Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Timeline Figures from Home School in the Woods {review}

Homeschool Mom Confession:  I have never implemented a timeline.  I know I should, and from the Charlotte Mason perspective, timelines and the Book of Centuries (which is a specific form of a timeline in a book) are imperative to history, particularly for allowing the child to make connections.  I just never found the right way to go about it, that didn't feel overwhelming to me.  I had already told myself this coming school year would be the year to start something, so when I was given the opportunity to review Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures from Home School in the Woods, I knew it would be a good opportunity to finally figure something out for keeping records for history.


Home School in the Woods Timeline Figures


The Timeline Figures were a digital download licensed to a single family, though teacher or school licenses are also available.  Once I downloaded the collection in two sets, I realized there were a lot of "pages," similar to their other products, but there are Help pages and everything you need to figure out how to get started, so it's just a matter of taking the time to acquaint yourself with it.  It opens like a webpage, so I just bookmarked the pages, and I am good to go!

These timeline figures can be used in so many ways!  Among the files you will find information on how to use the figures--with wall timelines, notebook timelines, card files, matching games, file folder games, lapbooks, and penmanship notebooks. I love the idea of using the figures to accompany copywork passages - I could see using them as coloring pages for my rising 1st grader while I read, then she could do a related copywork passage afterwards!

These appear to have originally been on CD (and you can still purchase them that way), and that is how the pages are labeled, which each "CD" organized differently.

On the first page (CD 1) everything is chronological, and within each subcategory, you will find sets of pages with multiple figures.

Home School in the Woods Timeline Figures


These are PDFs, and you can print each page in one of four ways.

-Wall timeline figures with text
-Wall timeline figures without text
-Notebook timeline figures with text
-Notebook timeline figures without text

The notebook sizes are offered for those that cannot scale their printings, but if you wish to change the scale, they recommend doing it with the wall timeline figures.

Home School in the Woods Timeline Figures
Wall Size with Text, from Napoleon to Now


The second page (CD 2) organizes the figures by category.  This is helpful if you're studying a more narrow topic, or want individual figures.  I love that since we're studying modern history next year, I can go straight to the primary topics that I want to focus on (WWI, WWII, Civil Rights, Cold War, etc.) or a topic that is of particular interest to my kid, and print off individual figures.  Some people/events will naturally fall into multiple categories--I noticed Billy Graham under both Authors and Religious Figures for example, but you can always use the Complete List of Images to quickly find what you need.

Home School in the Woods Timeline Figures


The images on CD 2 are GIF and are higher quality for printing in larger sizes--so this is what we'll use for notebooking, coloring or copywork pages.  There are also instructions for copying them into a document--if you're wanting to print several varied, specific figures, instead of the prearranged groups from the first CD.

As of right now, we're kind of at that weird place in the summer where we're finished with last year's work, and we're taking a break to prepare for next year and new curriculum and books, but I don't really want to STOP all schooling because I want them to know learning is continuous, and of course it helps to keep a light routine.  So I've collected a few memorable people/events from their history last year - this was a screen shot from some we chose to represent my oldest son's history.  We love that it's more than just pictures of famous people--so many events are represented through maps and symbols!

Home School in the Woods Timeline Figures
Various GIFs copied into Pages to represent exactly what we want!

It's a gentle way to review, and then once we officially resume lessons, we'll already have a few figures ready for us to start making connections!  I think we're going to stick with a Book of Centuries style notebook method for my rising 5th and 7th graders.  I think this will be the most efficient and space saving, and having these timeline figures will be beneficial for my kids who are intimidated by drawing.

Additionally, the Timeline Figures are helping us to prepare for next year because I decided to make notebook dividers for some of the main topics we're going to study this year, knowing we can add more as they want/need them.  I just printed them, without text, on card stock paper.  Preparing them gives the kids a peek into the year and kind of whets the appetite for what's to come!  Behind the dividers, they can put any lists or vocabulary notes, written narrations, drawings, or maps.  So it'll be a different type of "mini-timeline" in a notebook and a collection of their thoughts and work that correlate.

Home School in the Woods Timeline Figures
Divider's for my 7th Grader's Modern History studies

Final Thoughts
This is a very comprehensive set, but as with any product based on time, it is not going to be completely up to date.  The section on U.S. Presidents stopped at George W. Bush for instance.  However, as homeschoolers, I feel it is my job to teach my children how to improvise.  There is no reason they can't figure out how to create their own timeline figure if what they want doesn't exist in this set.

This set still saves a lot of time for everyone who does not want to create or hunt down all of the images on their own.  The images are great quality and I'm very pleased with this product!  The best thing is that it is not curriculum specific--it can be used with any history curriculum or homeschooling method from traditional to Charlotte Mason to unit studies to unschooling.

If you need more information about implementing timelines in the homeschool, I suggest reading Teaching With Timelines by Amy Pak.  Timelines offer much more than a visual representation of history, and with this collection of timeline figures that also encompasses not just historical figures and events, but also scientists, artists, composers and authors, you'll see how history is influenced by scientific advances, and how the current events of the time influenced culture.  Everything is intertwined, and I think a great timeline will help showcase this and allow more natural connections.


Home School in the Woods

I have reviewed several Home School in the Woods products in the past.

Great Empires
Wonders of the World
History Games - À La Carte Projects

This doesn't even scratch the surface of what they have to offer, and I highly check out the variety of hands-on history projects and supplemental products they carry.  The Homeschool Review Crew is currently reviewing Time Travelers and Project Passport products, so be sure to check out more reviews.

World History (Project Passport), U.S. History Studies (Time Travelers) and Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures  {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

For more information, visit Home School in the Woods, or check them out on social media!



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