they really rock. I've never seen the notecard timeline...love it. I'm going to share with my teacher friends.

    • RobininColorado profile image

      RobininColorado 7 years ago

      Your time lines have made me even more excited about history this year! Thank you, Jimmie!

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 7 years ago from Corona, CA

      Wow, terrific lens. Had no idea how cool and educational time lines could be.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very informative lens! I am off to put in my list for future blog posts on my history blog.

    • ScientificHomes profile image

      ScientificHomes 7 years ago

      Such a great resource! Thanks Jimmie!

    • pyngthyngs profile image

      pyngthyngs 7 years ago

      What an excellent lens. These timelines would be a great supplement to any homeschoolers curriculum. Looking at concepts graphically always helps me grasp everything quicker and at a higher level.

    • profile image

      mngtproject 7 years ago

      Well you gave me a correct sense of Timelines for Homeschool. This lens should be get 5 stars.

      Thanks

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      I love this lens Jimmie! I have made it the

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      We made a timeline with a cord. Take a look here http://buntglas.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/timeline-... and here http://buntglas.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/musictime... and here http://buntglas.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/geschicht... for example of our using it. It's much fun.

    • profile image

      SadieCope 7 years ago

      I once made a timeline out of cut up file folders. I cut them into narrow strips, taped them together and then taped them around the room, at the top of the wall near the ceiling - like a wall border. As we went through our studies, the kids colored and cut out little figures and we added them to the timeline. It was cheap, easy and effective!!! Great Squidoo Lense.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I think you should add Guest Hollow's free timeline to your page - it is the one I use and I think it is a great free choice!

      http://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/history/time...

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Thanks Jimmie! These are beautiful pictures of timelines. I've always wanted to purchase the Amy Pack pictures but the children have been illustrating our timeline figures so far.

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 7 years ago

      This is just amazing! I have learn so much with your lenses. I have two children and I always wanted to Homeschool my kids but I don't know how. This is very useful! Thank you 5*

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      Joan4 8 years ago

      I wish someone had taught me about timelines when I was studying history! I must be a visual learner. Time lines have always fascinated me. I used them to teach young adults about setting goals, and how a poor decision along the way could affect those goals! I sure could have learned my history lessons better! Blessed by a joyful SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great info! I'm a teacher in the NYC public school system. I'm glad the internet allows all of us who are committed to quality education, whether at home or school, to share resources. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This is great! We're getting ready to begin our first history program this fall; this will be an excellent reference!

      Sam(antha)

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Nice Lens, what a valuable resource for homeschoolers!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      When we homeschooled one of our favorite books was a timeline of history throughout the world. It's fascinating to compare what was happening with the Incas and the Chinese for example at any given time period. So often these civilizations are studies in isolation. Timelines helped us to organize our studies and make those comparisons.

      Thank you for illustrating the various types of timelines.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thank you so much for the helpful information and pictures! I also wanted to mention another source for beautiful time line figures and events: www.holdthatthought.com

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 8 years ago

      Excellent resource list - I didn't realize there were so many ready-made timelines out there! Welcome to The Homeschooling Group - you're a featured lens!

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 8 years ago

      This is a great lens and I love your photos. I'm a teacher and a homeschooler and I just got an idea for one of my units! Thanks.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 8 years ago

      I love this lens! Timelines are a great educational tool. I love Amy Pak's stuff. She has a lot of great resources. 5*

    • KadabaCo profile image

      KadabaCo 8 years ago

      Awesome! This is sooooo useful to our homeschooling house! We're using The Story of the World series and these tips will come in very handy! I'll tell our network about them! 5*'s and favorited!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 8 years ago from England

      Excellent resource for educators. I'll be checking out the links soon ;)

    • profile image

      HomeSchoolHelp 8 years ago

      Wow! What a fantastic lens and a fantastic resource! Beautiful work!

    • profile image

      jpetals 8 years ago

      Another great homeschooling resource by you! Wonderful. =)

    • SewWithSarah profile image

      SewWithSarah 8 years ago

      Thank you SOOOO much for the fantastic info! My daughter has 3 year old quadruplets and an older son who is 4 years old. She and her husband want to homeschool them, so I'm passing this info along to her. We're checking out all information we can in advance so they'll be able to do the homeschooling. Thanks so much!

    • Music-Resource profile image

      Music-Resource 8 years ago

      Hi Jimmie: Timelines looks like a fun way to learn about and appreciate history, nice job. ~Music Resource~

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 8 years ago

      What a great lens and looks like fun too !!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      www.xtimeline.com is a website that you and your students can use to make and share timelines online using photos, videos, and text. it's fun and easy to use!

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 9 years ago

      There are always so many great resources and ideas on your lenses. Your lenses really do inspire me to start different homeschool projects. Blessings to you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I am so happy to have you featured in my Parenting Group Parenting on Squidoo. Please check back often to add any of your new lenses to the group. I'm always looking for new feature topics, so make a suggestion and I will do my best to make it happen!

      Ashley

      Hollywood Glam on a Budget

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Want more traffic to your lens?

      I would like to FEATURE your lens in my "HomeSchool" section of my my Parenting Group! You can join and I will be sure to feature your lens.

      Parenting on Squidoo.

      Ashley

      Hollywood Glam on a Budget