Monday, February 13, 2017

Keeping a Book of Centuries

First Daughter's Book of Centuries
Each week, I record what the children finished during the week and prepare for the next. I try to read anything anyone is going to narrate to me, if I haven't read it in a previous year. Mainly, I read First Son's readings, with a few for First Daughter. As I read, I keep my Book of Centuries near-by and add to it any events that catch my eye.

The children are asked to add three entries a week. I used to check each day to see what they were adding, but as I expanded the entries in my own book week after week, I realized the process itself and the satisfaction of seeing the centuries fill with events was rewarding. I trust they are beginning to sense the same thing so while I list in on their schedule of lessons, I do not require them to show me what they have entered each day.

There are always lots of questions about Books of Centuries - how to keep them, what's on them, what the pictures should be, what kind of book to purchase or create. I thought I'd just write a little on the basics in an attempt to encourage any Charlotte Mason homeschooling moms out there to begin by keeping their own book. Even as an adult, I can begin to see a richer tapestry of history forming as I make entries of events in multiple countries at the same time.

The children draw many more pictures than I do, as you can see from the above picture. The bottom book is mine, with lots of writing on the date links and only a few small lightly sketched pictures on the right.

Here's a closer look at some of First Son's Book of Centuries artwork. I'm not sure what all of these pictures are, but he knows.

Entries in the Book of Centuries take only a few minutes, but over the years, the book grows to encompass everything a child (or teacher!) has encountered.

There are lots of books available now for those in the homeschooling world who want to keep a Book of Centuries. We have a few different ones ourselves. I would encourage you to look for something sophisticated enough that a child may choose to take it along to college. The idea is to have one book to which a person can add throughout his or her life. This isn't a school book for one year or for a child, but one for a lifetime of learning. For the same reason, I would encourage a hardcover book.


  1. Did these books come pre-lined? And where did you get them? I love this layout!

    1. The one at the top is a hardcover Book of Centuries from Laurie Bestvater's site ( The landscape ones were from Michele Quigley ( She doesn't sell them anymore, but you can print them yourself from a PDF on the Mater Amabilis website ( It's a link on the right that's called Mapping History. I think that PDF is portrait rather than landscape. If you are going to print it yourself, I'd choose some nice thicker paper. You can have it bound at a local business type store.

    2. Oh, and they are all pre-lined, but not pre-numbered. I did mine first and let the kids number theirs by looking at mine. Those "BC" pages are difficult because they go "backwards."


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