And now we homeschool.
It involved repainting the basement hallway from the top of the stairs all the way down and down the hall and around the corner, a lot of thought work in allocating appropriate space to different time periods (it was never an option to make an uniform allocation of space--too many billions of years in which nothing interesting went on), and, yes, I lowered our house's resale value just a little bit more, but the girls and I worked hard on its preparation, and we're all three very pleased.
We begin at the top of the basement stairs. There's a foot and some change at the very top where nothing's happened yet because it's in the future, but soon enough, we're far back enough in time that interesting things have begun to occur:
I had not intended to permit the children to graffiti the wall, but as I worked on the timeline with Sydney at my side, and she began to draw all over with our Sharpies, VERY excited about "making our timeline pretty," I thought to myself, "Eh."
And so the timeline is pretty as well as informative:
As we walk down the stairs, we move even further back into ancient history:
I want our timeline to grow as the children's learning and interests grow, so I tried to keep my beginning entries as minimal as possible on subjects about which the children aren't yet interested (if you want to see an AMAZING and comprehensive on-the-wall timeline, check out the timeline at Ordinary Life Magic). Instead, I tried to only lay out markers, so to speak, placeholders that will help us put dates down accurately without a lot of figgering. So I've noted the beginning point of American history, for instance:
The Medieval period:
The Christian era begins at the bottom of the stairs:
The Classical Age:
Don't worry--when we get to a part of history that we're interested in, you'll be able to tell:
And when we get to a part of history that we're really, REALLY interested in, I think that you'll be able to tell that, too: