Tuesday 30 May 2017

History Timelines & Notebooks

We've used a few different ways to record history and I've included a few images of our history notebooks & timelines plus some (mostly) free resources we've used. I've updated this post to add all seven of my children's work they've done over the years. The ages represented are about 9 years to 16 years, both boys and girls.
For years we had a timeline along a wall that was a talking point with anyone who walked up the hallway but a couple of years ago we knocked the wall out to give us some more room in our kitchen area and that was the end of that.

I require them to keep a record of the history they are covering but pretty much leave it to them as to choice of how they do it. A couple have used a spiral notebook & my youngest has been using a simple composition book, but the preference seems to be for separate notebook pages. My older girls  enjoyed using scrapbooking bits and pieces on some of their work. Some liked to draw their own maps, some didn't.

Ambleside Online Year 3

Ambleside Online Year 5

Ambleside Online Year 6

Timeline figures for Famous King & Queens of England (872 AD - 1952) can be found here.

Ambleside Online Year 8

Free timeline figures are here also.

Helps for notebooking.

I used these with one or two of my boys just to give them a framework when they were first starting out with notebooking. They can be bought as a download here.


Outline maps

 Historical Maps of America

We've used some maps from Knowledge Quest:

http://www.juniorgeneral.org/ A great place for paper soldiers - as long as you don't mind hundreds of little men all over the house. We've used this site innumerable times.

http://www.papertoys.com/ Models of the Taj Mahal and Shakespeare's globe theatre.

 Paper models of sphinx, pyramids, and other architecture.

Books and crafts for teaching history and making timelines.

Notebooking Fairy - geography, explorers etc

Make your own notebook pages

How to make paper look aged: Try this.

Reading the above (which I'd had cut out from somewhere years ago) makes me wonder about the teaching of history generally. I have a vague memory of 'learning' about the Eureka Stockade, and something about the 'Proletariat' and 'Assimilation' from my school days. Any historical knowledge I've gained has been in the process of teaching my own children so I'm not altogether surprised by some of the ridiculous answers in the snippet above.
This quote is from a Parents review article I read recently and from what I've seen in my own children it certainly rings true.

"Here we may notice the use of fiction in history. History should narrate truth. Can fiction, such as the historical novel, be in any sense an aid to truth? I think so, with proper selections and under proper guidance. Fiction kindles the imagination, awakens interest, and secures attention; it is the most pleasing form of narration and it need not sacrifice a truthful impression.

What children remember is the characters of the leading actors, their part in the movement, its issue, and the general picture of the period."

My kids love history and have read copious amounts of Sir Walter Scott, G.A, Henty, Rosemary Sutcliff, and other historical fiction writers and this has given them good background knowledge for works of historical non fiction. I noticed this when it came to them reading Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples which can be difficult unless you have some knowledge of English history.

Friday 19 May 2017

The Day When GOD MADE CHURCH: A Child's First Book About Pentecost by Rebekah McLeod Hutto; Illustrated by Stephanie Haig

I've never seen a book about the Day of Pentecost for children so I was thrilled to see that Paraclete Press has published this one:
The Day When GOD MADE CHURCH: A Child's First Book About Pentecost by Rebekah McLeod Hutto; Illustrated by Stephanie Haig is a picture book for young children based on the second chapter of Acts in the New Testament.
The author of this book, Rebekah McLeod Hutto, is a gifted Christian educator and communicator, and Associate Pastor for Christian Education and Discipleship at Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City. She has written a simple but descriptive, joy-filled narrative that captures the significance of the Day of Pentecost and the effect it had on the followers of Jesus: men, women and children, who were waiting in Jerusalem for the promise He had given them to be fulfilled.
The vivid illustrations by Stephanie Haig are fitting and beautiful - a perfect match for the story.
I'd recommend this book for children around the ages of 3 to 8 years, for reading at home and/or children's ministry.
32 colourful and engaging pages.

The Day of Pentecost falls on Sunday the 4th of June this year, 50 days after Easter Sunday, and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus' disciples after His ascension. It also marks the birth of the Christian Church. 

Pentecost, the Church's birthday, is an often-overlooked holiday. This book celebrates the miraculous events that occurred on Pentecost and the ways in which the Holy Spirit shaped and continues to shape who we are as God's Church. Children will learn the story of Pentecost: the sights, the sounds, and the people that began the community of the Church. They will discover who the Holy Spirit is and how God calls each of us to follow Jesus. 

The book includes a note to parents, educators and pastors, offering ideas for observing and celebrating God's gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church. The Paraclete Press website has a sample preview of the book you may view.

This is the second book from Paraclete Press on church traditions for young children that I've had the pleasure of reviewing this year and I hope the publication of books such as these will be a continuing trend. (See my review on Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent and Easter)

Paraclete Press provided me with a complimentary copy of this book and they have generously offered some free copies to my readers. If you would like to win a copy of this book, please leave a comment here or on my Facebook page and let me know. Winners will be announced on the 25th of May.

Update 26/05/2017

Many thanks to Paraclete Press for the giveaway. The winners are Sharron & Lisa.


Friday 12 May 2017

Keeping & a Serendipitous Moment

We had a family picnic at this park, one of our favourite spots, about a month ago and today Moozle & I went back to do some nature notebooking. We sat by the pond and she made a comment about not ever having seen the water lilies in flower. I suddenly remembered that I'd drawn one (or tried to) when they were in flower before she was born. Sure enough, I looked back in my nature notebook and there on the very first page, dated March, 2002, was recorded my first entry in my nature notebook. Em...I still use the same notebook, but I was reminded of how long my nature notebook Keeping has been in progress, even if it has been a slow process and that fifteen years ago I took the first step.


Lately Moozle has become more interested in using watercolour, keeping it separate from her notebook just in case it seeps through the pages. I posted an instructional video series she's enjoyed working through here along with some of her paintings of flowers. This one below is one of her favourites.

'No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face...'
John Donne

'Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves, and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which had drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.'

Persuasion by Jane Austen, Ch 10 

Linking up with Celeste at Keeping Company

Monday 8 May 2017

A Miscellany

Miscellany: A group or collection of different items; a mixture

Here is a mixture of some things that have been going on at our place, mostly to do with art and appreciating what is good, beautiful and true...

We've found some very helpful watercolour videos on YouTube and I've posted some of what Moozle's done below after she watched them. There are oodles of them by the same artist & I've made a playlist of the videos we used. There are various levels but a good one to start with would be this one:

The Fifth Day Sea Creatures by Christopher E. Wade is a welcome addition to the area of children's picture books that 'explores some of the diverse ocean life that God created in the Biblical account of the 5th day of creation.' What is unique about this book is the author's beautiful and painstaking  illustrations. He uses a pointillism technique along with watercolours which he demonstrates on his blog here.
A review of the book is here and there is another book on winged creatures coming...

The American artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) isn't a well known artist here in Australia and I possibly would have passed her by if Moozle hadn't shown such an interest in painting flowers. We're using some of her paintings, including those below, for picture study for a few weeks in order for Moozle to take some time 'to see.'

'Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like having a friend takes time.' 

 Petunias, 1924

'When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.'  

Autumn Leaves, Lake George, 1924

'I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.'

The only book I could find on the artist was the children's book below by Mike Venezia, which was written for younger children but it has a good selection of her paintings and Venezia's books are always fun to read.


I feel like I've been doing this forever - 1 inch hexagons using the English paper piecing method.

Larger hexagons - one and a half inch - i.e. each edge is 1 inch long - using up scraps. I'll wait until I have a good hundred basted before I attempt to put them together. I'll use tones, light, medium, dark to work out how the pieces will fit together. Moozle is helping me with this.

I use these pre-cut templates