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Book of the Centuries

Book of the Centuries

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Publisher: Small Ventures Press
Author: Bonnie L. Dettmer

List Price: $29.95

Ages: All Ages

Reviewed By: Larissa McKay

Loose-leaf Notebook Timeline

When Book of the Centuries first came out, I thought, "Oh, what a wonderful idea, but I'll make ours myself and save money!" HAH! I refuse to admit how many hours I spent just in putting the first one together. And then there was the cost involved, which wasn't quite as low as I'd expected. And on top of all that...well...we didn't much like what I'd created when I finished, and I wasn't about to make a second one so that each boy could have his own. My final conclusion was that this product is WELL worth its $29.95 price tag.

So this year I got smart. I went out and bought copies of Book of the Centuries for us to use in high school. [Ideally, you want one for each child rather than one for your whole family. This enables every student to personalize his timeline - including the facts, notations, pictures, etc., that interest HIM.]

Book of the Centuries comes in a large, seven-ring binder. This is great in itself, because your papers are much less likely to get torn when you've got seven rings instead of the usual three. The extra rings help in another way too; I'll explain that later. The binder's other unique feature is that the rings are attached to the back cover instead of the spine, so you are saved from always having your front and back pages curled under as they get caught in a closing notebook. Small Ventures obviously put a great deal of thought into the construction of this product.

Once you get into Book of the Centuries, you will find an introduction that offers ways in which you can make your timeline really work for you. This sheet is followed by the timeline itself. The first pages allow plenty of room for a study of Genesis. "In the Beginning, GOD", "The Fall", "The Flood", "From the Flood..." and " 3500 B.C." are each allotted a whole page. The usual timeline starts after this and proceeds through 2005 A.D. (Lord Willing!). The timeline pages are a high-quality, heavy paper, primarily blank so that you have plenty of room for drawings, maps, photos, etc. The timeline itself runs along the tops of the pages with each page covering 100 years until 500 B.C. when allowances are made for more information by dropping each page to cover only 50 years. Adjustments are made again at 1000 A.D. when each page begins covering only 25 years and at 2000 A.D. when each year gets a page of its own.

Knowing that your students will find more to fill their pages than will fit on these basic timeline sheets, Dettmer has also provided 3/4 cut sheets that have lines (Oh, is my 14-year-old ever grateful for those lines!). Your students can fill these with all of that extra information they find fascinating, and place them in the book wherever they are needed. Because they are only 3/4 of a sheet tall, you can always see the timeline that runs along the top of the page. Also, because you have seven rings in the binder rather than the usual three, these note pages are on five rings; this is the other advantage I referred to earlier.

AND, as if this weren't enough, you'll find that the publisher has provided for you two pages of timeline figures and a reproducible timeline sheet (in case you need more space than the timeline pages allow for). Right, I really was a dink for thinking I ought to make my own book in the first place.

Book of the Centuries sells for $29.95. You can also buy the pieces if you like. The binder sells for $13.00. The timeline is $18.00. The notes pages are $6.75. Small Ventures also offers Dettmer's book, History Helps. You can buy it and Book of the Centuries together for $39.95. This powerful team will greatly enhance any history curriculum.
More Information
Available From: Small Ventures
Address: 11023 Watterson Drive, Dallas, TX 75228
Phone: 972.681.4720
Other Notes:

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Larissa McKay
Larissa McKay has been homeschooling "forever" and has a wide range of experience working with homeschoolers. She's also tried her hand at many different teaching approaches; the word eclectic suits her just fine.
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