WonderMaps: Review by The Work of Childhood

Platforms: Software
Release Date: 2011
Genre(s): Geography
Publisher(s): Bright Ideas Press
Our Score
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WonderMaps: Review by The Work of Childhood

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Review by The Work of Childhood

WonderMaps: Review

I was recently given the awesome opportunity of reviewing WonderMaps by Bright Ideas Press. I first heard about WonderMaps about a year ago and had already made a point to bookmark them for future reference since I knew they would be SUPER handy for History studies!

There are SO many fantastic options with WonderMaps. From the first menu, your choices are…”The World/Continents/Regions/Nations”, “United States of America”, “Historical Maps”, and “Thematic Maps”.

Features

WonderMaps is designed with easy-to-use layers that allow you to enjoy great customizable features with just a click. Select:

  • historical or modern-day maps
  • outline, reference, political, or topographical maps
  • black-and-white or color maps
  • features including:  names, borders, rivers, cities, physical features, and graticules

WonderMaps includes:

  • 60+ maps of the world
  • 60+ maps of the USA
  • 125 historical maps, including 25 biblical maps
  • The complete map sets from The Mystery of History vols. I–III and All American Historyvols. I & II

———————————————————————————————————————————

Since we have started learning about Benjamin Franklin this month, the FIRST map I went after was a map of the original 13 colonies. I found it quickly under Thematic Maps!

Right away, we both noticed that our current state, North Carolina, is actually pretty much exactly the same NOW as it was when it was one of the original colonies, and other states, like my home state of Georgia looks a little bit different.

I love that it gives me the option of different choices to display on the map! For this particular map, I had the option of turning off (or on):

Key (the banner at the top), Physical Features (mountain range name, ocean label, etc)Cities(the dots), City Names (the name words), Colony Names and Claims (this would be fabulous to turn ‘off’ for turning the map into a ‘test’ worksheet that your student fills in), Borders (so no outlines are visible), and finally Modern Overlay (meaning the current states outlines underneath the original outlines).

I was even able to find a map of the Native North American outlines from 1400-1500 AD…so we could take a look at what America looked like before there were ANY settlers here and it was just the Native Americans living here…

Here’s an overview of the main menu under the Thematic Maps…

To give you an idea of just how MANY maps there are to choose from, here’s a look at JUST the maps available under the Thematic Maps index…

SOOOO many choices!!!

I also printed out an outline map of the United States so we could keep track of the states we learn about and he could color them in as we go along. I left the State Names and Capitals for now while he’s learning them, and then eventually can leave JUST the outline on the printout for review!

The Historical Maps section is perfect for when you are studying specific time frames in History, like Creation through the Ancients or The Middle Ages and so on.

And, if you happen to be using the curriculums Mystery of History or All American History, they even have a special section to make downloading the maps you need even EASIER!!

There is even a wonderful teachers guide that has resources adapted from Hands-On Geography by Maggie Hogan.

Even though we have only actually used a handful of the maps so far, I can tell that WonderMapsis going to be an INVALUABLE resource for our homeschooling!! I know many maps you can probably find with a quick Google, but Bright Ideas Press really knew what they were doing when they created this program to have ALL of these fabulous maps in one place AND to have them be COMPLETELY customizable to your needs…it can’t get any better than that! Just think of all the time saved hunting online for maps that suit your needs when with WonderMaps, you can do it in a matter of one or two clicks!

Here’s a snippet of the WonderMaps program from the Timberdoodle website:

Pick Your Features – Print Your Maps!
Imagine trying to teach anatomy without a model, or math without manipulatives. History without an undergirding of geography is more mystery than history. Your child needs to see borders to understand conflicts, distances to imagine hardships, and terrain to envisage needs. Maps bring such clarity to history that it would be silly to try to teach without them.

But trying to find pertinent maps for each child for every year of study can be a time drain that few homeschooling parents can afford. That is why we are delighted to offer you WonderMaps, made-to-order geography materials at your fingertips.

Choose any one of the 350 different maps and then customize it to fit your child’s level of study. Wonderfully versatile, each map has a variety of layers that you can turn on or off with a simple checkbox. Need a basic outline of a country, it’s there. Want to add cities, borders, terrain, even color? Each is just a click away. Easy-to-use layers even allow you to see how borders changed over time!

WonderMaps is divided into four categories: maps of the world, maps of the USA, historical maps, and thematic maps (including biblical maps). Plus, if your family uses either The Mystery of History or All American History, you will be delighted to know that WonderMaps includes the complete map sets from each entire series! Your options when using WonderMaps are seemingly endless. Using maps in your homeschool will bring needed perspective not only to history, but to literature, science and biblical studies as well.

You can find WonderMaps on the Timberdoodle site, as well as many other great geography/history resources like Geography Puzzles. There is also a brief video tutorial of the program that’s worth checking out as well!!

You can read more Timberdoodle Blogger Review Team reviews of WonderMaps HERE.

Disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of WonderMaps in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.


Posted by Timberdoodle Co. | 12 Oct 2011 | 5 star, All Reviews

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