I feel that historical timeline figures are an important part of a living history approach to homeschooling. Even in an unschooling home like ours, they really help kids understand the flow of events. I mean, if one day you’re learning about spacecraft and the next day, you’re looking up Roman columns, you need some context, right? Without a timeline, it can get pretty confusing and hard to see the big picture. And, no matter what approach you use in your homeschool, you can incorporate historical timeline figures. In fact, I feel that everyone absolutely needs to.
Why You Need to Use Historical Timeline Figures
When I was growing up, we studied the history of the United States separately from the history of Europe and Central and South America. Ashamedly, I don’t think we studied the history of the continents of Africa, Asia, or Australia except as they related to European history. So, as a child, I didn’t understand the relationship between the Napoleonic Wars and the Louisiana Purchase or that the Aztec Empire flourished during the European Renaissance. You see, my teachers never used historical timeline figures. We just read the textbook. And so of course, I grew up hating history class. So, when I taught my own children history, I made sure to incorporate timelines. Here are a few pages out of my younger son’s timeline book. We used Homeschool in the Wood’s Printable Essential Timeline Library.
See the flow of history at a glance
Another reason you need historical timeline figures is to easily show history at a glance. You can use a book, like I did, and flip through the pages. Or, you can use a wall chart or poster. A third way is an accordion style fold out or a modified lapbook. (Learn more about teaching with lapbooks.) And yet another way to do it is using the length of the walls in your home to post figures along, as if the wall itself were the timeline. However you choose to do it, it allows your child to quickly and easily see how things changed and progressed. And, if you use the Printable Essential Timeline Library from Homeschool in the Woods, you can print the figures in whatever size you need.
Historical timeline figures help special needs kids visualize history
Every kid does better with hands-on activities because kids are very sensory oriented. But, special needs kids especially need hands-on activities. The more they can experience a topic, the more “hooks” they have for recalling information. I especially liked the Homeschool in the Woods Printable Essential Timeline Library for my special kids. They offer the historical timeline figures you see in the images above, with the information pre-written, and they offer them with just the dates as well. This was great for the ones who struggled with writing. In addition, because I could print the figures full page or small, timeline size, my kids could avoid cutting them out. Or, I could use them as coloring pages, notebook pages, etc. Homeschool in the Woods offers additional ideas for teaching with timelines, if you desire.
A true love of history!
Because I used historical timeline figures in conjunction with living books and hands-on activities, my kids loved history! My sons especially love history and continue to teach themselves about time periods and cultures that interest them. Homeschool in the Woods Printable Essential Timeline Library and their other products were a big part of that.