Core Montessori: Timelines

I few days ago, I talked about mini books as a core component of Montessori.  I noted that one of the things that makes it such a core part is that it bridges both age and subject matter.  Timelines are another material that can  make that same claim.

One of the first timeline experiences is in the Children's House in the Child's Timeline of his Own Life. At the school Tim used to work at, this work was done individually each year on the child's birthday which is a fun way to incorporate it.   You can see Kylee's first timeline of her life here.   Another variation we have done is a timeline of our family, integrating our family's sacramental history as well as the changes in our family over time..   Actually, we did this when Aidan and Caleb were about Kylee and Logan's age so it would be a good time to repeat the activity.


Our use of timelines up until this year has been a little off the beaten track in terms of Montessori, choosing to create our own renditions of historical timelines for whatever period we were studying.  This year, however, we went ahead and purchased the display version of the American History Map from ETC Montessori.  I am quite happy with the quality and I anticipate I will likely purchase future timelines from them as well. 

I was hesitant to bite the bullet and pay this much for a timeline (and I couldn't quite bring myself to pay for the mute chart and pieces and the control so we just bought the control and will use it to frame our reading and research), but I am so glad I did.   One of the first things the boys started doing, was looking for dates that my grandparents (for example) were born and what was happening in American History at that time:  who was president, etc.

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I do plan to buy the control, mute, etc. for the Timeline of Life.  That is such a beautiful and impressive work I want the boys to have the full experience.  Since we have been modifying so much the past three years, I haven't done ANYTHING with the Timeline of Life and I'm thinking that will either happen in the spring or next fall.  Truthfully, although it is way late for a Montessori scope and sequence, it is still early for any of the same topics by regular standards so I'm just going to give myself a break on that one!

Some families have made many of the timelines themselves, but I just feel overwhelmed by that and since I have most of the other materials we use each year I'm not going to worry about purchasing one or two each year.  The price is scary, but when you consider I'm not paying for textbooks and other materials, I don't think I spend any more than other homeschoolers since I can reuse them.  Kind of like the initial expense of cloth diapers....

Here is a great post on a homemade Timeline of Humans and a Timeline of World History.

I have also incorporated timelines into our Godly Play work as well.  Most of the stories from Volume 6, are actually meant to be given on a long line of felt and unrolled as they are told.  These are the life stories of biblical figures such as Jacob, Joseph, Job, just to name a few.  Instead of stories they are more like timelines naturally.  Since I don't really have room for shoebox sized materials for each story anyways, I can actually make timelines of these stories just using clipart off the internet.

Here is our timeline of Joseph.  Kylee is simply recreating the timeline using the control chart, the boys are working together to remember the sequence of the story with just the mute chart and figures.


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I love to see ways that other homeschoolers have incorporated the use of timelines into their curriculums!  Leave me a note with a link and I'll come check it out :)

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