What is a Book of Centuries?
Every child’s ‘Book of Centuries’ should bear witness to ‘a liberal and generous diet of History’…The children should be free to enter on their pages events and drawings which have interested them in their wide general reading of History (that ‘inexhaustible storehouse of ideas’) and of Literature.The Book of Centuries and How to Keep One, by G.M. Bernau
A Book of Centuries is a timeline notebook wherein each century is given a two-page spread. Charlotte Mason insisted on keeping it simple so students could view an entire century with just one glance. It should be an ongoing project for fifth through twelfth graders. Students should spend thirty minutes each week adding important historical details from their weekly lessons.
Students should feel ample freedom to add small drawings that represent objects, people and events. No two century notebooks will be exactly alike. Each year students add more details as they progress in their history lessons. Students should include historical events, names of historical figures, poems, quotes, maps, etc.
All subject areas are overflowing with influential people and historical events. The Book of Centuries should not be limited to history lessons. It should include details from other lessons including scientific inventions, mathematical discoveries, artists, hymns and poetry. A Book of Centuries will engage your student over the course of their education.
Making a visual connection between people and events by using a Book of Centuries will help students retain historical details. Students will notice a web of history. Their favorite poet lived during an important historical event. A scientific discovery was made under the leadership of a famous king.
- Purchase a Book of Centuries or simply create your own.
- Begin by adding family dates including birthdays, weddings, etc.
- Write clearly and neatly.
- Write lightly in pencil, in case there is a need to erase.
- Avoid overcrowding pages with drawing and entries, leaving room for later lessons.
- Write events in the year they happened, and people near the date they were famous.
- Remind your student to bring their Book of Centuries on their next trip to the museum.