An Overview of History with the Timeline Trio | Review

I was first introduced to Home School in the Woods our first year of homeschooling when we used their Time Line Figures which were designed by Amy Pak and sold by Sonlight. Now, all of those beautiful hand-drawn figures that I have used over the years are available in their Timeline Trio.

The Timeline Trio includes:
  • Record of Time timeline notebook, a beautiful hard back three-ring horizontal 12" x 9" binder that lays flat when opened. 
  • Timeline pages to record the chronology of history from 5000 BC to 2025 AD. These are heavy, ivory colored card stock pages with faint background lines for written notations and include a beautiful set of maps. 
  • Collection of Figures on CD with 1,260+ figures plus 80 bonus figures.
  • Suggested Placement Guide with tips and tricks and suggested placements for each figure.
If you are looking for a hands-on approach to help your child see all of history at a glance, please read on. 

The Maps

The Olde World Style United States & World Maps in the Record of Time are beautiful and perfect for teaching your students the "where" in history.

The ivory cardstock is slightly textured and easy to color on with Prisma colored pencils. The hand drawn maps are detailed and beautiful. They even have faint water lines to show where water is. The blue colored pencil covers them up well, but I thought that was a nice visual reminder while coloring the map of the U.S. since two borders connect to other countries.

The Timeline

There are so many ways to use this product, but I wanted to use it to give my children an overview of American history. I have been studying this time period with Eliana and Malachi, my 10 and 12 year olds, so I planned to use the Explorers to 21st Century AD figures for an overall glance at American history.

I pulled up the Table of Contents for CD1 by clicking on "start here." I can click on the PDF folders as well, but I found these menus helpful when navigating the various options. 

I clicked on American History, opened the files, and printed the American History Timeline Figures Set one page at a time - all 40 pages and over 420 black and white figures with name, date, and descriptive text that cover Explorers to 21st Century.

Note: The CDs are both Mac and PC compatible.

Tip from the trenches: Read the Tips and Tricks section in the placement guide for adhering the figures and printing the correct size for the timeline!

I printed them on peel-and-stick paper (label stock) for ease of use, but you can print on regular paper and glue them in. I like rubber cement because it dries clear and smooth and the excess rubs off easily. The Suggested Placement Guide recommends using a permanent glue stick and using a scrap paper to run the glue stick over the edges onto the scrap paper so the edges adhere nicely. This is in the Tips and Tricks section in the guide along with a suggestion to color code by glueing onto colored cardstock and trimming so just the edge is visible. I like this idea, but I didn't see it until we opened the guide to place our figures. I tend to dig in and figure things out as I go, but I think it's a great idea.

I printed all 420 American History figures onto 40 full sheets of peel-and-stick paper to place in the timeline book and gathered the kids to get started.

We had a lot of figures to cut out, so I popped in a movie to watch while we cut. 

We are watching 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea here because when Columbus made his voyage, his men were fearful because of rumors of sea monsters. I read the Columbus figure and had my little one place it on the timeline. Then we set to work to peel and stick. 

I didn't realize until we were well into adding the figures to the timeline book that I printed the wrong size. I printed the wall sized figures instead of the notebook sized figures, and the wall size are too big for the timeline. 

We continued to use the product as is to make the best of it. We grouped the ones we had cut into piles so they wouldn't get mixed up and fit them the best we could. 

Since I printed the figures with the text, in some places we cut the text off to make it fit, and in some places, we cut the text off but placed it next to the figure or where ever we could fit it. 

Another option would have been to cut off the text and write in the dates on the timeline, or start over. The timeline notebook pages are not available to purchase directly from the website, but if you ever need a replacement set for whatever reason, you currently can write them and they will send you a PayPal invoice and will send you a replacement set for $22 plus $7 shipping.

But, please don't make the same mistake I made! I initially thought I would just make the wall sized figures work, but I'd rather buy a new set of timeline notebook pages and do it right because this would make a beautiful timeline if done right.

I took some screen shots so you can see the difference in size...

Wall sized timeline figures with and without text:

Wall Size Timeline Figures w/ TextWall Size Timeline Figures w/o Text

Notebook sized time line figures with and without text:

Notebook Size Timeline Figures w/ TextNotebook Size Timeline Figures w/o Text
As you can see, the notebook sized figures are much smaller than the wall sized. The Wall Size are intended for just that - to use on a wall timeline. They are too big for the notebook timeline.

Here is a picture of a page in the timeline with the wall size next to a picture of the Suggested Placement Guide next, so you can see how they should look:

You can see where I had to cut the text off the figures, but after a while, I realized they all simply would not fit. 

So, you will want to use the notebook sized figures in the timeline notebook. 

If you have an older History Through the Ages Timeline FIgures CD from 2004, you will need to re-size the figures to have so they will be small enough to fit in the Record of Time. These instructions are in the Suggested Placement Guide. With the new CD, you will be able to select notebook size and they are already sized for the notebook timeline. 

Please don't do what I did! One of the things I love as reviewer is that I get to try things out and make mistakes so you don't have to. 

The wall sized figures would be great for journaling. You could stick the timeline figure on on the page and have your student write (or narrate) about the event or person to include in a classical eduction style history notebook. 

The timeline notebook pages have faint lines to write on, but we have not written on them. After I realized my mistake, I lost heart in the project. 

But, we thought it would be fun to make our own timeline figure to place in the timeline to record the kid's birth, so each child created their own entry. 

Individual figures are also available on CD2 for each timeline figure with and without text:

These are high quality GIFS that can be enlarged or reduced. I would have loved to have these this past year to study the presidents. I think these would be great to use to make a matching game, a go-fish style game, or printed full size for a coloring book.

Final Thoughts

It was fun to see the kids get excited about people and events they recognized and also discover new people and events we hadn't studied yet. I do feel like I bit off more than I could chew during the review period and was overwhelmed trying to use all 420 figures in such a short time on top of my mistake.

But, I believe the timeline is best used... well, over time! With our history curriculum, we paste in one or two at a time, which is much more doable. I've never been very good at keeping up with timeline activities, often putting them off, but after my experience, one or two at a time feels much more doable. So, we will absolutely continue to use the timeline figures as long as we homeschool.

I'm excited to own all 1,260+ figures plus the 80 bonus figures. I can have a set for each child or print extra whenever needed and for that I am grateful.

Check out the fun ways to use the timeline figures and see my Crew mates reviews to see how they used it by clicking below.

Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Along with the Timeline Trio, my Crew mates also reviewed the Activity-Paks including the new Make-a-State Activity, the Time Traveler American, and the Lap-Paks, so if you are looking for hands-on learning products to bring history alive, be sure to check out their reviews! 

Home School in the Woods is also now offering A-La-Carte projects. Have you ever just wanted a select few projects for topical studies, but have not wanted to purchase an entire unit to get them? (Raises hand!) Use the code alacarte at checkout to get the Erie Canal project on that page for free to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the canal.  I have always wanted to use the History Through the Ages: Project Passport World History Studies to add a hands-on-history approach to enhance our literature based world history studies, and now I can pick and choose exactly which ones I want to do.

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