Our Same-Scale Timeline

We study 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).

I (or rather, the student) used the squares to judge where to place particular figures/captions that he had printed using History Through the Ages timeline figures.  There is overlap, but the actual dates are on the figures for reference.  I wish that he had gotten into it more so that it looked a little nicer.  Even so, it’s great to pull out and get a birds-eye view of what we have studied.

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

For example:
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.