Thursday, May 29, 2008

Frugal Friday: A Money- and Space-Saving Historical Timeline Idea

When we first began homeschooling, I quickly fell in love with the notion of creating a timeline for the educational enrichment it could provide. I kept putting it off because I just didn't see where it would fit into our budget, or into our home. However, when we began leaning more toward a classical approach this year, and with the purchase of Mystery of History for our history curriculum, I decided the time had finally come to look into doing a timeline for real.

I wanted our timeline to not require too much space and to be a financially-prudent investment. Because I am a firm believer in proving old adages true, I decided to let necessity become the mother of invention. I searched all over our house until I hit upon something that I thought would work - 9" x 12" brown catalog envelopes. (Staples sells these for $9.43/box of 100.) I don't know why we had these laying around, but I sure am glad that I found them.

Isabelle loves working on her timeline and it has really helped her to get a visual grasp on how events in history relate to one another. While definitely not a necessity, the timeline has proved to be an invaluable tool for encouraging the life long love of learning we hope to instill in all of our children.

I took 12 envelopes and taped them together from the open-end flap to the closed end. I then used a ruler to evenly space out all of the years that we would be studying for this year. The nice thing about this was that it could be folded up to take up no more space than a regular notebook.
Also, the first envelope was left with the open end untaped, making for a very handy storage compartment for papers and cut-outs.
When we are working on it, we can just fold it open to the years that we are working on and continue sitting right at the counter. It is very sturdy and has not shown any signs of wrinkling or coming apart after this whole year. If we make a mistake in one section that would be too large to correct, we can just replace that envelope with another one.When we are fully completed for the year, we may hang it up for awhile, although it is awfully long.Although we already had the envelopes, if we had had to purchase them, the entire timeline still would have only cost $1.14, and it works wonderfully. This is definitely how we will be doing our timelines from now on.

For more Frugal Friday tips, don't forget to stop by Crystal's blog.

5 comments:

The Happy Housewife 10:50 AM  

Great idea Kate, we used a sewing board for our timeline, it was a bit more expensive though.
Great tip!
Toni

Jenn 7:06 PM  

I love that bed !

BarbaraLee 10:31 PM  

I love that history book. We have one more 1/4 to finish but we are going to do that next school yr.
We used drawing notebooks. It is strong. The kids have their own. I didn't do all the other stuff in the book. We just did a notebook timeline. They would do some of their own drawings or cut outs from bible coloring books. What was real nice we could follow up w/the bible & we found bible movies or movies that went w/it at the library too. Check the internet too.
I love this book. It helped me understand time. We finished the science book that goes w/it. I'll have to get the next one.

Candace @ A Garden of Blessings 12:00 PM  

I'm glad you were able to make a timeline. I think it is so important for kids (adults too) to be able to grasp the big picture. It is a skill that is not all that fostered in today's culture.
Good job!

Proverbs30one 1:07 PM  

I've just started reading your blog. And - I just bought Mystery of History for this year's homeschooling. What a fabulous idea for the timeline, I'll be using this. Thank you!

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