Title: The Timechart History of the World
Major Themes: World History
Synopsis: A visual history of the world, from Creation to the present.
It’s a little bit hard to believe we took this many years to buy The Timechart History of the World. For several years, we kept a timeline hanging in our house, first a paper one around the top of the living room wall, then a cloth one that went around both walls of a long hallway. With a foot allowed for each hundred years, the timeline was 60 feet long in order to show all of history from Creation to the present. We added pieces to the timeline to show the people and events we studied. Those timelines were a wonderful way to show how events were related to each other in time, but the children always hated putting pieces up for some reason. Then, for the past year and a half, since we moved into a smaller house—and then again into another house with no place to hang the timeline—we have been without one altogether.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to a mini-homeschool conference, with just one speaker and one session, in a friend’s home. Another friend was buying several copies of The Timechart History of the World from the speaker, and I took a look at it. One look was enough to convince us both that this is a book we needed for our family. The timeline starts in 4004 BC, going by Bishop Ussher’s calculation of the Creation. It shows the lives of the descendants of Adam that are detailed in Genesis, and after the Flood shows how the families branched off and were interconnected. Beginning after the Tower of Babel, there are lines showing the various nations, wider or narrower as the nation had more or less influence in the world. For example, Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom is shown about an inch and a half wide, and then the Persian Empire, following Nebuchadnezzar, is about three inches wide. Next is Alexander the Great whose relative influence is about six inches wide—but only 3/8 of an inch or so long! His kingdom was splintered into many thin strands, but the Roman Empire began forming, growing wider, on the timeline, until it takes up most of a page. Then, that, too splinters and it is obvious that no other nation ever had so much influence in the world again.
Nations and civilizations around the world are shown in this timechart, and there are little bits of information scattered all over the pages. Along the top of the pages are pictures of famous people or events. You could learn about all the important events of world history just by studying this timechart! The amount of information included is staggering. It covers events up to 2008. It is laid out accordion-style, so you can fold it out to show the entire sweep of history in a line 6 meters long, or keep it folded up in the book for safety and convenience while studying a particular period of history. We have begun to customize ours by writing the titles of historical novels we’re reading aloud on slips of sticky notes and putting them on the timeline in appropriate places. It was exciting to find some of the men mentioned in Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, and The Lantern Bearers—those books are based on real people and events!
On the back of the timeline pages, there are charts and timelines showing the history of Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, the United States, China, and Japan in detail. As I said before, there is an incredible wealth of information in this book. I would highly recommend that any family who wants their children to understand history purchase and use this book. It is definitely a worthwhile purchase.
Oh, yes, there was another thing I wanted to mention. The Timechart History of the World is based on a Victorian wall chart first published in 1890. There is a stamp at the bottom of one page, between AD 1300 and 1400, that says “British Museum”.
WARNING: I only have one warning for this book—your children who are interested in history will be sucked in to this book, and you may have trouble getting them out of it to do other things.
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults