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kristacecilia
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Posted: Feb 27 2010 at 7:06am | IP Logged Quote kristacecilia

I am completely in love with this idea, but (yet again) confused.

Is this something that I would put together to aid me in teaching chronological history?

Is it a resource I would put together for my children to use?

Is it something my child builds on his own?

How do you use a book of Centuries?
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Posted: Feb 27 2010 at 10:31am | IP Logged Quote Cay Gibson

Chari Bryan (moderator here) wrote an excellent piece about Book of Centuries for "Literature Alive!" Perhaps she can give you the info you need.

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Posted: Feb 27 2010 at 1:02pm | IP Logged Quote Chari

, Cay!

I bet it is here somewhere on the boards......wonder what search could bring up.....I will go look.

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Posted: Feb 27 2010 at 1:11pm | IP Logged Quote Chari

here it is:

....below is an article I wrote a hundred years ago......and posted in another thread........about how we do history and info about our book of centuries........

My oldest's book (dd21)is SO full, she will divide it into ancient and modern.....basically, before Christ and After Christ.


Apologies to the rest of you who have seen this a hundred times...........     


History in Our House!

History is most unanimously the most favorite subject in this homeschooling family. Our approach has grown from what it is today through our never ending desire to know more, and then some more, of the incredible past.

In about our third year of homeschooling, we purchased a history textbook from Our Lady of Victory School titled, How Our Nation Began, written by Father Furlong. We started reading about the Indians in America. The next chapter was about the Norsemen, and especially about Leif Erickson. This is where we were inspired to find books about Leif Erickson at the library. The children and I enjoyed his biography so much! We were all hooked, including mom (Like most of us, I have only a mild memory of early history and its people. And, certainly, what I did learn did not keep well in my brain. Most of the time, my teachers never even got to the end of the textbooks, and so I have never even studied WWI or any history past that time period! I have also never had any ancient history and just a smattering of European history. I had no idea why WWI was fought, that there was a Spanish-American War at the end of the 1800's or that Jamestown was the first permanent English colony. I always thought it was the pilgrims that were first! But, I digress..........).

After studying about Erickson, we moved on to Marco Polo, reading an excellent biography and viewing library videos. This was certainly making history more enjoyable. The children were connecting and remembering details. We also used maps to visualize Polo's travels. Christopher Columbus came next. Using the same resources as above, they learned. In addition, we also found a Catholic story of Queen Isabella.

We followed Cortez to the Aztecs, read about Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadelupe. Spent much time in Jamestown and followed Father Isaac Jogues and Father Marquette on their travels in North America, and stopped to visit with Blessed Kateri. We sailed with Henry Hudson, who would never give up on finding that water route across or above North America, and who would consistently make weak decisions, which finally result in his demise. We witnessed Peter Stuyvesant's governing of New York (along with his poor decision-making skills as well).

We did all the usual Pilgrim study, from the Mayflower to Squanto. And, having just finished up our study of the French and Indian Wars (Did you know that George Washington fired the first shot that started these conflicts? And, that he was pushed back by the French on July 4th?), we are heading into the Revolutionary War.

So, what's so special about our study of history? It sounds like what the schools teach, right? Well, we do not do it from a textbook, where we would get a few paragraphs about each topic and then move on (though I do use the textbook as a basic guide, going off on trails led by our studies). No wonder I don't remember much! We use biographies, fictional historical literature, videos of people, places and stories, non-fictional resources, activities (gleaned from specific activity books or the Internet) and discussion. We use our study of any historical topics to build our "Book of Centuries" (see following article). The children make relationships with these characters of history. They feel like they have "been there" as the history was unfolding. The writers of "real" books take us to places in ways a textbook committee could never do. The children write narrations (a retelling in their own words) from some of the studies, and place those in their Books of Centuries. This retelling makes the information their own. Since it belongs to them, they retain it better. I also have them do oral narrations of the readings. They especially like to tell their father what they are studying.

I decided early on, that we would do a thorough and in depth study of history, chronologically, on the discovery and history of America, as already outlined. Using real books, we have also visited history taking place in other lands at the same time. This year, we are also going to start a serious Ancient History study for my soon-to-be high schooler (who very much wants to get this started!), and follow it with the early Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the rest of World history. And, as long as she is doing the study, we will have the little ones tag a long at their own levels.

It goes without saying that we try to have a Catholic view as much as possible about our study of history. We do include lives of the Saints where they fit in. But, there are many periods of history where it is difficult to find a Catholic point of view. I try to do read alouds of most our history so if we come across probable errors, or anti-Catholic bias, we can have a discussion. I feel this will prepare them for the secular world that will often have a different point of view from them.

Now, where to find the resources? I wade through the homeschooling catalogs, especially the Catholic versions, and order the books I want through interlibrary loan (With the homeschooling catalogs, I can usually trust that the books are a "safe" read.). Buying all we could use would never be practical for us, so I make great use of the library. I also look for resources online, such a amazon.com, or bibliographies. I also use bibliographies from the back of books. I ask the advice of other homeschooling moms, and lastly, I may look through books that are "lists of books." I do not just hand the books to the children to read on their own, but I check them carefully, maybe pre-read them, or just read aloud, editing or explaining as needed.

We also include geography with our historical studies. I purchased a book of blank outline maps (they are also available online; search "outline maps") and made copies for each child. We keep them in a one inch wide folder. We pull them out during our history reads..........or any reads, except maybe Tolkien and Narnia......and when we come to "places", we use our maps and atlases to locate them and then the children place them on their outline maps. This makes the geography more meaningful to them because they can associate the locations with the history they are learning.

And, that's it! This is how it is done in our home. I write this for you, to inspire you, to encourage you, to guide you........but, keeping in mind, that all families have different needs and desires. Remember that what works for one family may not necessarily work for another. Sometimes it is good to take a part of what another family is doing, adapt some of it, and dispense with the rest! It is what we do here! Enjoy your history, and if you have any thought to share with us about how it is done at your house, please share! I have a feeling we are about to set sail for a new way of doing things here, with all this new history we are delving into!


Our Book of Centuries

One of the main motivators for my children in learning to love history, is
their Book of Centuries. I had found the idea about making these books from
many different Charlotte Mason Resources. Still, in the end, like I usually do, I adapted to our own needs and desires. A description of our Books follows below:

Supplies:
2 inch wide hard notebook
page dividers
pen
sheet protectors
history resources for filling the book

We started by labeling each page divider from THE BIRTH OF CHRIST, giving each page divider one century. For example, Birth of Christ -100AD, 100-200, 200-300, etc. When we got to the 1600's, we went by half centuries: 1650-1700, 1700-1750, etc. all the way up to the present. The last page divider just says 2000Öto catch all our present history. For the time periods before the Birth of Christ, we write, by century, 500-400, 400-300, 300-200, 100 to the Birth of Christ. We will fill in the centuries for ancient history as we need them. Oh, we did have each child use a graphic arts program (Printmaster Gold, specifically) on the computer to print a title page for their books. My oldest used pictures of Beethoven, Mona Lisa, a Dutch girl, Napoleon, an antique airplane, a Viking ship, a book with "history" written on it, a Gothic Cathedral, all surrounding a scroll where is written "Anne's Book of Centuries." My son chose to use some of the same, and included Our Lord's Crucifixion, the Coliseum, a Bible and an American flag and Golden eagle.

So, what do we put in them? Looking through my oldest daughter's book, we have included drawings, written narrations, pictures from historical coloring books (photocopied and then colored with color pencils or watercolors), paintings, copies of historical documents, our "state pages" (see description below), historical copywork, saint pictures, copywork from historical sources, journal entries from figures of history, and a very occasional noteworthy item from current events. We have also included our family Christmas newsletter at the end of the book, as it IS history!

While browsing through her book, we find in the 1700's: a written narration on Peter Zengar and one about King Philip's War, a copy of a letter from George Washington to his mother, copied from the Internet, copywork of the history of the American Flag, another written narration from a book she read about Catherine the Great, an article about a prophesy of George Washington's about America (found this on the Internet at a Catholic site, about prophesy; seems George received a vision), a colored picture of Beethoven, when he was a boy, and a few other written narrations about the French and Indian Wars, including George Washington's role as well as Braddock's and Montcalm's.

I listed these descriptions above to show two things. First, that there are many ways to fill the book. Secondly, and I believe, most importantly, to show that, though we may study at different times about Beethoven, the French and Indian Wars, read about Catherine the Great, another time study about the history of our flag, and then follow up with the Revolutionary War (which we are about to embark upon), we can see in a Book of Centuries, that all these things were going on either simultaneously or one after the other and that there is a relationship within the studies of history. My children enjoy finding these relationships and it helps put all of history in perspective, whether it be about the art of Mary Cassatt, the composing of Handel, the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson, the Crusades, the lives of the Saints, the fiasco of the last presidential election or their own family history.

We do place all the entries in sheet protectors.......since we learned in the beginningÖ..that the pages will tear out after frequent use. These will be such a great memory book for the children when they are done with their schooling. They take great pride in making them, and are always on the lookout for more to place in their books. In fact, in thumbing through her book last Spring, my daughter decided we needed to do more to fill the BC pages, so, I have built her a curriculum of Ancient History to do this year. This should be interesting!

NOTE: Our state pages consist of two pages; the first includes the name of the state, its year of statehood, a place for the state flower and state bird to be written and then drawn, a small copy of the U.S. with the specific state colored and anything else they feel inspired to add (my son draws a copy of the state flag). The second has just a place to write the state's name, followed by lines down the rest of the page. I made these with the graphics program on the computer. Once a month, more or less, I will read from an interesting book about a state, and the children will do a written narration on those blank lines, each to their ability. And then they use our resources to find the information on the first page. We are starting with the first thirteen colonies and hope to complete all fifty states by the time they complete school. These are placed in their Book of Centuries under the year the states were founded officially.

POST-THOUGHT: WOW...my oldest was only 13 when I wrote this article and now she is 21 years. Where did the time go??? We are re-visiting Leif Erikson and Marco Polo right now as a matter of fact...with the two youngest.

In the sweet of Mary,



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Posted: Feb 27 2010 at 2:20pm | IP Logged Quote kristacecilia

Thank you so much!
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Posted: Feb 27 2010 at 2:37pm | IP Logged Quote MichelleW

Last night dh and I were talking about this very thing!! I started Ancient History again last week with my now middle schoolers and wanted some ideas for incorporating a timeline managed by each individual child.

I even have 2-inch binders that I bought last week! I am going to have to think on this a bit more, but thanks so much for this excellent how-to.

Perfect timing!

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Posted: Feb 27 2010 at 9:57pm | IP Logged Quote Nique

kristacecilia, thanks for asking!
Chari, thanks for answering!

I am learning so much on 4Real tonight!




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Posted: March 01 2010 at 8:42am | IP Logged Quote kristacecilia

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone- this thread has been super helpful. I am excitedly planning our Book of Centuries to start in the fall!
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Posted: March 02 2010 at 9:59am | IP Logged Quote Theresa

Chari,

I have never read your article before and it has me inspired and encouraged about history!! Thank you so much.

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Posted: March 04 2010 at 2:43pm | IP Logged Quote Karen T

If you haven't already started a book of centuries and would like a nice set of dividers already labeled, I recommend the one at Winter Promise. Here is a link to it. I had made one similar to Chari's for my oldest years ago and it's worked just fine, but this year I've used WP's American history for my youngers and ended up buying this product and I really like it. the pages have nice old world style illustrations and writing, and are heavy duty cardstock, almost cardboard. Of course, there are lots of other products out there as well but I do like this one.

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Posted: March 08 2010 at 10:09pm | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

Here are some: threads from the archives and this one: ::BOC vs. Timeline vs. Notebooking

Some other links:
:: How and when to begin a Book of Centuries
:: Book of Centuries at Ambleside

**************************

:: Guest Hollow Timeline
:: Homeschool in the Woods
:: Scroll Down to "Notebook Timeline" which is essentially a BOC
:: Book of Centuries Download at SCM

Here is a quote from charlottemasontripod, from MacBeth's Opinion:

Quote:
Have your children narrate what they read. Narrations might be summary essays or they might be drawings or maps or fictional newspaper accounts or character diaries. Elizabethís eldest sonís favorite history narration are political cartoons. Also, the majority of narrations do not need to be written down. They can be orally given while you are driving, doing dishes or whatever else. The written narrations, however, provide a nice record. CM advocated using a "Book of Centuries". To do this, you take a three ring binder and use divider to mark off centuries. Your child will create a Book of Centuries by filing all her narrations in the appropriate place. Over time, she will create a beautiful history book of her own. We did a version of this for American History when my kids were in 2nd and 3rd grade. We created tabs for various periods. We then went on numerous field trips, took lots of pictures and wrote narrations about our trip. Itís a fun book which ties them to history.

With respect to chronological order, CM did advocate doing history in order. This may make sense if you are British. For Americans, I prefer Sonlightís way which is a year of ancient history, then 2 years of intense American history, a year of World cultures and then cycling through it again. From a practical standpoint, if you have more than 2 kids- someone will be getting history out of order. Both of us have found that it really doesnít matter as long as the kids are making connections with history. The Centuries book or timeline will help them get it in the right order in their minds.



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Posted: March 09 2010 at 6:43am | IP Logged Quote mariB

Thank you, Chari...love this info!

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Posted: March 10 2010 at 3:28pm | IP Logged Quote Chari

Glad to be of service! we LOVE our BOOK Of Centuries here!

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Posted: April 28 2010 at 8:07pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

This is such a helpful thread!

I decided to take our large format cards First Timeline from Mary Daly and start a BOC.

So I was looking for ideas on how to start, and here is this marvelous resource, with lots of links! Thanks, ladies!

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Posted: May 19 2010 at 5:14pm | IP Logged Quote knowloveserve

Does anyone start a BOC earlier than 5th grade? I guess I'm just so excited about starting one I forget my oldest will only be in 2nd/3rd grade next year...

Maybe we should stick to notebooking for now.

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Posted: May 20 2010 at 7:41am | IP Logged Quote leanne maree

THank you so much for this post, its been a great learnig tool fo me,especially Chari.
leanne

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Posted: May 20 2010 at 10:24am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

knowloveserve wrote:
Does anyone start a BOC earlier than 5th grade? I guess I'm just so excited about starting one I forget my oldest will only be in 2nd/3rd grade next year...

Maybe we should stick to notebooking for now.


I plan on doing it this year, if not quite so formally. I think that notebooking pages and coloring pages of saints, figures, etc... would go well in a BOC.

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Posted: Aug 19 2010 at 12:11am | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

I hope this is the appropriate spot to place this. I have been trying very hard to get ready for our new year so I have been researching and reading as much about CM methods as possible (reading her actual work is my to do list ). I ran across this post The Book of Centuries Revisted. While I know and have read so many wonderful ways of creating one, this particular method is really intriguing and simple. Like Chari I would love to have a WOW moment when my kids look back at their Book of Centuries. Thus, I want to have a visual of how to guide them in filling their book.

She provides a link to the Ambelside article regarding the subject and yes I can see what she is talking about. Two pages per century (although I think I would want a couple more ) a place to draw (inventions, artifacts, items, etc) and write brief notes. I could see how varied the items my children would choose to draw and record would be (just like their nature journals). The idea almost makes me think of an archeologist's personal notebook. Hmm, maybe that's the idea. Has anyone done theirs this way? Or maybe guide me to someone's posting a similar version? I'd love to see how this looks.

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Posted: Aug 19 2010 at 8:32am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Grace&Chaos wrote:
I hope this is the appropriate spot to place this. I have been trying very hard to get ready for our new year so I have been researching and reading as much about CM methods as possible (reading her actual work is my to do list ). I ran across this post The Book of Centuries Revisted. While I know and have read so many wonderful ways of creating one, this particular method is really intriguing and simple. Like Chari I would love to have a WOW moment when my kids look back at their Book of Centuries. Thus, I want to have a visual of how to guide them in filling their book.

She provides a link to the Ambelside article regarding the subject and yes I can see what she is talking about. Two pages per century (although I think I would want a couple more ) a place to draw (inventions, artifacts, items, etc) and write brief notes. I could see how varied the items my children would choose to draw and record would be (just like their nature journals). The idea almost makes me think of an archeologist's personal notebook. Hmm, maybe that's the idea. Has anyone done theirs this way? Or maybe guide me to someone's posting a similar version? I'd love to see how this looks.


Jenny, I really enjoyed that post and I've been pondering over it the past few days. I haven't begun our BOC, but my goodness, the interpretations can be overwhelming. Going back to the original ideas, well, they are so streamlined! I like the example she provided.

Are there such things as a museum notebook? Has anyone seen anything like this?

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Posted: Aug 19 2010 at 8:46am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

It is interesting, though, I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around it, especially this line where she quotes Bernau:

Quote:
Naturally one page is a very small space in which to illustrate the whole of a century, and yet it is a mistake to leave two pages for some centuries, as I have seen in some books, as it does away with the idea of the book; therefore each should choose what she considers the most characteristic events, planning out the arrangement of the page, as far as possible, before drawing. In this way no two books will be alike, and there is great interest in comparing them.


I mean, "planning the arrangement of the page" with it being something that's worked on for years? I'm puzzled.

Also, I can't recall, but I think CM doesn't recommend starting one until later elementary. Something more like what is now "notebooking" seems to be more easily done by younger children.

Gotta run. Just a few preliminary thoughts

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