GuestHollow's Awesome History Timeline Schedule

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I've finally put my Awesome History Timeline Schedule in an online format!

What is the Awesome History Timeline Schedule?

It's a history curriculum I created for my son that covers history in a very visual and easy to follow, tweakable, CHRONOLOGICAL format that goes from 0 A.D. to today. It covers both world and American history (either of which can be used independently). It can be used with ANY age (even as an adult history reference) - although my choices on it "as is" reflect Otter's age as he works his way through it. I LOVE it and we are currently working with it. It schedules in lots of various spines (pick and choose whichever you want), and all the other goodies my other schedules have (books, movies, and so on). It's...well...awesome, lol.

You can use this schedule by itself or you can use it to supplement any other history curriculum that covers either or both world and United States history.

Want to see more books & movies in a timeline format (for both children AND adults)? Click here for The History Shelf.

Please read the following and then scroll down to access the schedule.


Homeschool History Curriculum

Questions and Answers:


Question: Are you crazy? How in the world is this all supposed to get done?!

Answer: You aren’t supposed to do it all. It’s meant to be used as a buffet. Pick and choose. This is the ultimate tweak-freak’s dream! So…if you are a fellow tweak-freak, enjoy your smorgasbord. If you are a box-checker…run. Far away. Or take your time and check those boxes. It’s up to you! Just don’t get overwhelmed!

*Tweakers/tweak-freaks are people who just can’t help but edit a curriculum to better suit them – whether it’s supplementing, changing books/materials, taking things out or however adjusting things in a way that works better for them and their child/children. Most of us “tweak” things, especially as we gain more homeschooling experience.

Question: Am I really supposed to watch all of those movies?

Answer:  See the previous answer. No. Unless you want to. I'm not though! You can see which ones we watched based on the reviews or comments underneath. Some families don’t like movies, others do. Choose whichever ones you want or don’t watch any at all. They are listed they way they are to give me lots of choices. Also, as noted above, some are not for Otter. Some are for me and/or my grown-up daughter. Some are just listed to give me context for the historical time period. At some point I will be creating a movie timeline for everyone that has nothing to do with homeschool and those movies will be on there too.

Question: Do you think it’s worth getting Netflix or should I go with something like Discovery Streaming or something else?

Answer: My personal preference is Netflix and the schedule reflects that. Not only can you get educational movies, but you can also watch lots of other things for a reasonable monthly price. I also love it that many of the movies/videos I listed from Netflix are streaming, which means you can watch them right away on the Internet (or via your T.V. with some special equipment). However, many of the Netflix movies were not made specifically for children. Discovery Streaming has the advantage of being geared for that type of audience and everything is probably going to be pretty decent (more or less). I used to subscribe to Discovery Streaming, but I like getting more variety with Netflix. You can also use your local library or maybe you have some of the movies already at home. Please note that some of the movies I marked as "Netflix streaming" may NOT be available for streaming when you get to them. Sometimes they might be available on Amazon Instant video instead or through your local library. As always, feel free to skip or substitute too.

Some of the videos are available through a Google video search, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix and other sources. Most video covers are linked to Amazon so you can get more information about them.

Question: Did you watch all those movies yourself?

No! I didn't, so please preview all the movies. Some titles may or may not be appropriate for all students. Some that aren’t- may be, if you are willing to skip some scenes.  Some of the movies listed are not for Otter, but rather for my grown-up daughter and me, since we love history too!  Videos Otter has watched have his rating underneath. 


Question: Is this monster of a schedule meant to be used in a traditional 36 week school year schedule?

Answer: No. At least that’s not how we are using it. Tweakers can feel free to adapt it into one though. I used to be very school-year oriented. In other words, I had it all mapped out. We would do the first half of American history in 3rd grade. Then in 4th we’d cover the 2nd half. Then we’d take a year to do a whirl-wind tour of the world focused on geography. 6th grade we’d cover ancient history. 7th would be the middle ages/renaissance and so on…You know how people post their plans all the way through 12th grade with the neat and tidy categories! However, I found that we never properly adhered to those plans. And I always felt obliged to follow them. If we got really interested in a bunny trail, I always felt like we were “off schedule” and eventually behind. Now please note that I love history. I want to savor it. I don’t want to rush. Instead, I want to take the time to fully understand what we’re learning and own the material. Also, sometimes, I don’t want to take a lot of time! Sometimes I just want to get through a section quickly and not linger. I found that my new type of schedule allows for that. It has order, so you can keep yourself on track and be accountable, but it also has flexibility. You can spend however long you want on a section. Maybe your kids are sick or you are in a funk and just want to cover the material quickly. If that’s the case, you can just do the lesson from a chosen spine book and skip the extras. Or, maybe you want to really dig your heels in and stay parked on a specific time period. No problem. You are in charge, not the schedule. My goal is not only to LEARN history, but to LOVE it.

Question: O.K. That sounds interesting, but how does that work on a day to day basis?

Answer: I can tell you what we did. Basically I would look at a row in the schedule. Let’s start with the first row as an example. On the first day I’d read through the MOH lesson. Then I might read the other 2 items and if we had time and maybe we’d watch part of Ben Hur (which we didn’t as you can see because it doesn’t have Otter’s rating, but you get the idea). The next day I’d move down to the next row after finishing up Ben Hur. If we wanted to do more that day, I’d continue moving on. If not, we’d stop and go on to our next subject.
I usually schedule about an hour or so for history on most days. Some days we spend less time and just do a spine lesson. Other days we include more activities or movies. You just move through time and through the schedule by going row to row as you move from left to right through the columns (or right to left, if you prefer), lol. The main thing is to move down the rows. That’s moving through time and through your lessons. It means you may end up parked in a section because you decided you wanted to read through that 300+ page novel. No problem. It’s not something to rush through. It’s something to enjoy and journey through!

Question:  Isn’t this going to mess up my 4-year history rotation?

Answer: It might. I’m not particularly stuck on a 4-year rotation. I’m stuck on enjoying what I’m learning with my son though! I’m also stuck on going through things chronologically. I am so picky about that now. It drives me CRAZY to jump around in a history curriculum. I try not to do that in mine, even if that means rearranging other resources around. You don’t have to use (and linger on) my schedule. You can use it to supplement while you adhere to a 4-year rotation or anything else.


Question: What age is this schedule for?

Answer: I’m creating it for my son, who was in early middle school for the medieval portion of the schedule. I anticipate it will take us a while to get through this entire thing…So I’d say the whole thing is appropriate for about 6th grade to early high school. The beauty of the schedule is the flexibility though. You can easily adapt it for any age from a 1st grader to an adult. I’m using it for my own education and entertainment (hence many of the adult movie titles and adult books scheduled in).  Just plug in your own choices in the time line. You can even create an extra column (in the Word Document format only!). Have one column include literature for your older child and the column next to it literature for your younger child. I may even add in books for younger students at a later date. *Note: my own son is somewhat of a reluctant reader, so you’ll notice I still include some picture (or easy) books in the schedule for him. These help give him some visual references for the time period we are studying and break up the reading pace with a bit of variety. Also, sometimes it's just quicker to learn something from a picture book! I don't think you always need to read a lengthy tome to learn something. ;-)

If you have a child close in age to my son, this schedule may not require a lot of changing. If you have a child much younger, or much older, you will probably end up using my schedule as more of a framework to work from and get ideas, or perhaps as a supplement to your preference of history curriculum.

Question: How did you choose the books?

Answer: I choose the books after a ton of research. I know what my son likes pretty well by now and many of the books are based on his preferences (and/or sometimes my preferences). Some of the books I chose because they were the only thing available that covered a particular subject or person I thought was important and others I chose because they are “fun” or interesting or cover a specific character trait or event or whatever. All of them were chosen to help advance my son’s understanding about the history we are studying. Some topics or time periods will have “extra” books. This reflects my son’s (or my) personal interests. Feel free to cut things out! I am pretty picky about what my son reads to himself. I’m a bit more lenient about what I read out loud to him. Some of the read-alouds I edited on the fly. I try to give you my specific warnings or thoughts about them (but I don't always!!).
I found the books via, my library, my own home library shelves and by reading though tons of links and reviews and lists online. I did NOT use any other curriculum to create this.

Question: If I buy all of those books, I'll spend a fortune! How can I afford this?

Answer: Check out our article on how to use a literature-based curriculum without breaking the bank!

Question: Isn't that book too easy for an older student?

Answer: I don't choose books based on whether they are too easy or not. I choose them to help us retain the material. Sometimes an "easy" book helps get the job done better (and sometimes not, lol). Think about it this way. A high school history text may have a couple paragraphs (or more) about a person or event. You read it, but you may not retain it. Substitute an "easy" book, maybe an illustrated comic, or a humorous picture book or whatever... and the material may stand out more in your memory. I'm not afraid to use whatever works! Sometimes a picture book can give a LOT of information on the pages that is visual and sticks and/or adds to a student's understanding. If you didn't live during 1776, it might be hard to visualize some of what you are reading. If you see it painted on the page of a picture book, you might just have a bit more context to help remember things by. Picture books aren't just for little kids. ;-) I try to find a good balance between using easy books and books that are more challenging.

Question: What are "Otter's ratings?

Books, materials and videos Otter read/used/watched have his rating underneath. Maybe his ratings will help you make your own choices (but remember, what’s OK for our family may not be for yours!). They also help you see what we did and did not do on the schedule. Otter did not, however, rate ALL items he used. Most of the unrated items are in the website column and are usually maps or something else fairly quick to look at.
Books can be used as read-alouds or readers depending on what works for your family time and ability-wise. I did include some picture books to add in some visual variety and for some quick reads. Reading levels listed are from Lexile (funny numbers after the book titles). Please visit the Lexile site for more clarification on levels. Levels can be used to help you decide if you want to do a book as a read-aloud or a reader. Many books did not have a Lexile score, but I tried to get it when I could. *Note: new additions to the schedule don't have Lexile levels listed because I decided I didn't care about them, lol.

Question: Isn't that book for an adult?

I also added in some books for ME in this schedule. All books for me will be marked so you know they are NOT for students due to mature content, length and other considerations. If you want to “homeschool” yourself or are an avid reader, you might consider reading a few of the grown-up books yourself. At some point I will work on a book timeline that has nothing to do with homeschool but rather lists adult novels in chronological order. The books for adults on this timeline will be on that one too.

Question: What’s the deal with all the spine books?

(* A spine text is just basically a text that makes a nice framework for your studies. It features main incidents and people from history.)

Answer: My son and I really like Mystery of History, so that’s our main “spine” text. However, I had Story of the World on hand from when I used it with the big kids (and I still love it since it's so kid-friendly) so I decided to schedule that in too. I also prefer the mapwork from SOTW (vs. the mapwork in MOH) as well as some of the activities from the optional activity book. I found some freebies I added in for different flavors. If you haven’t noticed, I’m all about options! Young Folk’s History of England adds in a European flair, The Story of Liberty has some interesting (optional chapters) and the Christian books (Trial and Triumph as well as the History Lives series) add in some extra Christian perspective (easily skipped if you are secular folks). Finally, A History of US adds in gobs of American history stuff, especially because, at the time of this writing, there are no Mystery of History volumes 4 and 5. I have mixed feelings about A History of US (I don’t always agree with Ms. Hakim’s perspective), but it’s a homeschool standard, so if you are interested in using it, it’s scheduled here. I have an older 3rd edition, so some of my chapters may be a bit off. It should be similar enough to the newer edition(s) though for scheduling purposes.

You don’t have to use any of the spine texts, or you can choose to use one of them or you can add in your own (like A Child’s History of the World or a textbook or whatever). I’ve tried to schedule in all the chapters based on WHEN they happened, so they may be ordered differently than they appear in the books. That means that occasionally (especially with SOTW) some of the chapter introductions which refer to previous chapters may need to be skipped. It’s usually not a big deal for us.

Please feel free to plug in any desired spine book - either any of the ones I used or any other you'd prefer. Honestly, I really did over-schedule because that is how *I* like it. If you have an older student, you may be interested in plugging in sections from one of the Jack Spielvogel history books.

Question: Why did you schedule in fiction and novels? Fiction isn’t real history…

Answer: I use fiction as a tool to do several different things:

  • To foster an interest in history, through stories that are more memorable than dry snippets in a textbook.
    It’s easier to relate to characters you care about in the context of a story. We always start out our history studies with plenty of NON-fiction. I think that’s essential. However, I think there is a place for fiction and I use it to help flesh out our lessons with the smaller, messier and more fun or interesting details that just don’t often appear in non-fiction.
  • To help us learn about the culture of a time period.
    Often fiction books will feature the smell, taste, look and feel of a setting and/or event in history. Well researched books help you learn about what people did, ate, saw and other interesting elements of culture more easily.
  • Many historically fiction books contain elements based on things that really did happen – a war, people, activities and more.
    This helps students better retain these incidents while also possibly gaining different perspectives. One fiction book about the American Revolution may feature a Loyalist family. Another may be about colonists fighting for freedom. These stories make the war not only come alive, but also help a student relate to how people may have felt about the things going on in their world. It makes it more “real”. You can always discuss details of the book that don’t match up perfectly with what really did happen. That’s what the spine books/non-fiction books are for.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that historical fiction helps history “come alive”. It makes it more real and often more memorable in my mind and in the minds of my children. It’s also hard to find age-appropriate books that really delve into the culture of a time period. Fiction takes you directly to the breakfast table. Anyone can read a non-fiction book about living on the prairie. When you read the Laura Ingalls Wilder series of books though (which aren't really fiction, but you get the idea), you’ll never forget the characters that lived during that time and the details of their lives.

Question: Whoa…I would NEVER use that book/movie/website with my kid. Why is it in your schedule?

Answer: I realize that every family is different. Some of us (including me) are Christian, others secular, etc. Kids are all over the map as far as maturity and what works for one family wouldn’t work for another. While I try to make sure that Otter’s books and the things he watches are wholesome, I do want him to know that history is sometimes ugly and we need to learn from other’s mistakes. You can read about my philosophy about that in part of an article I wrote for my site a long time ago:

Click here to read the article.

Question: What are those extra categories like art?

Answer: I figured we might as well study other things like art, composers, a bit of science & discoveries and other things. They are a part of history and a part of understanding the different time periods and cultures. For you, they may be optional. You’ll see what we did (or did not do) based on Otter’s ratings. We are history aficionados! Every little bit of scheduled material adds to our over-all understanding of the who/what/where/when and why’s of history.

Question: Why are you sharing all of this for free?

Answer: Despite spending untold hours on this thing (you don’t even want to know), I’m happy to share this schedule for free. I created it for me and my family so it’s not really intended for/created for “public consumption” (so I don’t make any claims about it!!). However, in honor of the many blessings God has provided me and my family, I hope that by sharing it, it can bless someone else.

If you want, please consider clicking through my site for any or some of your purchases. I get a small commission! Or you can find out other ways to support my site here. Please consider clicking on THIS LINK and then adding it to your browser bookmark tool for your permanent browser link to Amazon.

Question: How do I get a version of the schedule I can edit?

Answer: If you'd like an editable Microsoft Word version of the schedule please click here.

Question: When is this schedule going to be finished?

Answer: I have no idea, but I’m working on it. I have a lot of things to fill in (some of the art and music items), printables, website stuff and always MORE BOOKS (and movies and…and…and…)!!! If you are looking at it before it’s finished, you are looking at my “beta” work-in-progress version. It’s a version I’m actually working through with my son while I create it. It’s not only helping him learn, it’s helping me too! Note: for a BETA, this schedule is pretty well stocked with stuff to do, even "as is".

And now a disclaimer:

I make NO claims about this history schedule / curriculum / program / whatever you want to call it. I also do not own any of the images. They are, as far as I know, copyright free or I have what I understand to be a right to use them (through the Amazon Affiliates program or whatever). The BrainPop logo is used with permission. ETC. My personal version of the timeline schedule has pictures of all the linked British rulers. I have deleted them from the public version of the schedule however because I don't want to investigate the copyright of each one, even if they did come from Wikimedia.

As far as I know, the folks behind Mystery of History do not allow their table of contents or other content to be put in schedules without permission. I wrote them asking for permission to post their table of contents but never received a reply. They never contacted me about my schedule, but I am aware of their policy and respect that. Because of this, I do not list their table of content titles, activities, or anything else other than "lesson 1", "lesson 2", etc. Basically my schedule includes  only the MOH chapter numbers. NO specific MOH content is listed.

This schedule is something I created for ME and my family and I’m letting you look at it. Use it at your own risk. I’m not affiliated with any of the books or publishers of the books I chose to schedule in or anything else. Please don’t post this schedule or share it except by sharing the link, unless it’s for your cousin who lives in some remote part of the world with no Internet and you want to give her a copy. If you aren’t sure, ask.

Extra Stuff:

I've also included personal notes about whether certain books are available at my local library, the Open Library (which my library subscribes to so I can check out thousands of books for free online) or if I have to order them, etc. Just ignore these!

Have a resource you'd like to recommend? Email me (homeschooler (at sign) or guesthollow (at sign) with a subject line of guesthollow)! I may add it to the schedule!

Phew! Finally! Let me see the schedule!

Ok, here you go! Scroll down to the linked pages.

Awesome History Timeline Schedule


History curriculum books

Click here for a list of books and materials that are scheduled for more than one lesson (for planning purposes). These are items I recommend purchasing, as they would be inconvenient to borrow from the library.

Click each link below to see the sections of the Awesome History Timeline Schedule.

Want an editable version? Click here.


0 to 995 A.D.

1000 to 1199 A.D.

1200 to 1299 A.D.

1300 to 1399 A.D.

1400 to 1499 A.D.

1500 to 1599 A.D.

1600 to 1699 A.D.

1700 to 1799 A.D.

1800 to 1899 A.D.

1900 to the present


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