To Timeline or Not to Timeline?

April 13, 2007 at 1:29 pm (Uncategorized)

One of the Mom’s in our homeschool group put together this informal survey. This is what some of our homeschool groups members have to say about timelines?  I thought is was great info, so I am sharing it here.  BTW, we are family #5.

The Verdict (according to us) is in!
My original questions:
All Sonlight and/or classical educators… I need your advice!

Do you use timelines?

On a scale of 1 (hardly) to 10 (very), how valuable are they to you and
your students?

IF you use timelines, which do you recommend?

IF you use Sonlight’s "Book of Time," what are its strengths/weaknesse s
in your opinion?

Thank you so much for your help! The our homeschool is transitioning
and really values your input!

Your responses:
Family 1:  This is our fourth year with Sonlight… my son is doing Core 6 this year. But I must say, we use Sonlight primarily because it takes the work out of gathering excellent books! Otherwise, we do our own language, grammar, Bible, etc.
That said, we do not do the timeline "thing." When I started my son out (K-2) using "The Well Trained Mind" I did a loose timeline as he did notepages for the different cultures/civilizations we encountered, but that’s been it. For us, it was more busy-work than helpful (something else to tack on the wall that dh doesn’t appreciate – or another notebook to keep track of.) History has flowed for us without need of that visual. Timelines do seem nifty, however, just my two cents about our experience… I guess that would rank us at a 1. 🙂
Family 2:  We use Sonlight and the Book of Time. My kids seem to really enjoy it.
I confess we don’t do it when the IG tells us to. About once a month
(or less) we get out the stickers and the book and cut everything out
that we have gone over and place in the book. The kids love to "see"
how history comes together. We also use it to review history. At some
time you will need to get another book when the kids get into the upper
levels because the 1800’s and 1900’s get overfull.

Family 3:  I hardly use it.  We started out stronger in the beginning of the year. 

Family 4:  We are using Sonlight’s Core 3 and this is essentially our first year to homeschool. We like the Book of Time a lot. My 9 year old daughter really enjoys seeing how things fit together as it is laid out in the Book of Time. We stick closely to the instructor guide as I like their direction and place the prefabbed stickers in as the guide instructs. She looks forward to cutting and placing each sticker and I look forward to hearing what she has to share. I am anxious to see how it looks after a few more years!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5,6
Family 5:  My 2 cents on timelines.. We have done Sonlight for 6 years now and I must confess we have never done the timeline! Do I think they are valuable? Absolutely I do! But, we have just never found the time or the wallspace to do one. I admire people who can do everything Sonlight offers, but I have to pick and choose. Timelines have never made the cut at out house. Maybe next year? LOL I would love to hear what experiences others have had maybe it will inspire me to include timelines.

Family 6:  I have purchased the timeline figures every year and never used
them.  It always sounds like a great idea to me and I get all excited
and then I just never end up using them.
I don’t know if that helps at all!  🙂

Family 7:  (verbal feedback) "We use The Timechart History of the World timeline because it’s a great visual and doesn’t involve a lot of busywork."
The conclusions I drew from all this fabulous feedback are as follows:
  • Timelines are useful.
  • Timelines are great for visual learners.
  • Timelines you put together yourself can be time-consuming but worth the trouble.
The decision…
In our case, finances played a part in the ultimate decision.  I figured out the Book of Time and all the figures add up to $75 total.  That was a lot of money to invest in something that might not get used a lot.  Also, I have my children do a lot of writing so we’re really busy all day.  On the other hand, The Timechart History of the World is only $15 (available new through independent booksellers on Amazon or Barnes and Noble).  So, this year we will use The Timechart History of the World and see how that goes!
Thank you all for your help!  I hope this information helps other homeschool families.

Thank you Marla for compiling this great info! 





  1. Lizzie said,

    I posted some free timeline information awhile ago on my blog

    hope that helps

  2. 4evrHischild said,

    Just wanted you to know I voted for you in the homeschoolblogger awards. Good Luck!

  3. sherrydhoneycutt said,

    I made our own very informal timeline this year and it hangs on our homeschool wall. Honestly, I haven't put that much on it — so I don't think I'll be doing it again next year!

    I think what we will do is move the dates into a Book of Centuries — which I was able to print off for free online. That way we can keep it in one place over the years.


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