Time Is on My Side . . . Or, at Least on My Wall

I’m a visual person. I like to see things spread out before me so I can visualize what I’m learning.

I also like to do things BIG!

So when I got the hankering to do a time line as part of school, I knew I wanted something big and visual that we could reference whenever we learned about a new person, place, or thing.

But I wasn’t quite sure on the details. I let the idea stew in my mind for months last summer while we moved to a new house. Then one day I realized that my new hallway was the perfect place to realize my time line dreams. Because I hadn’t gotten around to hanging up any pictures yet, I had over ten feet of horizontal wall space begging to be put to good use. (And it wasn’t even in the middle of the living room!)

I did a little research online to get some ideas and found this great site with tons of time line ideas and information. Suddenly my crazy time line dreams seemed like they could be a reality.

One day for school we got out the ruler and the blue painters tape. We marked off the wall and then placed long horizontal strips of tape to mark the each millennium. (I decided to start at 4000 BC and end at 2000 AD.) Then we used smaller strips of tape to mark the centuries, which we labeled with a black Sharpie.

(I changed the spacing of the centuries to reflect that fact that more events of note have happened in the last several hundred years than in ancient times. At first I was worried that this would confuse my kids, but when I asked them, they looked at me like I had just asked a ridiculous question and immediately explained why I did it. Silly me!)

When my husband got home from work, he laughed and said we should just paint the lines on the wall. (Isn’t he awesome!?!) But I’m not ready to commit to that level yet. I want to use this thing for awhile and make sure that I’ve got the spacing right. And that we actually like the time line and use it. So far, so good–but we’re still in the research stage as far as I’m concerned.

I also wanted to use pictures on our time line instead of words because most of my kids are younger, so I bit the bullet and bought a great set of time line pictures. (I know, I know . . . you can find pictures online for free–and there are lots of great websites that have cataloged sets of pictures. But I’ve finally reached the point in my homeschooling adventure where I have a little more money and a little less time. Oh well–the frugal side of my is still cringing a little. But the practical side of me is glad to have all the pictures ready to go when I want them.)

When we put up a picture, we color code it to match the area of the world where the person lived or the event took place. (I know some people who like to color code based on the area of study–science, history, art, etc.) Right now we’re not studying a particular period of history, so the time line is a little bare. Just pictures that match up with the scriptures, along with a few artists and historical figures that the kids already know.

Next year we’re doing ancient history, so we’ll be filling this baby up. I can’t wait!

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