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Add-A-Century Timeline Starter Pack Review by Charlotte Gochnauer

Great Space Group, LLC
155 60th Street NW
Sauk Rapids MN, 56379

When studying history chronologically, many people find it helpful to have a timeline to use as a visual aide. Many timeline products are impractical or bulky and take up too much space, but this product from Great Space Group is perfect for a homeschool environment.

The kit comes with forty 12 x 12-inch pages that have light vertical and horizontal lines for dates and categories. It is up you, the teacher, to decide where to put the provided date stickers. These begin at 4999 BC and go up to 2025 AD. The ancient history years are in 50-year increments; then from 1999 BC they are in 25-year increments, and from 1000 BC the stickers are in 10-year increments. Because of this flexibility, one page can have an entire century on it or just ten years--it is up to you. Once you have placed the dates, you can connect all of the pages with the connectors that are provided. Then you can stretch it out to place on a wall, or you can use the binder tabs and place it in a binder accordion style, still with pages connected. You can decide to either use the same number of pages for each century to make the passing of time look consistent, or you can use fewer pages for the BC years but then use more pages for the later years when there are more historical events.

What I liked most about this timeline was its flexibility. I chose to begin around 4999 BC and give a century to each page. Around 1000 BC I expanded the timeline to a century every 2 pages. With this time increment in place, my timeline will last until 300 AD, at which time I can purchase an add-on pack for $20 from the company's website. Another neat feature that comes with the timeline is the Flip-Ups. If you have a busy century you can use this adhesive strip that flips upwards and triples your space for that line.

There are also nine different category stickers included. These are meant to be placed on the horizontal lines to further organize and personalize your timeline. Categories include wars, art & music, church & religion, and government & politics. In the early portion of the timeline, you might opt to not divide the line into categories and instead give yourself more room for events. Also included with the kit are 73 images from the 1200s to the 1800s. These visual photos are about an inch square and can be cut out and glued onto the timeline. There are also 126 one-inch circle stickers that can be used to add color and emphasis to your timeline.

I found this to be a great addition to our history study. For the ancient history years, I either found clip art online or had my children draw historical figures. I appreciated seeing the continuum of history and the passage of time with the accordion style. The notebook storage was very convenient, but when we wanted to review larger parts of history, we could easily spread out the timeline in the living room, still connected. This product would be a wonderful addition any homeschool family's study of history.

Product review by Charlotte Gochnauer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2010