Before we went on the road, I spent months drooling over the timeline materials at Home School in the Woods. Ultimately, I ended up buying different timeline books because of trailer space, but I still dream about the gorgeous horizontal timeline binder and pages right here. (Yes, I dream about timelines.)
The beauty of Homeschool in the Woods is that their products can be used even of you don’t have their exact timeline system. Currently we’re testing out their Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures.
The Timeline Collection is a collection of…wait for it…timeline figures. There are over 1200 figures to choose from, dating back to Creation and going to the 21st century. There are several groupings of items based on themes or time periods, but to give you an idea, the time period groupings are as follows:
- Creation to Christ (Beginning – 100 AD)
- Resurrection to Revolution (0 – 1799 AD)
- Napoleon to Now (1750 AD – Modern Day)
- America’s History (Explorers to 21st Century)
There is also a bonus pack with a variety of different images included.
The set is available digitally or on disc, and you can use them ad infinitum within your own family (or school, depending on which license you buy). We downloaded it.
One half includes pages of small timeline figures. The purpose of these is to cut them out and add them to your timeline book or timeline on your wall. The second half includes resizeable GIF figures that can be resized, colored, and displayed on the wall (such as when you’re studying, for example, Emily Dickinson, as we are), in a lapbook, or in a binder.
Each image has the option of being printed with descriptive words beneath it or with only the name and dates of the person or event.
The smaller images for the timelines can be printed as they are organized by the company, on a PDF arranged chronologically. You can also arrange them yourself, grabbing whichever GPG files you need, resizing them, arranging them onto one page, and printing them. This is a great space- and paper-saving approach.
That’s the gist of it. It’s a simple concept. If you’re not averse to printing or copying, and you have the ability to print as you need or store papers, this is a brilliant concept that will make your history studies far more comprehensive, comprehensible, and effective.
I know what you’re thinking. You want chocolate right now. I know what else you’re thinking. How on earth, for example, did I find that Emily Dickinson among over 1200 figures? Great question.
There are indexes (indices) in both collections.
It does take a little figuring to know what is where and how best to work it for your family, but since these figures can be used forever, the time you put into it will be well worth it. I’ve still not tapped all my options, because I’m a technoron. (That’s a technological moron, but I’m not allowed to use that word in my house unless it’s in parenthesis, so…there ya go.) And some online helps linked through your digital purchase will help there as well, as you can see in the image below:
I know what else you’re thinking. Cheese curds. Cheese curds are amazing. Yes, that is true, but aren’t you also wondering how you would use the timeline figures?
There are many ways to use timelines and timeline figures in your homeschool, or even in your life as your family learns, explores, and travels. I personally find them invaluable for making the connections between subjects, people, stories, experiences, and time. Don’t believe me? This article gives many ideas for how to use timelines in your homeschool or life. There are helps on the website as well to give you ideas for working with the timeline figures.
For us, they serve in the following capacities:
- Timeline notebooks
- Coloring pages
- Wall “decor”
Other families are doing amazing things with theirs, but I’m just a reg’lar gal doing reg’lar things. Here are some ideas:
- Memory match games
- Trivia games
- Additions to history binders/notebooks
- Illustrations for papers and reports
- Screen savers
- Wallpaper…like literally
You can read more about what others are doing right here in these other reviews, and, again, right here in this article. Here’s a family in the Philippines who made a great themed Go Fish game out of their printables. I’m totally copying this! If you’re more passively visual, here’s a great and encouraging video review you might appreciate.
One thing I want to caution you about as you ponder how you can use timelines in your homeschool is to not overthink it! I was so enamored with the beautiful timeline from Homeschool in the Woods, that nothing else seemed to measure up. I couldn’t figure out how to do it just right. I didn’t know where to put a wall timeline that would look nice. I didn’t have the money for a gorgeous horizontal binder for everyone in the family. I didn’t have the creativity and organizational skills to do what all the Pinterest moms were doing with their timelines. Who rackin’ schmackin’ cares?! Even if all you do is print out one page a week and plaster it to your wall, by the end of the year your family will know 52 more people, events, and/or dates than they know now. And if your timeline is ugly and it’s pasted above your TV, who cares?! Seriously, who cares! Just…do…something! And Homeschool in the Woods is a great place to start. Actually, it’s all you need.
I recommend the timeline figures for every age group regardless of the history curriculum you use, or even if you use one. In fact, I have gone back to the beginning of the American history set and begun placing the figures with summaries in my personal timeline book. Some days I think I’ve forgotten more than I’ve learned…if that’s possible. Is that possible? I’m not great with the maths.
Other reviewers from the Homeschool Review Crew checked out some of Home School in the Woods‘ other resources, including Time Travelers U.S. History Studies and Project Passport World History Studies, both intended for grades 3-8, but totally doable for older or younger. (Isn’t homeschooling wonderful?!) You can read their reviews right here. In fact, do that. Go read them.
Home School in the Woods is on social media, which is a fun place to learn more about their products and see them in action. Find them here:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeschoolinthewoods
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/HSintheWoods
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hsinthewoods/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/homeschoolinthewoods/