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Has anyone done a timeline or other visual way of presenting history as a whole/by era and found it really helped their DC?

 

It is more and more obvious that DD hasn't conceptualized history as a whole -- it is all separate stories to her.  There is no this first then that then moving into this other.   I've been trying to decide if it's worth it to do a timeline (up on the wall/in a book)-- or if that is just another exercise for me to spend time on for no clear benefit (which it seems like most of what I've been doing lately ) 

 

I am definitely not expecting her to be able to hold all of history in her head but when she conflates the Civil War with Old Egypt I know there is a big disconnect.  The connection she made to get there was actually clear --  but the point is she only made the connection, she didn't recognize in any way the impossibility.    I want to be able to give her a 'sweep' of history and then be able to 'place' the stories within the sweep.   And it seems that reading something like the STOW is not going to do that for her.  I think I need something more 'short and sweet' so to speak and preferably way more visual.

 

I was even thinking if I did a timeline -- maybe it should even include copies of the world at various eras-- so showing where as well as when.

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We used a digital timeline, so DS typed in the events. Egyptian historical info was written out next to a mini-pyramid that was text high. Each culture had its own symbol. I didn't see the real benefit of the timeline until studying maybe 4 cultures. Reflecting back to review the events covered helped DS place historical events into perspective.

 

You could start a timeline and then have your DD add to it as you study. You definitely need a map or globe nearby.

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I know with my son, he will not make any connections unless I point them out. For history I tend to do one area and then make a time line of events in that one area. Then when we move on, I will deliberately point out, this is the same year that so and so happened over there. And then we will spend some time talking about why things were so different or alike at that time. I'm thinking specifically, that this year we are doing California history, and so we talked about the difference of living conditions on the east coast and the West coast, and even though we talked about it being a new land. He still wondered why streets were not paved or cobbled. By covering one area he tends not to get too many mixups, and he's getting in the habit of checking the other time lines to see what else happened elsewhere. At one point I redid a few so that the years could match up, but now they can be different scales and he will look for the years and see what's around. Hope this Makes sence..

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Spent the evening googling timelines :lol:   most of them are far too busy -- I was thinking of something much more 'sweepish' -- simpler and at a higher level -- something like:  Nomads->Fertile Crescent -> Egypt ->Greek/Roman --> Middle Ages--> Exploration --> Industrial Revolution --> a century of wars (lol, don't know what late 1800's-1900's are really called)   with a nice graphic or two that brought to mind each era.... and then we could talk about the different 'pieces' she already knows and add in simple symbols to stand for them. 

 

The only complication I would add would be some way to show differing tracks, such as non-European history - which is where I started thinking about maps, but I think that would complicate the flow too much.

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I'm like your dd, and for me the ONLY thing that has ever made sense are the VP cards.  

I knew you had said that before OhElizabeth -- but what do you think it is about the VP cards that does it for you?  Is it the picture, the paragraph on the back? something I'm not understanding about how you're supposed to use them?

 

I do have that game 'Timeline'  - it is a simple picture with a short phrase under it (and the game is you try to put the card in the right order -- kinda like wits & wagers). I even picked out the simplest events to do a 'beginner' game-- unfortunately that type of thing is just not 'getting done' right now.  So I am just going to have to make it get done I guess.

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The VP cards have a finite number, therefore you can wrap your brain around it.  My problem with history (or one of my problems) is it's so stinkin' never-ending.  People who like history LIKE that, that it's a fractal, with never-ending detail as you dig in.  But for people like me, with no sense of time, no NOTHING, it's just horrible.  So to have a list of 32 things, each with a finite number of details, and to say when you know what those are you know the pegs and are DONE, that's awesome.  That works for me.  That's something I can work with.

 

I'm not even saying do the VP history, if that makes sense.  Honestly, I know exceptionally little history, and most of what I do know is very weird.  I know some music history, because I like music.  If you were to cover history via music, that I could do ok with (without names or dates though, haha, just concepts and the music).  Music sticks with me.  Where many people have voices in their head, I have music almost constantly.  If there's something like that that resonates with her, you could use it as a framework.  Music crossed with movies actually, like broadway.  There's history behind each broadway. So I can answer history questions if it was covered in a movie (visual) about music.  Make sense?  And there's a lot more of those kinds of movies than you'd think!  Can't stomach documentaries.

 

I was ok with COFAs when I was a kid and the Character Tales books.  I read some russian history biographies voluntarily in early high school.  After that, it all went downhill (in forced history classes).  Remember though, at that point I was very interested in Russia.  If someone had had the perception to teach all of world history from the perspective of what was happening in Russia at the time, again I would have been fine.

 

People's problem is they want to pick what of history is interesting and important and say it has to be the same for everyone.  I think right now I'd be fine with history from the perspective of women's lib issues.  For a conservative christian (which I unabashedly am), I'm surprisingly into women's lib.  You could connect a lot of history for me that way.  But just to pick up a text, nope, yuck, die a thousand deaths.  I avoided freshman history of civ in college as long as I could, saved it till my senior year, and STILL struggled.  Did great in grad school btw, a stellar student, just not with history, lol.

 

So change the angle you're coming from or make it more finite or both.  Axe idiots who say white man's eurocentric history is the only history.  It might be really valid, useful, patriotic history, but if it won't be RETAINED because her brain wasn't in a place to USE it, then what does it matter??  At that point ALL that matters is that her brain could connect.  So to get the connect change the angle (women's lib, theatre, history of needlepoint, history of dolls, history of whistles, WHATEVER), or make it more finite, or both.  I don't think forced is valuable at all, because it won't be retained.  I'm super living proof of that.  

 

And yes, I think that was more of a "do something radical" talk than a what to do talk.  :)

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The VP cards have a finite number, therefore you can wrap your brain around it.  My problem with history (or one of my problems) is it's so stinkin' never-ending.  People who like history LIKE that, that it's a fractal, with never-ending detail as you dig in.  But for people like me, with no sense of time, no NOTHING, it's just horrible.  So to have a list of 32 things, each with a finite number of details, and to say when you know what those are you know the pegs and are DONE, that's awesome.  That works for me.  That's something I can work with.

 

I'm not even saying do the VP history, if that makes sense.  Honestly, I know exceptionally little history, and most of what I do know is very weird.  I know some music history, because I like music.  If you were to cover history via music, that I could do ok with (without names or dates though, haha, just concepts and the music).  Music sticks with me.  Where many people have voices in their head, I have music almost constantly.  If there's something like that that resonates with her, you could use it as a framework.  Music crossed with movies actually, like broadway.  There's history behind each broadway. So I can answer history questions if it was covered in a movie (visual) about music.  Make sense?  And there's a lot more of those kinds of movies than you'd think!  Can't stomach documentaries.

 

I was ok with COFAs when I was a kid and the Character Tales books.  I read some russian history biographies voluntarily in early high school.  After that, it all went downhill (in forced history classes).  Remember though, at that point I was very interested in Russia.  If someone had had the perception to teach all of world history from the perspective of what was happening in Russia at the time, again I would have been fine.

 

People's problem is they want to pick what of history is interesting and important and say it has to be the same for everyone.  I think right now I'd be fine with history from the perspective of women's lib issues.  For a conservative christian (which I unabashedly am), I'm surprisingly into women's lib.  You could connect a lot of history for me that way.  But just to pick up a text, nope, yuck, die a thousand deaths.  I avoided freshman history of civ in college as long as I could, saved it till my senior year, and STILL struggled.  Did great in grad school btw, a stellar student, just not with history, lol.

 

So change the angle you're coming from or make it more finite or both.  Axe idiots who say white man's eurocentric history is the only history.  It might be really valid, useful, patriotic history, but if it won't be RETAINED because her brain wasn't in a place to USE it, then what does it matter??  At that point ALL that matters is that her brain could connect.  So to get the connect change the angle (women's lib, theatre, history of needlepoint, history of dolls, history of whistles, WHATEVER), or make it more finite, or both.  I don't think forced is valuable at all, because it won't be retained.  I'm super living proof of that.  

 

And yes, I think that was more of a "do something radical" talk than a what to do talk.   :)

 

 

I'm curious what the 32 things are.

 

My ds is a history lover, but he loves it the way you say you might be able to, that is, so long as it fits his interests. In his case he is interested in inventions and battles, and inventions of things related to battles, primarily and to a lesser degree also notices music and art.

 

 

I'm reminded of coming to Vice-Principal Nero in the Series of Unfortunate Events books and my trying to explain that Nero is probably named for a Roman Emperor who was supposed to have fiddled while Rome burned.  I had not realized that this was likely merely a metaphor for did nothing of importance.  Ds immediately informed me that a Roman emperor would not have been able to play the violin since they were not invented until later than that.  He is not good on dates, but far better than I am on ideas like violins not being around until ___ (Renaissance, say).  This has come not by trying to memorize or do timelines or other projects, but with regard to things that genuinely interest him.

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Pen, you mean he still likes history because you haven't told him there's only One Right Way...   :)  So far my boy likes history too, and I think it's going to be the same deal, honing in on what connects with him and being willing to walk away from the lunacy that says our goal is to create walking encyclopedias.  That's GREAT that someone else's kids can become walking encyclopedias, but mine can't.  It's still the pegs WTM talks about, but it's being willing to let those pegs be something radically different.

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In some ways I think my DD's problem is not so much the pegs as that the pegs she has aren't linked together in any way.   In her mind, Ancient Egypt is in the same time frame as the Civil War which is the same as the Maya/Aztecs.   Her view of history is 2D so to speak.  That is a metaphor of course --  she knows they are actually different times -- but when they are in comparison to each other is amorphous to her. 

 

At the same time there are a lot of pegs I wish she could have -- but I think memory wise they would be very hard for her.  I think of the American History year I took in college -- the first guy was all about the 'theme' of an era, the meaning behind what happened.  The next guy that was all facts -- names and dates.   Got an A for first and a C for the second   That is what I think it is for my DD only 100x stronger -- she remembers ideas and stories (and random bits and pieces of facts) -- but to remember what the Magna Carta was (to pick a VP card) -- that would be very hard for her.   She can't even remember which war was the Revolutionary War and which was the Civil War.  Tell you generally about each war yes -- tell you which is which, no. 

 

VP cards are 32 cards but x 5 eras -- and while I like the look of them I think I need to start a lot smaller.   32 cards TOTAL sounds more like it!  Maybe I should just start by picking out what I think would be good 'starter' events if I were to make my own reduced size set.

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I was going to mention the VP cards as well. My son likes them for these reasons (according to him from a month or so ago):

 

1)You can hold them in your hands. You can't really hold history events, but holding the card focuses my brain to think about the actual thing so I feel like my brain is holding it.

 

2)You can line them all up, then mix them around, and then reline them up. Lining them up helps me see them line up in time, since you can't really do that either.

 

3)They have neat pictures so I can visualize stuff. Like for Egypt, all I used to see was a desert and a pyramid. Now I see the King Tut sarcoffin (sarcophagus, he always calls it a sar-coffin by mistake), or the Narmer platte, or the Book of the Dead pictures.

 

4)You can get just the details in a nice little bit. It is not like the big textbook where you have to hear about everything. They give you enough so you understand it, but you don't sound stupid.

 

5)They have colors on the top so I can put them into separate stacks like Greeks stuff, Egyptians, Mesopotamia. My brain can stack them then too. I can go through all the Mesopotamia stuff and have it covered, then the Egypt stuff too.

 

Until the history cards, Ds did not have a very good idea of the concept of a timeline. Things happened in about three chunks: forever ago, in the middle quite a while ago, in the last fifty years since Grampa has been alive. He knew lots of great events and stories, and quite a bit of fuzzy geography, but no clear idea of it fitting together. The cards give him a tangible item he can order and that seems to make it work for his head. We do not do a lot with religion around here FWIW. Ds needs to know the basic Bible stories and the basic Christian holidays because we live in a Christian nation and it all comes up so much, but we are not really teaching God. He is free to believe whatever he wants. At this point, that is that Jesus was a pretty decent guy, who wanted some good stuff to happen, but was not very diplomatic or very clear so he died since people did not like him trying to change things or be causing trouble. The VP stuff hasn't converted him or anything. The cards have quite a few Biblical events, but could easily be reproduced by you working with your daughter to create her own version with things she thinks are important.

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In some ways I think my DD's problem is not so much the pegs as that the pegs she has aren't linked together in any way.   In her mind, Ancient Egypt is in the same time frame as the Civil War which is the same as the Maya/Aztecs.   Her view of history is 2D so to speak.  That is a metaphor of course --  she knows they are actually different times -- but when they are in comparison to each other is amorphous to her. 

 

At the same time there are a lot of pegs I wish she could have -- but I think memory wise they would be very hard for her.  I think of the American History year I took in college -- the first guy was all about the 'theme' of an era, the meaning behind what happened.  The next guy that was all facts -- names and dates.   Got an A for first and a C for the second   That is what I think it is for my DD only 100x stronger -- she remembers ideas and stories (and random bits and pieces of facts) -- but to remember what the Magna Carta was (to pick a VP card) -- that would be very hard for her.   She can't even remember which war was the Revolutionary War and which was the Civil War.  Tell you generally about each war yes -- tell you which is which, no. 

 

VP cards are 32 cards but x 5 eras -- and while I like the look of them I think I need to start a lot smaller.   32 cards TOTAL sounds more like it!  Maybe I should just start by picking out what I think would be good 'starter' events if I were to make my own reduced size set.

How old is she?  In my 30s I got the idea of a timeline.  You might just put your picture/brief timeline on the wall and walk away.  Nothing says it's developmentally appropriate for a timeline to make sense to her.  

 

The psych we've been visiting says naming issues (like not using them) is common in spectrum.  Since spectrum-ish behaviors travel down the levels into ADHD, let's just say that even without a diagnosis of any kind (for your dd or me), I think that's a reasonable explanation of why names of battles wouldn't stick.  I remember in high school I wrote a paper on Stalin and spent the whole paper calling him Lenin.   :lol:  It was just one of those bits that got dropped from my brain as not mattering.  I'm realizing bizarre things lately, like that's why my dog doesn't come to his name, because I never call him by it.  And it's not like I make up some OTHER name.  I literally just don't call him by a name.  I say some jibberish that no one else can repeat and he comes.  

 

I'm just thinking it would be easy to assume everything is a sense of time issue when it could be attributable to something else like how her brain names things. And that's just super-fresh realization for me here at, um, 38 pushing 39.  I just don't think it's important or life-altering to have a timeline in your head.  If you want one timeline, I like the one-page pyramid version people have made to go with CHOW.  What you do is every day when you read history, mark it on there.  But you don't even have to let them pile up, though you could.  You literally just photocopy/print a pile of them and every time you read just mark.  Just to get the idea.

 

For the names, I'd not worry.  If she can have a *picture* in her mind of what the person or battle or whatever looked like, that would be more useful.  There's so much good imagery for modern stuff (civil war on).  

 

Is there anything she's interested in (cats, games, cooking, costumes, etc.) that you could study across time?  It's sort of jumping WTM to go to WEM. 

 

Btw, one of the problems with the VP cards is they don't tell you (and SHOW you) they overlap.  Seriously.  That one really muddled me for a few years till someone explained it.  So I can place something physically into a deck now, but I don't know how they necessarily overlap with other decks.  The world goes on.  I'm wretched at history and I'm really good at some other things.  

 

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OP, these aren't a timeline, but might be considered a visual way to define an era - the "You Wouldn't Want To..." books"

 

http://www.bmionline.com/books/you-wouldnt-want-to-be---super-set__e121.aspx

 

 

My dyslexic remembers details from these whereas he couldn't from a text book. I think it's the visual of the mad lib cartoon style illustrations and engaging and silly historical narrative that helps my entire family with retention.

 

I use my city's inter-library loan to get these. There are 66+ books with about 25% for each year in the 4 year SOTW cycle. That's about 16 books per year.

 

Except for Barton, I never use homeschool material the way they are designed to be implemented. I pick the morsels that delight my boys and tell them I want understanding and connections, not memorization. I imagine I'll change that motto once they hit high school, but for now their love of learning is still there.

Wow, I did not realize there were so MANY of these!!!!!  

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History is a reflective process, where the timeline begins from today, and then we can look back further and further.

Going back down all of the different trails that lead us to today.

So that we start from the known, and explore how we arrived at it?

Which provides a context.

Where instead of looking at 'what comes next'?

It rather looks at what happened before that, to arrive at the next point?

 

But an important part of this, is considering the different options at each point?

Where this can be looked at globally, and how different cultures dealt with and chose different options?

Which is where we can learn from history, as we understand why different options were taken up?

 

Though the crucial point, is that history is a reflective process of looking back.

 

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