Tag Archives: history

Timeline Portfolio Filing System

The filing system for lesson plans and student work was the spark of creation for this method of creating a timeline.  There are quite a few benefits to this method.

Why Use the Timeline Portfolio?

  1. portable
  2. sizable
  3. you can view by continent
  4. you can compare decades/centuries/millineums
  5. room for summaries, biographies, maps, or mini-timelines for specific events
  6. all is contained


The portfolio contains each file folder with continent cards.

A file folder contains the continent cards for each yearly segment. Every 10 years for our modern history study.

A card is created for each continent. These cards are dated for every decade.

Each card contains the text and graphic entries for that decade.


  • one office portfolio
  • 6 different colors of cardstock (I only print for Antartica when in use, and I use white cardstock.)
  • templates for the dates, or create your own graphic for the line

Download Continent Templates Zipped Folder

  • a large box of manilla folders
  • folder labels to use in the printer (download the label template from the manufacturer’s web site)
  • a document processing application
  • a printer
  • historical figures, pens and pencils, and other items to create the timeline entries


  1. Create a title for your portfolio.  Use vinyl letters, cutouts, stickers, et cetera.
  2. Print labels for each decade or century.  Centuries are used for ancient and medieval timelines more typically.  More modern history necessitates the use of decades as demonstrated by our own modern timeline.
  3. Fix each label to a manilla folder.
  4. Gather each color of cardstock and decide what color will be what country.
  5. Open the template for the first continent.  Enter in your beginning date range.  Click inside the textbox on the right and change the dates.  For example, Asia is “1850-1859”.  For the next print, you will change the date to “1860-1869”.  For ancient history, you would want the date to begin at 4000 BC and end at 4100 BC.  Continue in this manner until all continents are complete.
  6. Add each continent to the date of the manilla folder.  You will have six pieces of cardstock representing each continent within each folder.

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All Things Timelines

Honestly, after feeling around on the web and researching timeline options, I do not think anyone ever finishes a timeline!  Why is that?

I know that for myself that I picture a beautiful and neat book full of marked events and historical figures.  However, I know that this is not likely.  I have used several methods, but recently, I wanted a bound book.  I am not sure. I do feel that it is delusive to assume that this book will be finished.  It seems that something far more condensed and simpler may be the solution.  I am looking at all manner of timeline styles and techniques.  We may continue with our timeline filing system this year, but I want to share what I have found anyway.

View Our Modern Timeline Portfolio Filing System 2010-2011

My Timeline Hunt

These are some of the options that I researched:

The above are packages.  They include the foundation, and in some cases, clip art for placement.  The clip art comes in a variety of styles and sizes.

I looked at blogs too:

I found this article while rummaging through Microsoft:

And yes, some more options, including posters and wall options:

My Thoughts

I know from past experience that there are some definite “NO’s” when trying to complete a timeline.  For example, bottled glues are never a good idea.  Pen is the worst kind of error commitment.  Fancy closures and folded pages are not a great idea too.  Pages will be and can be ripped and wrinkled, and maybe even need to be replaced.

Now, I think that it is important for it to have that old, historical feel to it.  It is the study of history.  I think that it should be big enough without being cumbersome, and lastly, it should be durable.

As my timeline search has led me down many paths, I discovered wall timeline options and DIY timelines too.  I found some to be very attractive, and I have linked them for you.  I noticed that while it is not a considerable cost savings that you could produce a book similar to many that could be purchased and shipped for 20-plus dollars.  I use a three-ringed notebook or comb binder to bind most things together, and you could do something very similar.  You could save some money but not a lot.

I find that a wall timeline is appealing, as well as the blank timelines that I found at Learning Through History.  I could use a blank timeline sheet for each civilization or continent that we study.  Once complete, these could be laminated too.  Being that they are only the length of two sheets of paper, I am not sure how adequate a solution this would be.  Note here that if I did use the method of documenting the evolution or progression of a civilization or culture, these sheets could be filed in a portfolio and matched chronologically on a wall or floor.  It would show the longevity of a culture as well as its involvement.  I will use these for marked events instead, including pre-history.

Prehistory Timeline

I purchased a pack of the blank timelines if for nothing else to be used to study pre-history and pre-historic times.  I will trace the lines with color, my child will decorate with marked evolution concepts, and we will decorate the back with summaries and outlines for that particular period of study.  Here are some other options:

Historical Figures

I am all about the ease of use.  I created many of our modern figures, and I know from experience that this is not ideal.  I found these:

Getting Dates

I had assumed that I would simply use our reading and spine for dates.  However, I would not be able to adequately demonstrate cultural events, and I would certainly forget to mark a historical event in favor of a figure, scientist or artist.  I found these resources:

I found Timelines Forum too!

I will continue to update this page as I research.  As of today, 8/20/2011, I have not made up my mind.  I am leaning heavily towards the poster or creating our own using a scrapbook/accounting ledger.

Updated Finds:


Filed under General, Lessons, Social Studies

Logic: Ancient History

I had a very difficult time finding the right balance of history resources and literature. I liked so many different packages, including but not limited to Beautiful Feet, Sonlight, Winter’s Promise, Mystery of History, Story of the World, and Veritas Press.  The end result became a mix and match of all of these things.

Let me preface this by saying, I neither subscribe to the old earth or the young earth theory.  I find it irrelevant.  Yes, I am Christian, but the age of the earth has nothing to do with whether or not I accept that my divine father created this world and all that is in it.  I used resources that were weighted for both young and old.  This is the logic stage of learning.  I wanted to encourage and teach my child to question, read, and infer.  I wanted an opinion to form and a decision to be made with all subject matter in hand.  This is but one content area that I find necessitates providing information for controversial topics.  In addition, to further continue and promote this growth, I use both Christian and secular, or independent, resources.  To me, the logic stage is more than knowledge, and this is a different form of mental growth.  Albeit, many of the topics or information have grown to include much more than the usual fact base provided during the grammar stage, but nonetheless, my goal is to let my child question, make connections, form opinions, and understand context.

With that said, I have provided a link to my first quarter plan.  You notice that it is centered on the Mystery of History, volume one.  As my husband and I considered the best way to approach ancient history, we decided that an approach that incorporated the Bible suited our design the best.  I have added in secular reading and literature resources where content is addressed.

Lastly, I have planned for ancient history to be completed in four quarters.  The duration is not the typical 36-week plan.  Instead, it is meant to be covered in a full year.  You may find that ancient history may last a year and a half.  I do not place constraints on learning.  We deviate far too often to discover or learn as interest desires.  I believe this is where the Charlotte-Mason method finds itself appearing in our social studies plans.  Otherwise, I try to stick to a more classical approach, but it is not a pure approach at all.

Download Ancient History Logic Stage Quarter One

Please add your comments!  I would like to encourage you to help me develop this plan for next fall.  Have you found better or more applicable resources that are well-suited for this early logic stage social studies plan?  What literature are you reading?  Please provide your reviews.  I am struggling to read everything now!

I find that I cannot leave this schedule along.  I have added suggestions from Netflix and PBS, to name but two.  Feel free to suggest other videos or provide commentary.


Ancient History Copywork


Greek Mythology Scavenger Hunt (Task Cards and Key)

Ancient History Literature List

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