Tuesday, June 26, 2012


We love our timeline! It helps us tie what we're currently studying to things we have previously studied and bridge relationships between them. After seeing lots of examples that I really loved, and then making various attempts resulting in inconsistency, I finally tweaked something that works for us in keeping up with our family timeline.
We use a 9x12 sketch pad with spiral rings on top so when opened we have a continuous linear flow. The span of each page spread is a little different depending on the era of history. Ancient history has a lot less detail than modern history, so a 2-page spread may cover 200 years instead of 25. The general rule I used per 2-page spread was:
Creation to AD 400: 200 years
AD 400 to AD 1600: 100 years
AD 1600 to AD 1850: 25 years
AD 1850 to Current: 10 years
As we're reading through our history books, or studying a significant person, I jot down the names or events that we will add to our timeline. We add figures and events from our history, composer studies, artist studies, biographies, poetry studies, Bible readings...you name it. I love tying these relations across the breadth of our education.
Once a week, usually on Friday, we add these names and events to our timeline book. This ends up also being a natural review of what we covered that week, plus a review of any other previously recorded events that correspond with our weekly addition. For example, when we added in Ivan the Terrible a couple weeks ago, we found that he somewhat aligned chronologically with Michelangelo, one of our artists we studied a few semesters back. It was fun to tie the connections of these two individuals who were living and impacting at somewhat the same point historically, but in very different parts of the world.
I think Mom may enjoy these connections as much or more than the kids.
We love the History Through the Ages timeline figures. I purchased the CD so I can print whatever figures we need. I keep my own timeline book as well for my own readings, so this way I can also print copies for me. I'm telling you, I'm getting the education of my life through schooling these kids! I printed off all the pages from the CD and put them in page protectors in a binder. This way I can see all the figures that we have through that program without having to load up the disk every time.
When we use one or two figures from a page but haven't encountered others yet, I just slip those extra figures into the page protector until we need them.
Sometimes when we don't find an event in the History Through the Ages pack, we'll just shrink down an image we find in our Story of the World Activity Book or just draw our own.
The only regret I have is not keeping a separate book for each of my older kids. (They are ages 9 and 10.) It works well right now to keep a family book, but I think as they get a bit older and start to own their education a little more they will want their individual books to continue to add to. Maybe I'm projecting!

Do you have a way to keep a timeline that works really well for your family? I'd love to hear.

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Hip Homeschool Hop Button

Friday, June 1, 2012


Not from my trees, unfortunately! These are from my parents' tree. This is a teeny tiny fraction of what they have produced in apricots this year. And they are so sweet and flavorful.

I peeled and pitted and froze a pie filling.

Some pieces were too ripe and not firm enough to hold together in a pie, so I froze those individually on a wax paper coated cookie tray, then put them in a bag to save for smoothies.

Maybe one day my baby trees will produce, too! I'd love to have enough to try my hand at dehydrating.

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Solutions for 2012-13

I've been reflecting on the past year and evaluating what changes need to be made for a more effective learning atmosphere as we come to the close of this spring term. I have solutions....and still a few Iingering issues.

  • I made a decisions on our math problem for my daughter! Can you believe I found this for $5 at our local used book sale? All clean pages, too. Score!

  • I mentioned copywork has been inconsistent. That falls on me. Here's what I've been doing for the past several years for copywork: I like to cater the assignment day-to-day, so I can focus on a passage from a book they have been reading, a character trait we need to work on, or just lots of practice with a particular letter that seems to be troubling to them. But, that falls on me to have lessons prepared and to keep a stash of lined manuscript paper available, or to make sure the daily assignment had been printed from a copywork generator. I was at a book fair a couple weekends ago and ran across this from Simply Charlotte Mason. I'm using only the copywork book. I love that the size of the font becomes smaller as they gain experience. Yay, done.

  • Written narrations: it's simply just going to have to be scheduled. That's just the only way to make it happen. My oldest son will be "5th grade" and my daughter "4th grade". We'll schedule him for 2 written narrations per week, and from her 1. My plan is to pick one narration for each kid every couple of weeks to edit and revise together.
  • We're picking Latin back up. We did Prima Latina a couple years ago, but did nothing this past year for this language. I picked up Latina Christiana I for my son and my daughter will repeat Prima Latina in the fall. She was less than enthusiastic her first time through Prima Latina, so by about mid-way through she was going through motions at best. Repeating it will not be a bad thing.
  • At the book fair I picked up sketch books for all three of us. This summer we're breaking out Drawing With Children and focusing on sketching simple things we find outside. Maybe we'll get adventurous and dabble in dry brushing. Hopefully this will get them started with their own notebook that they will be motivated to continue with indefinitely. Who knows, maybe I'll take a liking to it, too.
I'm still contemplating math for my son. That one has been a difficult decision for me.