Living History and Writing On the Wall

History Timeline & Map of the World on the wall as a border
We talk of looking back on the old year as we step into a new one. I took it a step (maybe a mile) further. Friends introduced us to Adam’s Synchronological Chart or Map of History — a reprint of an old timeline. It has a 25-foot fold-out that shows worldwide events since God created Adam. I was instantly enamored by its exquisite detail. I ordered one for our family. Upon arrival, I stared at it for a good three minutes …

Then I ripped off the cover and cut it apart.

The kids didn’t know what to think. Usually I preach ‘handle books with care’ and ‘they are items to treasure’ — yet I stood before them with scissors and thumb tacks, disassembling a beautiful old map and … “Yes, kids, I’m going to stick it on the wall as a border.” My oldest daughter watched in earnest as I cut a square from the top of the map to fit it around the thermostat cover. And then something amazing happened.

Adams Map of the WorldThe kids started reading the writing on the wall.  In fact, my husband and I spent the better part of our New Year’s Eve hours walking to and fro, finding out facts and sharing them with each other. Because we know Biblical history and we’ve been taught world and American history … but we have never put them together and lined them up. This chart shows what was going on in China while Jesus was being crucified. I never realized that Shem, son of Noah, was alive for the first 50 years of Abraham’s life. Did they know each other? Did they talk about the flood? Seeing a complete view of the world in such a way is unique. Because in modern education we study specific people and events, we don’t put them together and connect the dots — at least not very often. Doing so is absolutely fascinating.

Synchronological Map of the World

On New Year’s Eve morning the kids helped me hold the map and push pins into the wall. We decorated with the old antlers from the flea market and carried David back to the table. My son can’t stand that statue. He says the eyes are always looking at him (I’m hoping it’ll make him be more diligent with his school work). About 10 minutes after these photos were taken, the dining room school room table was again loaded and stacked with books and papers and rulers and miscellaneous Lego pieces. Ear buds and laptops and tissues cluttered the free space. And I just sat and stared at the history surrounding me …

School room timeline on the wall

It’s impossible to begin a new year without a nod from whence we came … and looking at the wall, boy, have we come far. “What’s a bone comb?!” my son asked, as he examined the drawings of early tools. “It’s a comb made from bone!” I exclaimed. “Whoa. Wonder what animal has the best bones for combs?” Indeed.

Bench made fromspruce logs

Then he plopped down on the new bench and proceeded to build an M&M dispenser from Legos. The bench, a Christmas present, was made for us by my dad from tall trees cut down at the little church on the hill. I’ll admit I was upset when the church trustees determined those big tall trees had to go for safety reasons. They’d always been there!  But they are saved … and repurposed … and their history continues to evolve. Like ours.

Rocks in a homeschoolSimple things … rocks and leaves and trees and memories … should be collected and savored. For they are the keys to memory and memories the key to history. It’s good to be reminded of the past, especially when the future sometimes seems uncertain. From whence we came  will certainly prepare us for come what may.

Home school
And it’s our job to remember and teach, to help future generations prepare for their own journey through history. If I have to tack a timeline around the room to help me, then so be it. It’s living history, after all. And I’m here to make sure they live — and know — it well!

 

 

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.

13 Comments

  • comment-avatar
    MAC January 2, 2015 (12:17 pm)

    I wish had just one ounce of your creativity and willingness to throw caution to the wind and do something cool like this. My house still has white walls and I use a folding table as a desk in my office b/c I am too afraid to by something that won’t look good. As if the folding table looks fabulous or something. HA!!!

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko January 2, 2015 (2:40 pm)

      See, what would make your desk complete is a statue! lol You should just go to a flea market or antique store or even the dump, find something you like and bring it home. If you like it you’ll find a way to use it … thus, a statue of Adam is perfect. ha!

      • comment-avatar
        MAC January 2, 2015 (3:41 pm)

        A statue of Adam in my house? Yes, that would be appropriate. I should probably build him a complete shrine. LOL!

  • comment-avatar
    Denise Laubacher January 2, 2015 (12:47 pm)

    I like it! Very nice and does the job!!! 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Susanne January 2, 2015 (7:59 pm)

    I rec’d an amazon gift card for Christmas and was wondering what I would use it on. I think you’ve just answered that question for me! This looks so interesting!

  • comment-avatar
    Stacee January 3, 2015 (12:37 am)

    What an awesome way to decorate your home and so very educational! I would have never thought to do something like this.

  • comment-avatar
    Melanie January 10, 2015 (9:11 am)

    The history book we are using combines biblical & ‘traditional’ history and it is the first time in my life I am learning them together…..amazing! Things make so much more sense when you can imagine the big picture! Love the timeline!

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko January 12, 2015 (7:44 pm)

      I am fascinated by history, too. Must be because I’m old enough to appreciate it. Glad to hear things are going well for you all!

  • comment-avatar
    Leanne January 12, 2015 (7:38 am)

    We have the Adams book too! we laid it out in the basement the other day and man, is it ever fascinating!

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko January 12, 2015 (7:43 pm)

      I’m convinced you could look at it for years and STILL find something new!

  • comment-avatar
    Anna Beekman March 22, 2017 (3:26 pm)

    Wow – I have this book. In fact, I purchased many copies and gave them away (except one) as gifts many years ago. It’s kind of neat to see someone else liking this book as much as I did.