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What is the point of a timeline book?

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I'm thinking ahead to next year when my oldest will be in 9th and we'll be starting our history cycle over again with ancients. I was going to have him keep a timeline notebook or Book of Centuries throughout high school but now I'm starting to wonder what the point would be. We've had a timeline on the wall for 3 years so it's not like he has no timeline experience.


If anyone has done this, did you find it to be helpful to your child's understanding of history or is it kind of like busywork?


I think this is something *I* would enjoy, as I loved creative writing and drawing and such in school, but my boys don't seem to be like that!




ETA: Doing searches on the board on this topic, I came across this thread that I found helpful: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/513265-mfw-timelines-busy-work-how-do-we-make-the-tl-more-meaningful-and-efficient/?hl=timeline+book&do=findComment&comment=5626276

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We came to homeschooling late and began in 7th grade.  We allowed my daughter the decision of whether or not to homeschool each year, so we took things on a year by year basis.  I'd describe our homeschooling as WTM inspired; however, I elected to do a three year run through world history.

In 7th grade, my daughter covered Pre-history to about AD500.

In 8th grade, my daughter studied the time period AD500 to about AD1700.

In 9th, she did an at home WTM inspired world history study of the time period from 1700 to 2000.


My daughter's Book of the Centuries was a timeline, but it was kept in a binder along with her writings and artwork.  She kept it in 7th through 9th grades. I had her add ten entries each week. I was not so much concerned that she memorize dates as that she had a general idea of world happenings and when they had occurred relative to each other.


Ninth grade was the last year she did history at home, so it was the final year she kept her Book of the Centuries.  I believe that she did find it of value.  Her previous history studies served as a good foundation as she continued high school.


In 10th, she took an out of the home AP US History class which used Bailey's American Pageant.

In 11th grade, my daughter had an out of the home AP Comparative Gov't and Politics class.




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Thanks, Kareni.


From reading other threads on this topic, I've come to realize that making connections in history is the point; seeing how things relate to each other, like you said. And I also realized that it doesn't have to be very creative or have illustrations. It can be very basic and still do its job. So I think I'll still have them make one but change my expectations of it.

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I think you are right about the purpose.  I would say though that I would not always consider it necessary for a student who already had a useful mental timeline - once that is in place it will help them contextualize internally and once that is going on, a paper version really is just busywork.

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