History Timelines & Notebooks

We’ve used a few different ways to record history and I’ve included a few images of our history notebooks & timelines plus some (mostly) free resources we’ve used. I’ve updated this post to add all seven of my children’s work they’ve done over the years. The ages represented are about 9 years to 16 years, both boys and girls.
For years we had a timeline along a wall that was a talking point with anyone who walked up the hallway but a couple of years ago we knocked the wall out to give us some more room in our kitchen area and that was the end of that.

I require them to keep a record of the history they are covering but pretty much leave it to them as to choice of how they do it. A couple have used a spiral notebook & my youngest has been using a simple composition book, but the preference seems to be for separate notebook pages. My older girls  enjoyed using scrapbooking bits and pieces on some of their work. Some liked to draw their own maps, some didn’t.

Ambleside Online Year 3
Ambleside Online Year 5
Ambleside Online Year 6

Timeline figures for Famous King & Queens of England (872 AD – 1952) can be found here.

Ambleside Online Year 8

Free timeline figures are here also.

Helps for notebooking.

I used these with one or two of my boys just to give them a framework when they were first starting out with notebooking. I think it’s better if they make their own but something like this might help if they haven’t done this before. They can be bought as a download here.


Outline maps

We’ve used some maps from Knowledge Quest:

http://www.juniorgeneral.org/ A great place for paper soldiers – as long as you don’t mind hundreds of little men all over the house. We’ve used this site innumerable times.
http://www.papertoys.com/ Models of the Taj Mahal and Shakespeare’s globe theatre.
 Paper models of sphinx, pyramids, and other architecture.
Books and crafts for teaching history and making timelines.Notebooking Fairy – geography, explorers etc.


Make your own notebook pages

How to make paper look aged: Try this.


Reading the above (which I’d had cut out from somewhere years ago) makes me wonder about the teaching of history generally. I have a vague memory of ‘learning’ about the Eureka Stockade, and something about the ‘Proletariat’ and ‘Assimilation’ from my school days. Any historical knowledge I’ve gained has been in the process of teaching my own children so I’m not altogether surprised by some of the ridiculous answers in the snippet above.
This quote is from a Parents review article I read recently and from what I’ve seen in my own children it certainly rings true.


“Here we may notice the use of fiction in history. History should narrate truth. Can fiction, such as the historical novel, be in any sense an aid to truth? I think so, with proper selections and under proper guidance. Fiction kindles the imagination, awakens interest, and secures attention; it is the most pleasing form of narration and it need not sacrifice a truthful impression.
What children remember is the characters of the leading actors, their part in the movement, its issue, and the general picture of the period.”
My kids love history and have read copious amounts of Sir Walter Scott, G.A, Henty, Rosemary Sutcliff, and other historical fiction writers and this has given them good background knowledge for works of historical non fiction. I noticed this when it came to them reading Churchill’s A History of the English-Speaking Peoples which can be difficult unless you have some knowledge of English history.

14 thoughts on “History Timelines & Notebooks

  1. Carol,Thank you for this peek at your children's history notebooks. Posts like this can be such an encouragement to others. Also, thanks for the great links. Something tells me your children would be a delight to talk to.Truly,Nancy


  2. What beautiful work! What a wonderful legacy! I forget how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts until I see a compilation like this, and I'm just left breathless.


  3. Pingback: An 11 year Old's Notebook Keeping | journey & destination

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