Building a Timeline with OGE History Cards
Recently, we have received a lot of questions asking us about a timeline – do we have one available; how do you build one; is there one we recommend using; etc. We initially had not considered creating a timeline. We still are not convinced that we need to actually “create” one for purchase because we have built several characteristics of a timeline into our History Cards, thereby enabling YOU to create your own.
On the front of each card is the following:
– a colored triangle (referencing which volume those cards belong to)
– a number that tells you which SOTW chapter the card corresponds to
– an image (painting, photograph, portrait, etc) relating to the title and summary
– a title
– a date (there are a few exceptions in the Ancients)
THESE are all the makings of a GREAT timeline! (See here for a more thorough description of the cards.)
Here are two ideas for making a timeline with Olive Grove’s History Cards:
1. Wall Timeline: As you cover each SOTW chapter and our corresponding History Card, you can place them on the wall. By the end of the year, you will have an amazing, colorful, and thorough timeline to reference. Because we print our cards on heavy weight cardstock and laminate our cards, they will hold up well to this sort of use.
2. Notebook Timeline: Simply place your History Cards inside 5×7 inch page protectors in a binder. You could choose to store them in these, or to add one at a time as you cover each chapter. (Tip: use a binder clip or sticky tab to keep your place!)
These ideas bring up another question: What is the best way to learn a timeline? I think that there are two basic ways to learn a timeline – to learn one event/date at a time, or to learn several (4-6) at a time (this is what many classical curriculums suggest). My personal thought is that the decision is dependent on your child and your goal/need. For example, if you want to learn the timeline of a section of History each year, then you only need to learn one event (with or without the date) at a time. So, the wall method, stated above, would be a wonderful way for you to learn a timeline. If your child is in the lower elementary grades, or struggles with memorizing, I think it best to not frustrate the child, but to still encourage the memorization by focusing in on one section of history. If you have a child that greatly enjoys memorizing and is a bit older, then learning several event and dates at one time would seem quite reasonable. One can simplify or add complexity based on how much information of each event the child memorizes – just the name or title of the event/person, the title and date, or the title, date, and place.
We hope that this helps you to create your own timeline and to adjust yours to meet your own school’s needs. Happy Homeschooling!
Note: SOTW is generally in chronological order, but there are some exceptions where Susan Wise Bauer chooses to deal with one geographical area at a time, or there are several events that occurred in the same timeframe, and the chapters are not in exact chronological order. Because our History Cards have a date and a corresponding chapter number, you can choose in what order you complete the chapters and/or arrange them in your timeline – either by following the SOTW sequence, by chronological date, or otherwise.