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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book of Centuries and Timelines Galore

Our 'Book of Centuries' (which is actually a Timeline Notebook):
*Update - Timelines are AWESOME fun for younger kids. This post outlines the timeline notebook we use communally when the kids are younger and includes creative ideas and links. Please see this post, and this post for details of the actual BoC that CM used! We will start using a Book of Centuries styled after these in AOy7 when each student will make their own. :) Click here and here to see what we've done.

1) I found a 3-ring binder, well yes, it has been love worn hasn't it...
(if I could get a new one here in Peru and if I hadn't glued the cover right onto the front, I'd say I should change binders already!)

2) I downloaded and printed the free Book of Centuries pages from
3) I made a collage of clip arts and such for the cover and taped it right on (if I'd had the option at the time, I'd have gotten one of those binders that has the clear plastic cover).  I use picasa to make my collages [read more here]!
4) I put each page in a clear plastic page protector.
5) I made a beginnings page.

Here's the text from that page:
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  Genesis 1:1

Before there was dirt, grass or houses. When there was no sun, or clouds or oceans - way back then. There was Nothing.

God made Everything.

And time began...

6) I started collecting timeline figures from the internet and here and there and everywhere.  I bought the homeschool in the woods CDs.  The pile of figures below came from some pages I photocopied out of George Washington's world and cut up (AOy4).  The kids like to color these in...

7) In the past, we've been very hit and miss with our Timeline Notebook.  I started it in year one.  But I realized that it was my thing.  Little by little the kids have taken interest.  This year, we are really in earnest.  It actually has its own time slot on the schedule!  Thus the motivation for this post ;) We sometimes paste the figures in, and other times we just slip it into the page protector.  EASY!!  :)  Nothing too fancy or it simply wouldn't get done!!
Here are what some of our pages look like:

If I were a craftsy kinda girl, I'd do one of the cool timeline ideas I've read about, or make up my own.  But I'm not.  So I won't.  To be perfectly honest.  heheh. :)  Here are the ideas that I might do if I had more time, less children... (you may have to join the yahoo group to see the messages?)

Timeline on a string 
{use those little black binder clips (or even paper clips) to hold index cards on fishing line [click here and scroll down, or at the end of the post, click the next entry to read the whole thread]};

or even a Family Tree version.

Below, I've listed some of my favorite links that I've collected over the past several years. Please do share any cool resources you've found or link to your own timeline or book of centuries posts!!

AmblesideOnline specific links:
Common Questions about AO History
The Teaching of Chronology, from the Parent's Review
AmblesideOnline : Files
AmbleRamble : Files

An Island Story:
AmblesideOnline : Message: Re: Island story need timeline figures ch. 22
AmblesideOnline : Message: Our Island Story - Timeline figures

50 Famous Stories:
AO 50 Famous Stories

Timelines Online
BBC - History - British History Timeline - LOVE this one.  Great for An Island Story, AOy1-5  (use the search option for year or name)
Gazetteer for Scotland Scottish History Timeline 17th Century 
World History HyperHistory - another one with lots of time periods.
Here's a page with a timeline for any time or occasion...

Timeline Figures
TO BUY:  I totally recommend these timeline figures.  They are AWESOME.  They have TONS of figures and are very nicely done.  Easy to search for the person you want... you can also use them as coloring sheets... yes.  I love them.  :)  HTTA - Historical Timeline Figures 

FOR FREE:  There are people studied in the AO years that are not included in the above CDs...
Here are the sites I've used:
Images of Famous British People - British Kings, Christian Heroes, etc, etc. (has almost all the AIS kings, even from the first few chapters, if I remember correctly and lots of figures to use for Shakespeare paper dolls or Little Duke, etc.)
The Famous Kings & Queens of England  (I like the look of these figures best for AIS, but I had already printed the figures from the previous link... :) covers years 872 - 1952.

General Clipart:  (I don't know why anyone would choose to do this... too much time to search and format and print, etc... but here are the links I saved when I was deluded enough to think free made it worthwhile!  :)  Clipart ETC Homepage

Timeline Tutorials
Timelines, Paula's Archives  - This is the single most helpful source I've found online.
History Timelines

Timeline Examples
Book of Centuries - I LOVE this book.  If we advance to the point next year, that each boy makes their own (or if I make MY OWN!), I would like to encourage them to look at this one.  Charmaine did a very nice job.
Timeline Ideas

**Hey!  Don't forget...
please, please share any helpful links!!  that way everyone who stops by can benefit!!  :)  Thank you!


Blossom Barden (NorthLaurel) said...

So glad to see you back (don't know if you've been here and I just missed any posts-but either way!)!
Great post and thanks for all the links. I always look forward to your posts; so helpful and when I need it ;)

& are those word verification things getting looooonger??? "slizesti" what kind of word is that?!

Martine said...

Hi Amy,
I was just wondering about the Book of the Centuries - how to do it, when to start. So this is very helpful. I love history and it would be so interesting to make a timeline. Well, someday, maybe..

By the way, did you check Bazar Lamas for 3 ring binders? I have seen them there. But maybe it's not the same kind as you are using? I have never used 3-ring binders, in The Netherlands it's either 2, 4 or many rings. Weird.

See you soon!

Have Fun - Live Life said...

Hi, Love the book of centuries and I know what you mean about it being 'your thing', it was that way at this home too for quite a while but I stuck with it and gradually my children joined in too.
You have been awarded the versatile blogger award so please follow this link below and follow the rules

Lisa xx

Katrina said...

Thanks so much for posting this - I don't know why, but the BoC has always been intimidating (so my kids have missed out). This is just the encouragement I needed to give it a go this next year!

Unknown said...

This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing this. I will have to come back to read more and try to implement it. I have a large family and that has been part of my problem with a timeline as there were so many hands to want to contribute which led to disagreements!! But at the same time there was no way I alone could keep feeding it but I am getting closer to where I want to dig in again and give it a try.

Melissa said...

We're doing a BOC this year too! Looks great!

Unknown said...

I totally understand the 3ring binder dilemma. How do civilizations survive without three ring notebooks? I found four at a stationery shop over a year ago. I bought all they had. Later the shop went out of business. Those are the only 3 ring binders I've EVER seen in China in 8 years. BUT now that i know how to shop online, watch out! I've got SIX on the way right now. Hopefully they will get here tomorrow. So stinking excited. About notebooks. Pitiful. said...

First thanks for stopping by....I have six, but five have already gone past this stage..I love seeing many things that we did. I get to do it again with my four year old.
Are you in Peru? My mother worked with a group called "Friendship" when I was in high school (30 plus years ago) and we had a couple we took care of from Peru!
Blessings and thanks for stopping by my blog
Have a wonderful school passes by so quickly...I KNOW!!!

turtlemama said...

Such perfect timing. We've been keeping a timeline since Year One when my eldest began six years ago (they all contribute to the same one), but, like your BOC, it has for the most part been "my" timeline. I decided that part of the curric for my Year 7 daughter this year will be beginning her own BOC, so I'm getting ideas. I also like Linda Fay's idea at Higher Up and Further In. She has a template there of hers.

Thanks for some more inspiration!


Deedee said...

Hi Amy! Been reading both your blogs in my google reader, but not popping over much for commenting. *blush*

I tried making timelines in the past but my Dh has OCD and having them on show drove him nuts!

then I tried to make a timeline notebook but discovered at the end of the book that I had missed out loads of years and there was no way to add them back in as it was a spiral sketch pad!! Aaarrgggg!!!!

After that I kinda gave up for awhile till I found the 'Wonders of Old' timeline notebook by Teri Johnson. I liked it but when it was available on pdf to print out as many as you wanted on back to back paper - I was sold!

My boys now have two FAB timeline notebooks. Last time we were in the states we bought the History Through the ages timeline figures on disk from HSTW and that has made the whole thing 'work' now!

They love coloring the figures in and sticking them on. We do our notebooks about once a month to 'catch up' on all the things we have covered in all our subjects. It seems to work well this way.

Enjoy your new notebooks! PS- we don't have 3 ring binders in the UK either. All 2 ring ones! - Deedee

Richele said...

There you are! I've not been blogging this summer either. Finally at it again.

BoC - We have a family one in a notebook. I get it out just so we can get in the habit of keeping one before the kidlets have their own.

Didn't Charlotte have a lovely idea? Makes me wonder what she used...

Unknown said...

Amy Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas! We are starting our timeline too. I just bought HTTA, I should be getting the CD in the mail soon. We'll do the binder notebook that way we can remove the pages and put them on the wall if we ever want to.
P.S. I love your ABC's the peruvian way.
thank you
Ursula R

Jamie {See Jamie blog} said...

This year we are FINALLY starting a timeline book! Yay!

Traci's Teaching Times said...

Hi Amy, we have not ever done a time line, but I would really like to do one this year. You have been very helpful towards showing us how to get started, thanks. I am going to add you to my friend's list. Drop by sometimes. I also like the way that you and others blog about how things are so different than the way we have it here in the U.S. Sometimes we take things for granite being able to just run down to the store to purchase what we need.

Jenny said...

Hi! I just found your blog today via the Charlotte Mason Carnival. I am SO glad I did! I have had a great time looking through your blog and have gotten so many great ideas. We are doing AO5 and AO4 at our house this year, plus I have a 3yo and 5yo that will eventually join the AO fun. This is our 2nd year of AO. Thanks for the great info!

amy in peru said...

Hey everybody... I'm just now getting caught up on all these comments and my e-mails from the BUSY last months (we were traveling), so here goes:

Here's a quote on Book of Centuries, from CM Vol 6 pg 176:
"The study of ancient history which cannot be contemporaneous we approach through a chronologically-arranged book about the British Museum (written for the scholars of the P.U.S. by the late Mrs. W. Epps who had the delightful gift of realising the progress of the ages as represented in our great national storehouse). I have already instanced a child's visit to the Parthenon Room and her eager identification of what she saw with what she had read, and that will serve to indicate the sort of key to ancient history afforded by this valuable book. Miss G. M. Bernau has added to the value of these studies by producing a 'Book of Centuries' in which children draw such illustrations as they come across of objects of domestic use, of art, etc., connected with the century they are reading about. This slight study of the British Museum we find very valuable; whether the children have or have not the opportunity of visiting the Museum itself, they have the hope of doing so, and, besides, their minds are awakened to the treasures of local museums."

AO suggests starting a BOC in y4 as the kids begin to have a better understanding of time in the larger sense.

@Lisa! wow thanks! ;)

the BOC was kind of intimidating to me too... but I just printed the pages and put it in a notebook. That way, even if it sits on the shelf MOST of the time, perhaps every once in awhile when you have a free moment it'll catch your eye (or your kids' eye) and then you can add to it as you feel like it.
Eventually it became more of an interest.

It took me 3 years to really start the habit of regularly putting in illustrations! ;)

ours is very primitive... but it is getting done, some day maybe if someone really takes an interest they'll make theirs really cool!


amy in peru said...

that's what I've done too. Actually my y6 boys are required this year to participate in the group book because next year they'll have to do their own... I want them to be thinking about how they'll do their own. I like Linda Fay's site too... I should include the link:

I've seen those timeline books by Knowledge Quest and always thought they looked too pretty... I wouldn't want to mess them up!! ;) But printable... yes, we could do that! The catch up plan is kind of what we did in previous years. This year, I'm making an effort to keep up on it in order to form a habit in the boys to be thinking about it themselves since next year I hope to have them start their own books.

Thanks so much for posting your GREAT experiences!!

Basically what we did too, only it was very empty back then... heheh.
From what I read, it almost seems that the kids made their own illustrations for the BOC's see the quote I put in the comment above this one... what do you think?

Mrs. Hewett said...

Thanks for sharing your timeline book. Can you tell me where you found the graphics for the days of creation on your beginnings page? I'd love to do one of those too and like the simple, streamlined look of your page.

Thanks again!

Karen H

Anonymous said...

If you would like to see a book of centuries from one of Charlotte Mason's students, Eve Anderson, you can check out the CM digital collection at Reedemer College.*81*1D*D3*2F*A9*BF*90*03*C5N*C6Z*E4*E4*3C*FA&Profile=Digital&OpacLanguage=eng&NumberToRetrieve=50&StartValue=2&WebPageNr=1&SearchTerm1=****.5.248&SearchT1=&Index1=Digkeywords&SearchMethod=Find_1&ItemNr=2

Twohoyboys said...

Love reading all your info on book of centuries.  What is " British Kings, Christian Heroes, etc, etc"?

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