Time Line vs. Book of Centuries

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  • artcmomto3

    We are finishing up 1st grade, so we haven’t started a book of centuries yet, but I’m planning to start something next year.  I like the idea of a time line where you can see everything laid out in chronological order (I am a very visual person), but it can be quite spacious on the wall, and the BOC would keep things neat and orderly in a book.  I would love to hear your experiences and what has worked well for your family.

    If you don’t have a lot of space, my first thought is you could opt for an accordion style timeline that folds out. If you google this, there’s a lot of examples. I prefer BOC, but I would wait for my child to be older so it can be theirs to fill in.

    Also, Homeschool in the Woods has some great options as well. Here are some examples…



    I forgot to add that for bible history timeline for younger ages, I use the Big Picture Timeline book below..


    My kids love it! I make copies and they color. I place them in a binder and refer to it for review. I hope to make a scroll that they can roll out and look at when they want.


    I just saw a product that looks like it would work well as both a timeline and BOC since it accordian folds and has some neat features. Here is their site:



    We do a sketch book time line like the one here under linear timelines #2: http://homeschoolinthewoods.com/HTTA/TimelineHelps/

    One page spread covers 100 years.  It’s visual yet compact.


    One of our timelines is a big “book” I made.  I think it is really good for younger kids because you can use larger pictures and writing.  What I did was get two black foam boards at Target.  I think they are about 18×30.  These are the front and back covers of the book.  For the pages, I bought a roll of that brown craft/wrapping paper in the shipping supplies.  I unrolled the whole thing and then accordian folded it to the same size as the book covers.  I glued it to the inside of the front and back covers.  I’m not sure if that makes any sense.  Anyway, I like it because it can be completely folded out if you want to see a whole span of history, or you can just look at one 2-page spread at a time if you keep it folded up like a book.  



    I spent a whole summer putting together a basic timeline for our school room walls. Our children are very visual and my husband and I felt that it was important for them to SEE the big picture of history as we study. At the time they were in the 4th and 5th grades and needed to understand where Bible events and other secular events fit into history. I decided to make a timeline with major events from secular and Biblical history combined to help them understand how it all fits together. We add to it as we study other, new things. I went ahead and put the entire thing up last year when we started school and did a general over view of history with them. Then we started Joshua-Malachi & Ancient Greece. We’ve added more to the time line in different places as we studied artists, poets, composers, and historical events and people. I made an eBook that helps others put their own timeline together using what I used. It includes instructions, hot links to free clip art for each figure listed on the timeline, and labels ready to print. If you go to my blog you can see some pictures of it.

    You can see it here: http://teachthemdiligently-amanda.blogspot.com/p/my-ebooks.html


    Thank you all for the recommendations! I definitely have a lot to mull over. I really like the option of a book that opens accordion style since it can be viewed like a wall timeline but can be put away, particularly since we don’t have a school room.

    How did you do the ancients on your timeline? Did you spread it out or condense it? I like the AddACentury site, but I’m not crazy about the ribbon idea.


    We only use a BOC and timeline book (Wonders of Old, I think is what it’s called) because we do not have any room for a wall timeline. We do have a sewing board that we had made into a timeline when we used the Mystery of History but it was a pain to get it out just for history lessons (I had no place to just let it hang on a wall). I think it depends on the type of wall space you have, if you have a school room (which we don’t), and just your preference.

    I am very visual but timelines really mess me up. We’ve been using a BOC, like I said, and for some reason that has worked out best for me and my dc to keep events/people straight (well, as best we can, LOL).


    I got hooked on the Mystery of History’s timeline suggestion of a sewing or display board timeline. Even though we don’t use MOH any longer, the timeline has remained an important part of our study of history. We don’t have a school room either. I just have one wall that has become home to our world map and timeline. I really like that it’s out all the time. It’s spurred many a conversation with visitors! I think it especially helps younger students “see” the progression of time. I do plan on my older students each having their own BOC eventually. HOH Smile


    We do a family Book of Centuries. We find we make better connections through the BOC than we did when we used a wall timeline. I also like that it doesn’t take up a huge amount of wall space. Different strokes…

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