When I was in school, I loved history… Sort of.
See, I loved the stories in history.
I loved learning about the people, what they did, and how they shaped the future.
But the one thing I wasn’t so great with? The dates.
I mean, I can tell you ALL about The Declaration of Independence, the Holocaust, and the Civil Rights Movement.
But could I tell you when any of that stuff happened?
Mmmm… The 1700s, the 40s, and the 60s… I think?
So as a homeschooling mom, I realized I had to find a way to not only teach my kids the rich stories in history, but give them a true understanding of “where the pieces fit”.
*This post is sponsored by Sunflower Education. I was provided a book to try with my family and was compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own, please see my full disclosure for details.
Learning History With an American History Timeline
I started asking around in homeschool groups if anyone had the same struggle that I did with history… A love of the story, rather than the details.
“You need a timeline!”
“Timelines really helped us understand how the stories were connected”
“Make a timeline!”
Over and over and over again I was being told a timeline would solve all of my problems.
It was SO hard to find a timeline that wouldn’t take me a hundred years cutting, coloring, gluing, etc.
And with five kids, time’s a hot commodity around here.
Thankfully, my problem was solved by The Giant American History Timeline!
Studying American History in your Homeschool
This year, in an effort to add more fun into our homeschool, we’re doing more interest-lead unit study learning.
Mr. C has loved learning about George Washington, and he’s a tiiiiny bit obsessed with listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, so we decided to do a unit on the Revolutionary War.
Our Revolutionary War Unit
We started our revolutionary war unit by learning about George Washington.
We read the book Meet George Washington and did some research online, then we filled out our George Washington biography sheet for our timeline.
Then we learned about the Boston Tea Party.
My family is from Boston, so any history that centers there has a special place in my heart!
We jumped around the events in the Revolutionary War with no particular order.
We learned about the Treaty of Paris and the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
We learned about the First Continental Congress.
And then the best part?
After learning about all of these events and filling out the interactive worksheets for each major event in history, we were able to put them all together.
It didn’t matter that we learned them out of order.
With The Great American History Timeline, we could put all of our knowledge in a timeline order that made sense of it all!
The Benefits of Using an American History Timeline
One of my favorite parts of putting the whole timeline together was that we were able to conceptualize the parts of history together instead of isolated events.
We could see how the Boston Tea Party lead to the first Continental Congress, or how the battles lead to the Treaty of Paris.
We didn’t just learn what order things happened in, but we could see how certain events caused others.
It also made it more of a concrete and hands-on activity.
Keeping the American History Timeline Easy
Okay, so we know we need to add a timeline to our homeschool history lessons.
But how can we make that actually happen?
I know you’re probably like me and have the best intentions, but sometimes you have really fun activities collecting dust because you just don’t have the time.
I loved how easy the Giant American History Timeline was for me to implement.
As we learned about a particular event, we grabbed that notebooking page out of the book. Mr. C and I went through the questions and figured out the answers together.
Then I’d write them on the whiteboard and he’d copy onto his page. (Mr. C is a reluctant writer)
We just kept the pages together until we finished our Revolutionary War unit, and then Mr. C colored and cut out the arrows and arranged the timeline on the floor of our homeschool room.
Where to get The Giant American History Timelines
You can get The Giant American History Timeline print books on Amazon (Book 1 is here and Book 2 is here). Or you can get digital copies of Book 1, Book 2, or a bundle here! Oh, and you can use the code TIMELINE20 to get 20% off the digital book bundle!
Plus enter the giveaway below for a chance to win! You can also find Sunflower Education on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.