The Book of Years is a timeline that you complete yourself. The top portion of each page is the actual timeline where you will paste timeline tags to show the big events through history. The timeline tags are in the Printable Pack for each of the Layers of Learning units. This upper timeline section turns independently of the lower section of the pages.
The lower section is where you will draw and write about civilizations or time periods in history.
Ancient Egypt’s civilization lasted thousands of years. So you can draw and write about Ancient Egypt and turn the timeline section at the top of the page to see all of the events related to Ancient Egypt while staying on the pages you completed about Ancient Egypt’s civilization. Since all civilizations share the upper timeline portion, you can see not only what was happening in Ancient Egypt, but also what was going on in China, Europe, other parts of Africa, and the Americas at the same time.
Printing Your Book of Years
You will first need to print the Book of Years. Set your printer to print double sided and use the 8.5 x 11 or A4 setting or take it to a copy shop and ask them to print it double sided. The front and back cover pages are in a separate file from the main body so it it easy to print covers on heavier paper.
You can then get it bound or put the pages in a three ring binder.
Using Your Book of Years
Start by cutting the pages on the dashed line with a pair of scissors. This will separate the timeline from the civilization portions of each page. You can cut just a few pages at a time as you work your way through the Book of Years.
Each unit in the Layers of Learning history curriculum has a corresponding set of four pages in the Book of Years.
The first two-page spread is “Prehistory”. It is for anything that occurred before 5000 BC.
Layers of Learning does not cover pre-history in the Layers of Learning History units. You can use these pages however you prefer.
The rest of the pages have dates on a timeline at the top ranging from 5000 BC to AD 2025. The bottom section shows the Layers of Learning unit titles and the subheadings.
Two pages from 5000 BC to 3000 BC are a thousand years each. After that, from 3000 BC to 1700 AD, each two-page spread of the timeline covers a hundred years. From 1700 to 1900, each two-page spread is ten years of history. Then from 1900 to 2025 each two page spread is five years.
Each civilization or time in history has a symbol on its timeline tags so that as you flip through the timeline you can remember which civilization each event goes with. The corresponding symbols are also at the bottom left of each page with the civilization title.
Along with the significant events we have chosen, there are also extra blank timeline pieces so you can write in dates you find yourself through your studies that you want to include.
Each of the Layers of Learning History courses including: Ancient History, Middle Ages History, Colonial History, Modern History, and American History have big headings to show where they start in the Book of Years.
Year Four of Layers of Learning History allows the choice between Modern World History and American History. Both courses have pages in the Book of Years.
It will take you four years (or five if you do American and Modern History) to complete the Book of Years and fill all the pages.
Family or Individual
The Book of Years can be completed as a family or it can be an individual project. In our experience it’s better as a family project but when kids are young, but as they grow they each like their own.