I mentioned before that we want each child to make a timeline in our Classical Conversations/Story of the World co-op. We want them to be able to visualize the spacing of events, plus we want them to create their own timeline entries (both written and drawn) because we think they'll learn so very much that way.
Here's the equation, though:
Little kids with biggo handwriting
A timeline covering maaaany centuries
A big, unwieldy timeline
And here are a few other considerations:
- None of us want to hang up big, unwieldy timelines on our walls permanently. If we had a dedicated schoolroom, we probably would gladly, but none of us do.
- My kids still look at their Pre-K journals, and often. That means that information has not just gone in one ear and out the other but instead gets voluntarily reviewed (!). I do not want all of their work from this year to just be in a box somewhere or thrown away. Just some of it. :) Journals are good things that preserve work in tidy ways. I want journals from this co-op laying around for the boys' future perusal.
- We want it to be one long timeline, as opposed to a Book of Centuries, because we think that will help the little kids visualize things better.
A journal/accordian-style timeline (see the black binder on the left?). I'm far from the first to do this (you can quickly find other examples with a Google search, or here's a great one).
They're still not perfect. They're still huge and I shudder to think of seven kids pulling them out at one time. (Of course, they won't have to unfold the whole timeline to tape something to one page.)
And the arrows will stick below the bottom of the binder and so we'll have to fold them up.
BUT it's a big timeline that can fit into a 1/2" binder and, at the same time, will be able to handle my son's five-year-old scrawl.
At the end of the year, I'll probably put photographs and work from the year into the back of the binder, making it kind of an all-inclusive journal of the year. The one thing I don't expect is that it will be a timeline that can be carried over to other years. I think we'll just be out of room on the timeline. Some families do have multi-year timelines or Books of Centuries that they keep adding, and adding, and adding to (see? and see?), and that is super cool and probably something we'll do later, but if I want them to make their own timeline entries (as opposed to cutting and pasting someone else's), then we'll have to wait for either smaller handwriting or gobs of wall space.
Here are close-ups of what I did (and I'll attach the files at the bottom of the post):
I printed all eighteen pages onto cardstock and taped this little strip onto the first page so that the whole thing could lay flush inside the binder.
Then I (put a movie in to entertain myself and) began taping the eighteen pages together. I alternated between taping on the front and taping on the back (see below) so that it would make it more obvious how to fold it up each time. (When it's only taped on one side, it sort of naturally bends one direction.)
So there you have it. That's our plan for this year. We may find that it wasn't a good one, that the kids felt like their timeline entries were cramped and we simultaneously felt like we were being engulfed by giant, neverending timelines. But...we want them to make their own timeline entries. We'll see how it goes!
- Portrait timeline pages with dates that correspond to Cycle 2 of CC
- Landscape timeline pages that would work better for a wall, as opposed to a binder (that box on the last page is for the child's name)
- NEW and improved timeline arrows (slimmer, easier, and shorter than the ones I made at first)--The arrows on the first three pages are wider than the arrows on pages 4-6. We'll use the wider ones most weeks (using the narrow ones only if we have a lot of arrows to squish into a small time period).
- Drawing boxes