How To Set Up a History Book of Centuries Timeline


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One of the things my kids started doing during our homeschool history unit studies was to keep a book of centuries. History is an extremely important topic in our homeschool, and I want my children to have a better grasp on the history of our world and of our country. One way kids can connect their studies through time is with a book of centuries. In this blog post, I’m going to show how to set up a history book of centuries.

Book of Centuries vs. Timeline

Before we get into the actual set up of our book of centuries, I’d like to discuss the difference between a book of centuries and a timeline. My kids and I started a timeline way back when I did My Father’s World 1st Grade with my oldest child. I printed out timeline pieces and hung them on the wall. We placed our timeline pieces on the wall in order and that was that.

After moving a few times, the timeline got destroyed and I decided I would have my oldest two children begin working on a book of centuries.

A timeline is simply a line of events in order. The times do not necessarily need to be evenly spaced. A timeline is likely hung on a wall, folded up, or placed in a binder to make it portable.

A book of centuries is a book that covers one century for every two page spread. No centuries are skipped. The book is kept for all of the child’s school years and items are added as they are studied.

How To Set Up a Book of Centuries

We purchased this book of centuries, so the set up was pretty much non-existent. You can use a spiral notebook or a composition book and set up your book of centuries in the same way. Do one century per two page spread with five decades on each page.

How To Use a Book of Centuries

As with any timeline, begin your book of centuries by having your child place their birthdate in the appropriate place. Your child can even add in siblings’ birthdates, parents’ birthdates, and parents’ marriage date. The idea is to give your child a concrete idea of their place in history.

As you begin to study new people, places, and ideas, record those things in the book of centuries in the appropriate place. Have your child write down artists studied, composers, anything studied in history, the dates of scientific discoveries and inventions, etc.

Your child will begin to make even more connections as the book of centuries is filled in with people and events.

A book of centuries is best started when a child is around 10 years old. The child will keep their own book with their own drawings, and own narrations. Until your child reaches that age, a family book of centuries or even a timeline on the wall will suffice.

If you’re looking for even more information on keeping a Charlotte Mason book of centuries, I always recommend Simply Charlotte Mason for their great explanations.

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