Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Homeschooling - Making a History Timeline DIY

Believe it or not, that is one segment of a homemade history timeline that our family made during the years we homeschooled the kids (21 years in all!)  The photos below are not in order, and are only a few segments of the timeline, but they give you a general idea of what we did to construct our history timeline.

So why make your own timeline when there are others available for purchase? After all, it's a lot easier to hit the 'Buy Now' button than it is to do the work of actually cutting out pictures and making date tags.

I had seen history timelines that could be purchased, ready to place on a wall. I had also seen timelines that were in book form. BUT it seemed to me that it would be much more helpful to the learning process if we could actually make our own timeline, putting up adding machine tape in rows (7 in all) across  two adjacent walls in our school room, and adding our own tags and pictures.

As we studied something, we would cut pictures out of old National Geographics we got from library sales (not touching their duplicates which sat on our bookshelves), and would staple tags onto the wall. So yes, we still have the bookshelf that contains about 18 linear feet of those yellow-covered magazines.

I'm sure that now we could simply go online and find all the pictures we needed, could download them and print them out. Things have come a long way since we started homeschooling all those years ago.

You can see that the timeline was pretty beaten up by the time our homeschooling years were over. These photos were taken after the homeschooling years, just before I reluctantly removed the timeline from the walls. Of all the objects I used for homeschooling, the timeline we'd made ourselves was the most difficult to part with. At least I have the photos, as long as Carbonite doesn't let me down.

I think some tags fell off this one.

The colored ribbons were stapled from one date to another to indicate the years covered by the reign of that particular monarch.

As I said before, these are not in order. But you will notice that in the years B.C., the dates on the adding machine tape were much closer together than they were between A.D. 1500 and A.D. 1600, for example. We had a lot more information for that time period and needed more space in which to place our pictures and tags. Still, once we went to a wider spacing, we kept that uniform for the remainder of the timeline.

Evidently that poor guy lost his right foot during the Plague that struck London in 1665. A plague and a fire. Why is this making me want to visit England again??

Yes, we did study American history, and those lines ran beneath this timeline, concurrently, so that you could see, for example, what was going on in the world at the time that Jamestown Colony was being established.

Aside:  When Jamestown was established, by the way, Pandy Inn in Dorstone, Herefordshire, had already been a free house for 500 years - and still is. But that wasn't on our timeline.

Pandy Inn, Twelfth Century Free House

Did you notice with what little encouragement my brain turns to England?? It's pathetic, isn't it!

By the way, it's a great idea to make a timeline even if your kids aren't in school at home. It's a fun project for everyone involved, it's inexpensive, and it's a very effective learning tool.

'Southern Magnolia'
Natural, Handcrafted Vegan Luxury Soap
Buy Five, Get One FREE Sale

now through March 21

On all our handcrafted soaps at


 This post may be linked to some of the following: Mop it Up Monday  and  Cure for the Common Monday and Mealtime Monday and Clever Chicks Blog Hop and Mosaic Monday  and Barn Charm and  The Marketplace  and On the Menu Monday and  Mix it up Monday and Make it Pretty Monday and   What's in the Gunny Sack and  Making the World Cuter Mondays and Make the Scene Monday and  Something I Whipped Up Monday and  Motivate Me Monday and  Making Monday Marvelous and Get Your Craft On and   You're Gonna Love it Tuesday and Creative Showcase and  Tweak it Tuesday and  Coastal Charm Tuesday and  Take a Look Tuesday and  Tasty Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday and Love Bakes Good Cakes and  Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays  and Overflowing With Creativity and Mom on TimeOut  and Adorned from Above and 3boysandadog and Trueaimeducation and Cast Party Wednesday and  We Did it Wednesday  and It's a Party at Creative Princess and Artsy Corner Thursday  and The Self-sufficient Home Acre and  I'm Lovin' it Thursday and  Mandatory Mooch   and Foodie Friends Friday and  Serenity Saturday and Get Schooled Saturday  and Inspiration Friday(ThursNite) and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Photo Friday and  A Favorite Thing Saturday and Sunny Simple Sunday and Market Yourself Monday and  Saturday Nite Special


  1. Forget kids, I want to make one for myself!!

    Anyway, we haven't had a plague here in ages :)

  2. I think homeschooling is such a great thing, and know quite a few home-schoolers. I wonder if any of your children are homeschooling their children? Love your timeline photos - excellent idea and I can see that it would be a great learning tool. We did a Bible study a year ago that used a timeline.

  3. really interesting to see, i would never have thought of this. a great way to learn hisory

  4. This is fantastic, Judy! And I agree.. why go out and purchase something like this? Making your own would be part of the learning fun! The perfect way to learn in my book!!

  5. That is a great way to learn. Fun to make one about your own family's history too-- when people were born, when they moved, got married, different jobs, etc. Tots can even do ones about themselves or pets. Very educational!

  6. My brain turns to England, too, so I understand that feeling well.

    Thanks so much for the prayers. I know that his mom will appreciate seeing that lots of people are praying for them. I know I appreciate the prayers for us. Prayer moves mountains.



  7. Wonderful! You know...I've learned more as a homeschooling mom than attending school when I was a kid!

  8. I'll mention this idea to my son and his family! I love this! What a fabulous idea!

  9. That was FANTASTIC!!! I know you must have hated to take that down.

    I didn't know you home schooled yours too - no wonder your daughter is doing it too.


  10. What an awesome timeline! I love the higgledy-piggledy look.


  11. This is analyzing amount of work and a great learning tool! I would to be able to do this when my kids start really studying history. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  12. Greetings from Texas! My little ones (five in all) and I wanted to write and say thank you for the great idea... we have started a timeline of our own this morning! The adding machine tape is up, nearly all the way around our room, and we have it sectioned off from creation to the 2000's. We are so excited and cant wait to put up pictures of everything we have allready studied in history/bible! Thanks again for the wonderful inspiration!!!God bless

  13. This is a great idea <3 Where can I find that tape? Any idea how to stick it to the wall with out staples or regular tape? ;) Hubby would not be happy lol I'm so happy to find this! The notebook time lines are super boring to me!

  14. Where can the tape be found? Thank you so much , this is the best idea ever. The notebook versions of a timeline are super boring to me <3


Hi! And thanks for stopping in at Cranberry Morning. I love reading your comments and visiting your blogs. I am unable to respond to No-Reply bloggers, so please make sure to enable your email address on your blog. Also, many Google+ blogs don't allow me to comment because I'm not a member of Google+. So, I'm not deliberately avoiding you, but Google+ is not commenter friendly.