History would be a wonderful thing - if it were only true. -Tolstoy


We're in the midst of the busy season here.  When everything gears up for the end of school, the beginning of summer, packing everything and anything into our weeks.  There are doctor and dentist appointments, soccer games and practices, the never ending quasi-school science fair.  There are oodles of outdoor activities.  Stella went to a horse clinic so I'm sure she'll be pushing for those lessons.  I'm looking back longingly at the days we had the plague and HAD to stay home away from all other human beings. 

And since it's near the end of the traditional school year, I'm of course planning out some new school stuff to do with the kids.  We don't really take summers off, though when it gets too hot in our south facing, no air conditioning house we don't do school work.  That's because mom is heat intolerant and can't concentrate so she calls off all work requiring thought of any kind.  The kids never argue for some reason... 

Anyway, we've started working on a history timeline starting with the Big Bang (the actual event, not the show, though we do like and watch the show, it's not really relevant historically.)  I always thought history was BORING as a kid.  Dates this, wars that, blah, blah, snore zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Then as an adult, I realized that it is FASCINATING.  I want my kids to have the fascinating, not the boring.

To start I got out my big timeline book, The History of the World (note, book, not the Mel Brooks movie, again, the movie being less relevant historically.) Well, our book doesn't start until 4000 BCE, so we haven't actually gotten to that yet but this is what I'm going to use to make sure we hit all the big events in the history of our world.  So far, I'm doing it through picture books, historical fiction, documentaries. This website has been a great resource for finding applicable books. 

And, following my organizational pattern, I have a table! Too bad tables don't make blogs sizzle because I have lots of those in my life.  Anyway, here's where we are at:


13-4 billion years BP
Born with a bang : the universe tells our cosmic story : book 1 / by Jennifer Morgan

4600-500 million yrs BP
From lava to life : the universe tells our earth story : book 2 / by Jennifer Morgan

65 million yrs BP-present
Mammals who morph : the universe tells our evolution story : book 3 / by Jennifer Morgan
Queue 1

3.2 million yrs BP
Lucy long ago : uncovering the mystery of where we came from / by Catherine Thimmesh.
Queue 2
Pleistocene era
2.588 million (±5,000) to 12,000 years before present (BP)
11,000 years lost / Peni R. Griffin.

Hunters of North America
4000-3000 BCE

4000-3000 BCE
If Stones Could Speak, Unlocking The Secrets of Stonehenge

4000-3000 BCE
DK Eyewitness Mesopotamia by Philip Steele and John Farndon; The golden bull / Marjorie Cowley (2600BCE)

India (indus)
4000-3000 BCE

4000-3000 BCE

China (Yellow River)
4000-3000 BCE

4000-3000 BCE


Hatshepsut, his majesty, herself / by Catherine M. Andronik (1475BCE)

Then and Now: The Wonders of the Ancient World Brought to Life in Vivid See-Through Reconstructions

I'm thinking we'll be doing a big timeline down the hall where they can put up the events as we read/study them.  I am planning on using this scale so that, well, I don't have to figure it out myself or buy a big, expensive timeline.  Yes, I am both lazy and cheap - or as the Girl Scouts would say, I'm "using resources wisely."  Yes, that does sound better than lazy and cheap, if less fitting.

So far the kids are loving it.  Not sure if it's because of the actual materials or because they get to lie in bed with me at night and be read to for half an hour or so.  Either way, they like it and are learning so I'm calling it a win!

Curriculum junkies note: I know about Story of the World but it's not as exciting as some things I've found, and a bit too Christian at times.  I realize Christianity is part of history, but how it is presented matters to me.  I don't like the story of Abraham or Moses presented as fact and other stories presented as myth.  Even if I was Christian, those stores would still be parables to me, not factual accounts of history.  I don't mind them in the context of a story, it goes to cultural literacy, it just how it is presented that bothers me.  Anyhow, I will be using it some, just not exclusively.  And, I've ordered History Odyssey, The Ancients.  I'll see how that goes and if I'll do subsequent volumes.


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