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19 March 2018

A Civil War Foldout for our Book of Centuries {Crew Review}

I was excited when I looked through the Á La Carte products from Home School in the Woods for review this time and realized that The War Between the States Timline was included in the wide range of products that they offered crew members: Hero(11) is just starting to study the Civil War era, and I wanted to include it in our Book of Centuries as a foldout. They have a whole collection of timelines available, but this one is just perfect for where we're at.

There's so much going on in the war, and in the events both before and after, that I think that it'll be good to have a special fold-out, which will leave room for other world events from that time on the main pages of our timelines. We don't have a lot of wall space, so our timelines have always been in binders. This has a number of advantages, including that they last really well, and so we can accumulate a lot of the different things we read about into the timeline over years of reading, so I was excited to have a space-efficient way to include a lot of information about this important period of American history.

We're building a Civil War timeline foldout for our Book of Centuries.
Of course, since this is designed to be a stand-alone timeline on full size paper, this means that I had to play fast and loose with the instructions. What I did was I printed the lines pages of the timeline with two pages to a sheet of paper, effectively reducing the pages about 50%. It would be pretty easy to mix up the pages, since they're all so very similar, but Home School in the Woods has the pages numbered in the bottom right corner, so we were able to keep things straightened out as we cut the pages apart.

We're building a Civil War timeline foldout for our Book of Centuries.The document we were given includes permissions for use in a single immediate family (they also offer licensing options for co-ops, private schools, and public schools), so Hero and I both made a timeline for our books, and we each assembled them just a little differently. I left a tab of white paper on the left side, and glued that to the back of the neighboring page; Hero used packing tape on the back for strength, and narrower scotch tape on the front. Both methods worked nicely; mine lays a little bit more flat when closed in the book, and Hero's makes a little bit more of a clean fold. Happily, we each like our own method the best, and so we were both happy with how it turned out.

Cutting and assembling the timeline took some time; we did just the timeline itself the first day. There are 10 pages in this set, covering events from about 1800 starting with Congress outlawing the slave trade, and the advent of the Underground Railroad clear to 1870 and Lincoln's assassination.

We're building a Civil War timeline foldout for our Book of Centuries.

Although we didn't have any of the timeline figures colored or put on yet, we went ahead and installed them in our books right away with a washi tape hinge. This one is my book, and I was relieved to find that although I have a number events on the page, there was still enough space to put the new piece in nicely. Hero has not been using his book as long, so this was no problem for him. I don't mind that my book has a bunch of things in it; that's my favorite part of this type of project: I love seeing the various events accumulate, and to make connections between things that I had not previously associated; I had not and probably would not have realized that Van Gough made most of his works shortly after the end of the Civil War, and since I've put a number of my ancestors in my book, it's also interesting to see which of my family members were around for events that we study in history; most of my ggGrandparents were children and teens during the war and Reconstruction. I love that kind of thing.

We're building a Civil War timeline foldout for our Book of Centuries.

Using washi tape as a hinge allows me to put in this beautiful and detailed timeline, and yet it has a remarkably small footprint on the page, leaving plenty of space for other events and people to be added in coming years as we continue to study history. And, although I've reduced it approximately 50%, the timeline is still lovely and I have no problems reading the main captions. A few of the figures have writing on them that becomes indistinct at this size, but I feel the trade of a few minor captions for all the space saved in our Books of Centuries is a good one.

We're building a Civil War timeline foldout for our Book of Centuries.

At this point, we were ready to start working on the timeline figures. I debated how to approach this, as we're still really in the last few years prior to the war, and our history spine covers American history as a portion of world history, so nearly everything that will be on the timelines is new to my son (it's an involved timeline; some of it I'll need to look up), but in the end I decided that we'll go ahead and assemble it whole pages of timeline figures at a time so that we don't lose the pieces, and then we can refer back to it as we come to these events in the course of our regular studies.

We're building a Civil War timeline foldout for our Book of Centuries.

Building something like this is a fiddly process, particularly if you want it in color, and I decided to trace around the edges, which makes them really pop out from the background... but it's more fiddly work with a marker. I think it's worth it; I'm really happy with how it's turning out.

We're building a Civil War timeline foldout for our Book of Centuries.

After adding the first page of timeline figures, I'm quite happy with how it's turning out. I spent some time listening to Frederick Douglass's "Self-Made Men" speech as I colored, and I think that I'm going to have to find a book with his speeches and spend some time studying what he had to say. Glancing through the events leading up to the Shot Heard 'Round the World, I am struck both by the nobility of some of noted personalities, and also by the tragedy that a war really is. It will be nice to have a thorough timeline of this important era of American history in my Book of Centuries, and it will be good for my son to build one for his as well.

We're building a Civil War timeline foldout for our Book of Centuries.

There is a wide variety of options, ranging from information on how to make a Penny Rug in paper or even fabric, to a paper replica of Jamestown, or making and playing a Passover Seder game. It's worth spending a few minutes browsing to see if they have a project that your family would be interested in. There was a whole list of options that Crew members could chose from, so clicking on the banner below will also give you a good idea of the broad selection of projects available in the Á La Carte offerings. For families like ours, that find an entire lapbook difficult to get through, but still enjoy a few special projects, this is a great option.


Deann | As We Bloom said...

I love that you shrunk it and created a fold out for your Book of Centuries! Our timeline is on our wall, but I've always wanted to create my own in a binder (we talk about President Kimball's timeline every year at the beginning of the school year.)

Your idea of adding your ancestors to your Book, that is genius. I haven't looked at many sites with instructions for a Book of Centuries, so maybe I just missed that. But you've inspired me. I'm going to add ancestors to our timeline now!

Ritsumei said...

A Book of Centuries is a little bit of a project to set up, but it's so worth it! For Hero's, I used the free download at Simply Charlotte Mason. I just used a marker in mine, and wrote on the dates. Which is a somewhat tedious project. Dragon's is hand-drawn, and I've been working on putting in the dates off and on for a while now... having a hard time focusing on it. In either case, once you get it set up, it's just a matter of remembering to put in what you read about, whether that's a quick one-liner, or a big elaborate foldout; this Civil War timeline is now the fanciest one in there, followed by one that I did for the Bible a few years ago when the King James Version celebrated its that big anniversary. There were some cool freebies floating around for that. But this one is a bigger project than the little book timeline I put in then. That kind of thing is fun to add. Anyway, even though once it's built it's this big intimidating blank book, it's not so bad: you just put in a line or we sometimes print out a picture and write behind that. It becomes really cool as it accumulates, but it takes some time to see the fruit; this is a slow-growing thing, but it adds a lot of depth to the understanding as the project starts to mature. I'm a big fan!

Cellista said...

I love that you added ancestors, too!!! In all our years of homeschooling, I haven’t done my own timeline book. I really want to start one though. I’m a big fan of homeschoolinthewoods products. We’re just starting some of the Explorers in the New World projects.


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