I planned to use a Book of Centuries starting last fall, but we just never got around to it. With a sudden interest in what things happened first, I decided First Son was ready for us to introduce it. I sat down to put the whole book together.
I started with the Book of Centuries download from Simply Charlotte Mason. I printed it all out and then hole-punched it. If I were doing it again, I would have printed the even-numbered pages and then the odd-numbered pages so I could have punched the holes faster (as you want the pages facing each other in the binder). Alternatively, you could print one side and then put them back in the printer for the even numbers, but I wanted to use the blank backs of the pages for drawings or maps.
I liked the Simply Charlotte Mason pages, but I wanted to cover time before 1400 BC. (I don't want to get into a discussion on evolution here, just wanted to show you want I did. You can read a bit about the official Catholic teaching on creation here, though I know there are great differences even among Catholics.) I did a search online to see if I could find pages ready to print for the time from the creation of earth through 4000 BC without luck. I finally found this page, which gave some examples of how pages might be divided (the secular example breakdown on page 5). Using that as a guide, I made about forty pages to cover the time from 5,000,000 BC to 4000 BC.
Book of Centuries Prehistory
I printed one set and punched holes on the right, then printed a second set and punched holes on the left. I then combined them with the pages facing each other (all the holes lined up) and place them into the binder.
I then wanted some pages to cover the geologic eras before 5,000,000 BC. I used the dates I found here (a site I haven't used for anything else, so don't take this as a recommendation) to create pages for each period from the Hadean Eon through 5,000,000 BC. I just printed one each of these for now because I'm not sure how much we'll use them.
Book of Centuries Geologic Eras
Eventually, I'm going to make a book just for First Son. Right now, I'm thinking we'll start his Book of Centuries binder when he starts third grade, but we'll see how it goes. I'm pleased to be able to try out the book now as a family so we'll have ideas for improvement by the time he is ready for his own. I know we'll make some changes already:
1. Heavier paper, probably card stock. (For now, I used what we had lying around the house.)
2. I liked the idea here to use different colors for different eras.
3. First Son is going to do all the hole-punching (not that it took as long as you might think).
4. I may choose to print on both sides of the paper and use supplement pages (see page eight here) for drawings, maps and narrations.
Now we just have to start filling it in!