A Book of Centuries is like a timeline in a notebook. When you first start it, it’s blank because you create it yourself, literally writing your own book of history as you go along!
These are a staple of a Charlotte Mason education, though Charlotte Mason herself didn’t recommend them until kids were a bit older (Grade 5 or so).
I actually believe it can’t hurt to give even younger children some awareness of how history unfolds. I like the fact that the book is BLANK, or very nearly blank, when you begin learning. As kids’ awareness expands, so does the usefulness of the book.
For instance, reading Little House on the Prairie and listening to Beethoven (this term’s Ambleside Online composer selection), I keep wanting to show the slight overlap in time period between the two: Beethoven was born in 1810; Laura in 1867. Neither would have ever heard of the other – or would they?
Those are just two examples of MANY. Like when we go to Pioneer Village, or learn about Moshe in the parsha. All those things were long, long ago, but I’d like to be able to say, “THIS is how long ago it happened.” Where THIS is either a lot of pages or not very many at all. Beethoven was recent compared to Moshe.
Perhaps this is because I was largely illiterate, historically, growing up, and still have very little innate sense of what happened when. I figure if I’m ever to make a go of teaching my kids history, I need something like this as a crutch.
I did find a couple of lovely templates for Century Books online, including one that provided useful headings for each major era of history.
However, I also wanted to be able to incorporate Jewish dates, which are very important to me – and I believe they should be to my kids as well. Jewish history is our history. I don’t want to isolate Jewish history… I wanted something that could include both.
It turns out there are tons of Christian timeline resources out there, but nothing that incorporates all these elements: blank or nearly blank, Jewish dates, useful headings.
So I designed one and it took a bloody long time, but I’m quite pleased… I think it’s a VERY good resource. I don’t have a laser printer here, or one that prints double-sided, so I had it printed and hole-punched at Kinko’s on higher-quality paper than usual. Not cheap, but I think it’s a reasonable investment into our kids’ education.
I realize there isn’t much call for this sort of thing…very few Jewish homeschoolers out there, and even fewer doing Charlotte Mason homeschooling. But if you’re interested in perhaps starting one for your kids, read on…
First off, I would LOVE to say that I’m giving this book away. Regular readers know I have never charged for anything. But I can’t; this one was a TON of work. Painful, blinding, number-checking work.
But if you’re willing to PayPal me something, say $4 or $5, I will email you the full 97-page Book of Centuries.
NOTE: I am no longer selling this or my lapbooks on a pay-what-you-can basis… but the good news is that they’re all all available on an instant-download basis from CurrClick. Buy them instantly here! And if you like what you bought, please PRETTY PLEASE leave a review. :-)
(if you are unable to afford the prices on CurrClick, please email me directly)
This printable PDF document includes a 2-page Guide at the end describing how to set up and use your Book of Centuries.
This is NOT a copy of anything else you can find online. I created it from scratch, carefully researching each date and each era. I can’t guarantee that it’s perfect, but I think it’s pretty darn close. Plus, it includes the words HAVE FUN, in an elaborate and super-big font at the end. How can you resist???
More pics below:
To buy this and other instant-download products, like lapbooks, click here to visit me on CurrClick.
And click here for TOTALLY free Jewish printables!