We studied history on a 4 year cycle using BiblioPlan for Families, which is based on The Well-Trained Mind. When it came “time” to do a timeline, I looked around the internet and found several pre-printed timelines, but I didn’t like how the scale varied. For example, a timeline for ancient history covering several thousand years and a timeline for modern times covering only a century or two, would both be the same length.
So, after looking and mulling, here is the timeline that I came up with. It folds up nicely, can be flipped through like a book, or can be laid out in rows or a long line for a birds-eye view of history (although we’d only gotten to ancient Greece when I took these pictures)! I also recommend Jen’s Horde: I love timelines! for more timeline ideas.
Each millennium is an accordion of 10 centuries (except for the first and last set); with one century per page of cardstock paper.
The columns are decades.
The rows are for different parts of the world:
Americas (North and South)
Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and Pacific islands)
I added two pages to the beginning for creation (shown below in the Creation – 4001 BC accordion).
Below, I have seven-plus millennia all folded up:
Creation, 5000 BC – 4001 BC
4000 BC – 3001 BC
3000 BC – 2001 BC
2000 BC – 1001 BC
1000 BC – 1 BC
1 AD – 1000 AD
1001 AD – 2100 AD
I used book tape on the back to connect the pages; use any tape that doesn’t tear easily.
You can see how “sparse” much of the ancient history looks when it is laid out:
Most ancient history that we have studied is in the middle east (Africa), some is in the far east (note the figure on the second row).
A note about the dates:
the BC dates listed in the columns are the starting dates
the AD dates listed in the columns are the ending dates
1400 BC means 1400 BC to 1391 BC
1400 AD means 1391 AD to 1400 AD
When we get to “1850 – present”, I plan to just put highlights on this scale timeline and have an expanded accordion with one page per decade. I think this will give us the detail that we need, but we will still be able to put modern history into some perspective with our main timeline.