Bright Ideas Press is a homeschooling company that offers some great science, history, literature and geography curricula and supplemental resources.
Recently they have developed a jewel of a geography resource for download and/or cd format that will create pretty much any map you could want or need for whatever you are studying with just the click of your mouse.
Wondermaps is an interactive map program containing an innovative “layer” feature which allows customizing of the many maps they offer.
You can choose from:
~modern-day or historical maps
~outline, reference, political, or topographical maps
~black and white or color maps
and add layers of names, borders, rivers, cities, physical features, battle locations, voyages, and the maps key among other things as desired.
After you get the map customized to your liking, you can hit print and have exactly what you need to supplement whatever you are studying!
What kinds of maps are included in the 350+ map collection?
~ 60+ maps of the world
~60+ maps of the usa
~ 125 historical maps with 25 biblical maps
~the complete maps sets from Mystery of History and All Amercian History program offered by Bright Ideas Press.
The program also has a teacher’s guide with many ideas and activities for use with your map studies.
Some of the neat things included are:
~50 ideas for sing outline maps
~the 5 themes of geography
~how to make a salt-dough map
~developing history and geography activities
~16 easy mapping projects
~sample of a unit study including geography activities
For $49.95 you can choose to download this on your computer, or download it and then pay shipping to have a cd mailed to you.
So how are we using Wondermaps at Gunn Ranch Academy?
We love maps. On our adventures through Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, I used a variety of resources for map studies. I printed off maps from various internet sites to use to make our salt-dough maps. We have a blast making salt-dough maps, and always try to include them with our geography studies when traveling through a new time period or country.
My kids LOVE to color in maps as we are reading about a new place in history or even in science or literature, or sometimes just for fun.
This year Taylor (age 10) and I are working through American History using a program we received for review. Some maps are included, and some I have used from other sources. But since we received Wondermaps I must say our program has been enriched greatly. We can search out a general map and then add features we are currently studying such as rivers, and borders which seemed to change often, land claims, and even battles. It’s been an awesome way to visualize what we are studying and grasp the concepts in a hands-on way. Taylor loves to color in the maps using different colors for different country claims, Native American tribe locations, etc.
Levi (age 5) really loves looking at the maps on the computer and adding and taking away layers. He especially loves being able to identify Texas on all of the maps of the US. I’m thrilled to be nuturing his love for geography and maps with Wondermaps.
Morgan (age 14) has moved on into independent history studies and has just finished moving through her ancient studies. She has used map studies to clarify or supplement what she is studying, and will no doubt find Wondermaps a valuable resource as she is continuing to move through her history studies. Next year as she is beginning high school, this will play an important role as we create geography topic studies to supplement her hiistory studies to fullfill her high school geography credit.
We will most definitely be using Wondermaps for the duration of our homeschooling as well as many other projects. I’m espcially excited about using them when we start Mystery of History next year. We’ve ventured through a couple of other history programs, but I’m excited to finally be trying out Mystery of History with my youngest two next schoolyear and even more excited that we will have Wondermaps to coordinate with it perfectly.
Be sure to check out the other cool stuff they have on their website as well. Earlier in the year we reviewed Christian Kids Explore Chemistry and have been so impressed with it that Taylor asked if she could do the Biology one next year!
What a jewel in our treasure chest of home learning materials!
Check our the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to how other crew families enjoyed Wondermaps.
*We received a download of Wondermaps as members of the TOS Homeschool Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received and opinions are our own.