Timeline Figures Template & Sample

I’ve been working on making timeline figures for Otter’s timeline notebook. I thought I’d share the template with everyone else with a sample of how it works. Feel free to download and use to make your own timeline figures for any period of history.
It’s easy to clear the template for your own use. I’ve included instructions on how to do that quickly (1 click!) for Microsoft Word and Open Office users.

Timeline figure template in .doc format

Timeline figure template in .docx format

Timeline figure template in .odt (Open Office) format (This template has a few differences than the Microsoft template. I had to adjust a few things. Also, shapes and text boxes from Word don’t show up in Open Office. However, the main parts of the template should work fine. I have no way of checking though if the embedded font worked at the top of the page!)

Timeline figures template
A little bit more about timelines…

I’ve found that a timeline is a very wonderful tool for not only seeing the big picture of history, but also as a way to help foster the retention of everything we’ve studied. As Otter thumbs through the pages of his timeline notebook, he’s able to see how everything fits together AND at the same time review all of the wonderful books we’ve read since we paste the covers in on a regular basis. Timelines don’t have to be tied to your history classes. You can also paste in scientists and achievements from your science curriculum, artists (and even the works they created), composers from your music studies and novels you read for literature, if they fall into a historical time period. If you get your children into the habit of pulling out their timeline on a regular basis for a variety of school subjects, they’ll start to really understand how things fit together in the past. Also, when they finally graduate, they will have a lovely scrapbook featuring their many learning adventures over the years!

Grammar Help Sheet

Grammar help sheet

We are currently using MCT (Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum) for grammar. Otter LOVES it. He loves the characters and the creative approach to what can sometimes be a boring subject. He liked the book Paragraph Town so much, he said he’d like to use it in his free time! We hit a snag though when we started working out of the Practice Town book. In that workbook, you are supposed to analyze a sentence and practice the concepts learned in Grammar Town. You mark the parts of speech for each word, parts of a sentence (subject, action verb, etc.), phrases and then clauses on four separate lines. Otter was having a hard time remembering everything he was supposed to write down. To help him remember all of the things we’ve been learning, I made him this grammar help sheet.

If you are a fellow MCT user, I hope you might be able to get some use out of it too!

Latin Help Sheet

We are getting ready to wrap up our year with Lively Latin Big Book 1. This is the first program where we’ve actually experienced Latin success that goes beyond vocabulary! I LOVE it. This is one of my favorite finds in years. Seriously. I’m not a Latin failure anymore! smile

One of the things I did to make our year easier was create a Latin help sheet that covers all of the main lesson concepts and then lists vocabulary. Neither one of us likes to flip through Otter’s huge notebook of printed papers to hunt down a lesson, so we just pull out this sheet instead and have the answer in seconds. “Magistra” Catherine Drown generously granted me permission to share it (as it contains some items from her much more detailed lessons), so here it is:

Lively Latin Help Sheet PDF

Lively Latin Help Sheet Doc (You can change/tweak it to suit what you need to focus on)

Each file is 8 pages long with the first 3 pages containing “lesson” helps and the last 5 list the vocabulary from the entire program broken into categories (adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, nouns, verbs, etc.).

Latin help sheet


Evan Moor has some more freebies to download!

Literature Pocket: The Elves and the Shoemaker from Literature Pockets, Folktales & Fairy Tales

Literature Pocket: Owl Moon from Literature Pockets, Caldecott Winners

If you like freebies, you should check out some of the treasures over at the Google book search. Here are a few I’ve discovered:

History Pocket Freebies

Here are some History Pocket freebies you can download from Evan-Moor!

History Pockets, Grades 1-3 Ancient Civilizations: “China

History Pockets, Grades 1-3 “Building a Village” from Life in Plymouth Colony

I like downloading freebies and then saving them in organized files on my hard drive. Even if we aren’t studying something now, there are often things we get to in the future. Having them downloaded and ready-to go is especially helpful when things disappear from online (as they often seem to do).

Handwriting Without Tears Paper

August 16, 2009

Handwriting without tears style paper

I use Handwriting without Tears with Otter. I usually use StartWrite to create handwriting or copywork sheets for him but I wanted a plain paper already made up that has light gray lines vs. the red and blue lines in the StartWrite program. I created a hwot style paper with lines that are 2/16″ apart (measured diligently in Photoshop, lol) so I can print it out anytime.

You can download it from the main notebooking page.

Another great place to get handwriting paper is Donna Young’s site.

Incorporating Independent Study in Your Day

WinterPromise includes independent study assignments in the Adventures in Sea & Sky instructor’s guide. You can see an example here on page 4. I didn’t end up using them though because we do most of the scheduled activities together. However, I think the sheets are a GREAT idea so I designed a simple schedule of things for Otter to accomplish on his own each day.

Independent study schedule

After eating breakfast, Otter knows exactly what he needs to do by looking at his schedule. I have all of the items he’ll need to use in a neat pile near his school desk. For any lapbook assignments, I have a printed sheet with information he may need to work from or copy in his lapbook folder and all of the lapbook printables ready to go. Teaching Textbooks is installed on a computer that does NOT have Internet and there are headphones available to him so he can concentrate on his work and not disturb anyone. After he gets all of his independent work done he’s allowed to have free time until we start school together later in the day. Before starting our other work, I check over his independent lessons to see how he did and answer any questions, etc.

I like this because it encourages Otter to take some responsibility for his own learning. It’s also helping him develop some good work habits.

If you are interested in giving something like this a try, you can download a copy of our schedule by clicking on the image above and alter it to work for your own children.

Lapbook Templates

I’ve got some lapbook templates posted to a new page on the site. I’ll be adding to them as I create lapbook items for my son. You can download the templates, use them in your own projects and then share your finished work (along with my template elements) on your own site without having to ask. Just give a link back to Guest Hollow. Here’s what I posted today:

Flap template

More Nutrition Lapbook Printables

Here are some more printables I made for Otter’s nutrition study. They are also posted on the nutrition lapbook page.

Vitamin ABC’s (2 page printable)


Liver: Vitamin Storage Center Petal Book

The liver stores fat soluble vitamins

Nutrition Facts Label (2 page printable)

Nutrition Facts Label

Amino acids link together to make proteins (2 page printable)

Activity 1: Make a chain of amino acids to learn that proteins are “chains” of amino acids.
Activity 2:
Cut out “boxcar” strips of the 20 amino acids your body needs. Boxcars are labeled with the amino acids. Essential amino acids are blue. The others are red. Paste the strips together and fold accordian style.
Activity 3: Make a pocket to store the amino acids. Learn that each amino acid can link to 2 other amino acids just like a boxcar in a train. Put the amino acids from the previous step into the pocket.

List of amino acids taken from http://www.nutritional-supplements-health-guide.com/amino-acid-list.html.

Complete and incomplete proteins

Also, it appears that I forgot to link to the printable schedule for World Geography and Cultures. I have now fixed that. If you are doing our geography program, or supplementing Winter Promise’s Children Around the World curriculum, you can now print out a rough draft schedule to help you keep things on track without having to be online.