Cole is beginning a real book of centuries this year. I have considered it (and felt overwhelmed by the idea of it) for the past two years, so I did nothing. Sound familiar? I looked at pre-made options, and I read blogs about how other people were doing them, and it just seemed like so much work. It’s not that I am lazy (exactly), but this is supposed to be an enjoyable pursuit for an older child, and I didn’t want it to be stressful for Cole, or for me.
Then I found the blog posting at Childlight USA on how the book of centuries was created and kept in Charlotte’s schools. Suddenly, it didn’t feel as overwhelming. The one critical piece of information I was missing from so many other places was that this is essentially a sketch book of history. It’s not as detailed as a timeline, at all. In fact, it should only contain the bits of historical information that the creator of the book (the child) finds relevant. This is *their* book of centuries and what they find important to remember may not be what a parent finds important. It’s a history scrapbook of sorts. I have put 30 minutes in our schedule every Friday for Cole to work on his BoC.
Because I liked the look of the sample of Childlight, but couldn’t find it to download anywhere, I made my own. Feel free to download for persona use. If you blog it, please be kind enough to link back here. The top line is for the century date. The rest of the lines should be filled with bits of information of the child’s choosing. Think of the blue & white lines in three sections – write things that happened early in the century near the top, things from the middle of the century in the middle, and things from later in the century near the bottom. Then there is a space for a short narrative of the century.
I am putting these pages in a binder for Cole, with each page in sheet protectors. This makes it easy for him to draw on a separate page without worrying about ink leaking through and ruining the lined page on the other side. Plus, it becomes adjustable. If he messes up, we can remove the page with the mistake and insert a fresh one, and we can include more than two pages per century if we need to, without messing up the dates written across the top. Also, this allows for an increase in maturity and drawing ability. If at 16 he feels some of his entries are too “babyish,” he can remove those pages and redo them without messing up his entire book of centuries.
I used Wikipedia’s list of timelines to date the pages. We included two pages for the stone age, and then begin formal dating at 4, 000 B.C when things really started happening for humans. Date as your religious convictions (or lack of) allow.
I hope this will encourage some of you to begin a book of centuries! I am so thankful for the writers at Childlight for showing me how it was done by Charlotte’s students and getting us started, finally. Cole’s first few entries are below.