No Boring Book of Centuries Allowed {Notebooking Construction}

The Book of Centuries has been a longtime resource for many home educators.  It is just not a new idea.  Classical and Charlotte Mason educators over the years have utilized this notebooking method to reap untold reward of learning and knowledge.  Okay, well, I don't have hard evidence or statistics to back that last statement up, but it is probably true. ;)

There are many resources across the internet to help you put together a Book of Centuries.  As a Charlotte Mason educator, this is a weekly work item for my children, and I have also incorporated it in my history classes at homeschool cooperative, as well.  The basic concept of a Book of Centuries is to learn, determine and record the important events of history, in chronological format.

The idea of a Book of Centuries page is to reflect, on one page, a set time period.  A good page entry should depict events sequentially, adding facts and pictures to make a beautiful snapshot of history on the page.  This enriching activity helps students to grasp the chronology of the time period in history they are studying.

Here are a few basic examples from our Book of Centuries:

We utilized Notebooking Pages' Book of Centuries pack for many of our entries.  It is  convenient and easy to print out the pages that my students need, and it gives a consistent uniform look to our Book of Centuries.  

Of course, we are homeschoolers, so we don't want EVERYTHING uniform.  Last year, we started adding some other creative and personal touches to our Book of Centuries that have made it an even more bright, vibrant and living collection of chronological history.  Here are some creative pages to add to your Book of Centuries:

  • Wanted Posters: The above photo are the Founding Father's Wanted Posters from our 1st Semester History Projects at co-op.
  • Biography Pages: Learning about the life of a man or woman that lived during the time period you are studying, is a profound and important tool in history.  When children connect with an individual, either by admiration or loathing, the door swings wide for true learning and loving that historical moment in time.

  • Political Cartoons: Studying political cartoons and devising your own humor of historical events or persons adds fun to any Book of Centuries.
  • Cover Page Contest:  We actually had a competition to see who could create the best Cover Page at homeschool cooperative and the teachers voted.  The picture above was our 2014 winner . . . never mind the winner just happened to be one of my kids. 
Here is a list of resources for building a Book of Centuries:

Have you tried using a Book of Centuries in your homeschool yet?

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook


8 Reasons This Charlotte Mason Educator Loves Mystery of History {Review}

No Mystery here about how I feel about History!  

Most of my readers know (and hopefully tolerate) that I am an unrepentant history buff.  As many of you well know I have a tendency to lean toward exaggeration ... This IS NOT ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS.  
History is my 'Thang!

Since we are on the topic of "my 'thangs", let me just bring up history books.  Yep, I totally love them too.

As a traditionalist in the subject of history, and well, most all subjects; I prefer to teach by completely ditching the textbook. I have experienced far better results with the use of rich and vibrant living books when teaching.  Reading the classic, older books is my favorite tool for feasting on history.

The Mystery of History is the exception to this rule, every time.
Bright Ideas Press publishes one of my favorite faithful history books, Mystery of History by Linda Lacour Hobar.

I had a startling revelation recently about this curriculum . . . I have used this product for over 5 years and NEVER reviewed my experience on this blog. *gasp*

Now that you have recovered from  the reeling shock, I shall proceed. The Mystery of History series has many appeals for a Charlotte Mason educator, such as myself.  Here are just a few:
  • Engaging narrative format.  The Mystery of History delivers a living book-type experience with interesting and biographical story-telling focus.  The author is passionate about her area of expertise and sharing these stories with her audience.
  • Short lessons.  These history lessons are compacted into 2 - 3 page narratives making them 20 - 30 minutes total in reading and lesson time, coming in just under the "short lesson" format that our Ms. Mason recommends.

  • Easy to notebook alongside the engaging history stories.  We use our notebooks faithfully in history, and using this curriculum has made it simpler still.  The activities and appendix provide tons of jumping-off points for our notebooking time.
This was our Trade Days at co-op last year.
The project was put on by local artisans for our Middle School
students taking Mystery of History, Volume 1 - Volume 3.

  • Hands-on activities that require less materials & less fuss.  I love that there are many activities for me, as an educator, to choose from in each lesson.  The choices allow me the option of choosing the less complicated and more engaging activities.  As the children have gotten older, many activities can become project based learning opportunities.
  • Excellent suggestions for living books to enrich the curriculum.  Yes, you heard me right. MORE. BOOKS.  The appendix is chalk-full of literature and history options for additional research and enjoyment.
  • Multi-age and multi-level lessons.  Mystery of History is able to be used and adapted to virtually any grade level, providing options for "Younger Students", "Middle Students" and "Older Students".
This project was created by The Bug during her
study of Mystery of History, Volume I

  • Easy to customize to your teaching style & your student's learning style.  The curriculum is written in such a way as to allow me the freedom to choose the activities, timelines and quizzes that best suit my children's individual learning style & our family's preferences in learning.
  • Unapologetic Biblical worldview.  The truth is the truth.  The truth of God's Word never changes & is the only "True North" for which we should ever judge the history of other people, from other cultures, in other times.  Keeping a biblical worldview whilst telling the story of humankind, ensures that my children will be able to rightly relate the history they are learning, and apply what they learned to their lives through this biblical filter.
Thanks again Bright Idea Press for another great resource for this Charlotte Mason educator to love!
Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

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** This post may contain affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**

Be on the look out for our journey as we complete a new resource from Bright Ideas Press, North Star Geography.

North Star Geography & WonderMaps Combo


10 + Inspirational Movies for Back-To-School

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

Um. Okay? I have never truly understood that line, although it is one of my favorite poems from Lewis Carroll.  What I DO understand is the inevitable washing in of the changing tide.


Officially, I have been prayerfully planning the school year throughout the summer. Unofficially, I have only made true headway in the last couple of weeks.  This pressing of my time and efforts can result in making me a less-than-enjoyable mommy.  

Prayer is the best way to avoid a fear-based, panicked mommy.  Reading God's Word. Check.

Sometimes I just need to have a cup of tea and check-out.  I hope that you will allow yourself a simple moment of luxury, like this before hitting the books again.  Note: I said hitting the books, not hitting with books.  

These are some great inspirational movies for the educator preparing for going back into the trenches that I recommend:
What is your favorite movie for Back-To-School Inspiration?

If you missed our Curriculum post, here is what Our Charlotte Mason Education will look like this year.
  • Don't forget to get your copy today! The Big Book of Homeschooling Ideas.  55 Homeschool Moms sharing their expertise on 103 Homeschooling topics.  Great read for the back-to-homeschool month!  I am also a tiny bit excited about this publication because your's truly wrote two chapters.

Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

** This post may contain affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**


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