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Bookmark Timelines


Each week I study the history Miss Sixteen is working on so that I can discuss it with her and mark her work.  Now, I know a reasonable amount about the past, and a fair bit about world views, but much non-Western history is new to me and I struggle to absorb it well enough to assist my daughter.


Yesterday, while reading about the Sui, Tang, Song, Mongol, and Ming dynasties in China, I tried something new.  I made a bookmark timeline for the chapter and it helped me so much!  This is how to make one:


  • take a bookmark-sized piece of paper (8 ½” by 3”—just a strip off the bottom of computer printer paper)
  • draw a line down the center of it.
  • label this line with the dates you’re studying, like a timeline
  • write important time periods underneath the center line, corresponding to the appropriate dates (in my case, the different Chinese dynasties between about 500 and 1500 AD)
  • write important events and people above the timeline, at right angles to it
  • write extra notes at the bottom, or on the back if necessary
  • write the topic and reference information (in my case, page numbers) along the left narrow edge of the bookmark


You could laminate your bookmark timeline or use cardstock for durability, if you expect to use it for a long time.  I only used mine for a few hours, but I’m definitely keeping it.  Making it was an excellent learning activity and the finished product gave me a clear overview of what was going on even when the textbook was confusing.  By the end of the year I’ll have a whole pile of mini timelines, and I plan to use them as bookmarks when reading historical fiction.


I’m going to get my children to try these timelines as well.  They’re quick to make and the very process of making them helps organize the material in ones mind.  Once made, they are very useful.


The Little Misses will work on a bookmark to keep track of what’s going on during Laura Ingall’s life as we’re reading the Little House books.  We’ll see what the older children do with the concept.


For more homeschool tips, see Thirsty Thursdays at Five J’s as well as Tuesday’s Toolbox at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds.




  1. Anonymous says:

    I love this idea. I'll have to remember it for later on.

  2. LarabaK says:

    I keep thinking I should do timelines but so far haven't. Thanks for the idea.

    How fun that you have a Ph.D. in Physics, and even worked on thin films. No wonder I like your blog so much :-). Seriously, that is very neat. Do you ever wonder if you should have gotten your Ph.D. or did you ask the Lord ahead of time?

    It amazes me sometimes what my life looks like. 20 years ago I wouldn't have envisioned being the homeschooling mother of 6 — not in a million years!

  3. 2boysmom says:

    I'm so sorry about your friend Lisa. I pray God will comfort you and give you many good memories.



  4. proverbsmama says:

    Just stopping by to see if you've added any new entries since the last time I checked. I actually put three entries on my blog today!

    I guess that will cover for the rest of the week when I'm working and can't blog. (We can't do any blogging at work because they block that kind of stuff from popping up on our computers.) But I can manage to visit other blogs and post comments.

    I hope you have a great week, filled with love, joy, and peace.

  5. Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts and Minds says:

    Thank you for sharing it with Tuesday's Toolbox.

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