No, I’m not talking about treasure maps, where you use the map to look for treasure – I’m talking about looking for the map itself! (And not the secret “X marks the spot” kind… just maps. Organized, printer-friendly, relatively comprehensive, MAPS.
I’m sure you’ve done it. You get to talking with the kids about something – a plant, an animal, an event… and all of the sudden one of them asks, “Where IS that, anyways?”
I pretty much make the habit these days of resorting to Google Maps. At least the question gets answered, right?
But all too often, I’m wishing I could PRINT it for them – so they could add it to a “geography” book – which we don’t have, but I’m perpetually intending to get around to creating.
Online maps don’t lend themselves to nice, simple, printing – either they’re easy to use as an online or directional reference – or they’re a flat image. Those images are generally one specific type of map, one odd shape for printing, and have either far too much or too little information.
Recently the Homeschool Crew has been trying out WonderMaps, a new product from Bright Ideas Press. WonderMaps is indeed a bright idea; it’s extremely simple to use, comprehensive, and adaptable to any history, geography, or social studies curriculum.
WonderMaps does include some specialized maps that correspond directly to both The Mystery of History and All American History, but with over 350 different maps included, pretty much anything you need will be here, regardless of what program you are using.
These aren’t just modern day maps, either: there are more then 125 historical maps, including 25 biblical maps.
Maps are viewable and printable with different “layers” – options include:
- outline, reference, political, or topographical variations
- black-and-white or color
- features that may be turned on and off, such as: names, borders, rivers, citites, physical features, and graticules (the grid of lines, especially latitude and longitude, on a map)
This isn’t a resource that is best for one specific type of homeschool, teacher, or learner – these maps are usable by anyone to supplement their particular program in their preferred way. Nor is it restricted to the tech-savvy, or those over a certain age – it’s simple to use, and anyone who can read will be able to find their way through the map index.
WonderMaps has “won” me over; they’d make a wonderful resource for any homeschooling household.
But don’t just listen to me – here’s a “tour” video showing off all the features of WonderMaps:
To see what other crew members had to say about this product, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog post, Bright Ideas Press.
**I received this product for free as a member of the 2010-11 The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew so that I could provide you with an honest review of it by our family.**