WonderMaps! A Review by Twin Firs Adventures

Platforms: Software
Release Date: 2011
Genre(s): Geography
Publisher(s): Bright Ideas Press
Our Score
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

WonderMaps! A Review by Twin Firs Adventures

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

Review by Twin Firs Adventures

WonderMaps! A Review

As a part of Timberdoodle‘s review team, I have the opportunity to review homeschool materials from time to time.  I’ve actually had today’s item, WonderMaps, for the entire school year, but I really wanted to spend some time with this program before I wrote a review.  There is nothing more frustrating than getting over the new curriculum “honeymoon” period and finding out you actually can’t stand the product-after you recommended it to all your friends!  But this is not the case with WonderMaps.

WonderMaps is a digital collection of maps that are split into four categories: The World’s Continents, Regions, and Nations, The United States, Historical Maps, and Thematic Maps.  Each map can be customized further with options like color or black and white land form layers, political boundaries, labels for city names, rivers, and sometimes graticules.  I love that this is a digital program and I don’t have another book cluttering up my shelves.

The first time WonderMaps came to my rescue was in September, when all my teaching material was late from the school district.  I did not want to fall behind my schedule so early in the school year, so I printed off some maps of South America.  It was fast and easy and we got our work done.  IJ, my 4th grader, was able to locate and label cities according to their latitude and longitude.  S, my 2/3rd grader, was able to color and label countries and oceans.  And my kindergartener, E, was able to color countries and “copy” the names of countries in her best writing-even though she can’t read what she wrote!

IJ adds South American city names

The second time WonderMaps helped us out was for Cub Scouts!  We needed maps of Washington State for a den activity.  Instead of Googling an image and spending hours shifting through the results for the “perfect” state outline, I easily customized a simple state outline and printed ten copies.  The same outline will be handy when we do our Washington State history unit later this year.

This school year, our history focus has been modern times with a special emphasis on American history.  This covers the time period after the Civil War through today.  Instead of following a particular curriculum, I’ve patched together material from a variety of resources, including Sonlight, Story of the World, and the library.  Anytime I’ve needed a map this year, WonderMaps has what I need.  Using the historical maps feature, I can go to a linked table of contents and click on, say American Railroads or European Alliance in WWI. I don’t even print out each map!  We just stand around the computer monitor and discuss what we see.

Spontaneity is part of the method to my homeschool madness.  Right now, we are focusing on the 50 states using a curriculum that I don’t really like.  When I’m presented with a lesson plan that just doesn’t jive, I can say, “I’ve got a map for that!”  For example, I’ve been able to print off states, complete with capital cities, for S to copy on to his own set of unlabeled maps.  I’ve printed off regions of the United States so the kids could add details like mountain ranges, major rivers, and deserts using our altas.

E and S color South America countries

Thematic maps are the historical maps, sorted by their themes: Biblical maps, Chinese dynasties, explorers, American History, World Wars, and 20th Century treaties.  Instead of wading through all the historical maps for the modern era, I can look at just the American history maps.  You can see how this map program is useful for all ages, from Kindergarten to adults!  Can you name the Permanent Security Counsel Members of the United Nations?

Now, not every program is perfect for every person.  And WonderMaps isn’t either.  Next year, when we start our history cycle over with the Ancients, I will not be able to use this program for the first part of the year.  Bright Ideas Press, the company that produced WonderMaps, is a Young Earth Christian company.  They do not include any maps of ancient Egypt, the Sumerians, or anything that happened before 2240 BC.  This works for some families, but not mine.  Bright Ideas Press publishes The Mystery of History, a history curriculum similar to The Story of the World.  WonderMaps includes all the maps needed for all volumes of The Mystery of History.

S colors a WWI map to match the text he is reading.

The only other problem I have is that since each map has to fit on one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper, Delaware looks like it is the same size as Alaska.  And there is no scale to show the difference.  In fact, none of the maps have a scale to show distance or size.  With larger countries squished down to a standard piece of paper, the labels also squish down, leaving them unreadable.  However, if this program is used with the many other geography resources available (one of my kids favorites are GeoPuzzles), then the whole scale problem ceases to exist.

All things considered, I would recommend this program to The Mystery of History users and anyone who loves instant digital maps to print. The price can be a bit of a shocker (currently $48.99), but once you consider that this program is used for four years of history-and for however many cycles of history you teach-the price really comes down per year.  If you are teaching only one child for one four-year history cycle, the cost of the program is only $12.25 per year!  No decent workbook is that cheap!

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


Leave a Reply

What is 8 + 13 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Pictures

Timberdoodle A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers
Timberdoodle Body of Evidence DVD set
Timberdoodle Body of Evidence Screen Shot
Timberdoodle Buddy Blocks
Timberdoodle Raising Real Men
Timberdoodle Purpllinker
Timberdoodle Purpllinker At Table
Timberdoodle Purpllinker In Car
Timberdoodle WonderMaps
Timberdoodle WonderMaps Samples
Timberdoodle WonderMaps How
Timberdoodle Visual Latin
Timberdoodle Visual Latin DVDs
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 01
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 02
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 03
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 04
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 05
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 06
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 07
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 08
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 09
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 10
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 11
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Fantastic Five 12
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Our Side of the Mountain
Drawing USA Presidents Review by Our Side of the Mountain 02
Timberdoodle Co Logo
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Bow of Bronze 01
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Bow of Bronze 02
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Bow of Bronze 03
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Bow of Bronze 04
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Bow of Bronze 05
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Bow of Bronze 06
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Bow of Bronze 07
DrawingUSAPresidentsReviewBySimplyAtHome
DrawingUSAPresidentsReviewBySimplyAtHome02
DrawingUSAPresidentsReviewBySimplyAtHome03
DrawingUSAPresidentsReviewBySimplyAtHome04
Drawing USA Presidents Review - Diane Estrella
Drawing USA Presidents Review - Diane Estrella
Drawing USA Presidents Review - Diane Estrella
Drawing USA Presidents Review - Diane Estrella
Drawing USA Presidents Review - Diane Estrella
Drawing the Presidents review by Eclectic Musings
Drawing the Presidents review by Eclectic Musings
Drawing the Presidents review by Eclectic Musings
Drawing the Presidents review by Eclectic Musings
2 star review
4 stars
A Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA reviews
Sample from A Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA
Sample from A Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA
Sample from A Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA
Sample from A Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA
Inchimals Review for Timberdoodle by Delightful Learning
Inchimals Review for Timberdoodle by Delightful Learning
Inchimals Review for Timberdoodle by Delightful Learning
Inchimals Review for Timberdoodle by Delightful Learning
Inchimals Review for Timberdoodle by Delightful Learning
Inchimals Review Pages
Knot So Fast Review for Timberdoodle
Knot So Fast Review for Timberdoodle
Knot So Fast Review for Timberdoodle
Knot So Fast Review for Timberdoodle
Knot So Fast Review for Timberdoodle
BeginningThinkingSkillsReview1
BeginningThinkingSkillsReview2
BeginningThinkingSkillsReview3
Gabriele of Work Of Childhood
Can You Find Me? Kindergarten
Can You Find Me? Kindergarten sample
Can You Find Me? Preschool
Can You Find Me? Preschool sample
Can You Find Me? Preschool sample
Simply Draw with Bob Parsons
BambinoLUK Review by Raising Olives
BambinoLUK Review by Raising Olives
BambinoLUK Review by Raising Olives
Inchimals Review by Raising Olives
Inchimals Review by Raising Olives
Inchimals Review by Raising Olives
Inchimals Review by Raising Olives
Inchimals Review by Raising Olives
Inchimals Review by Raising Olives
5 star review
Building Thinking Skills 1
Building Thinking Skills 2
Building Thinking Skills 3 Figural
Building Thinking Skills Beginning
Building Thinking Skills 3 Verbal
Building Thinking Skills Book 1 Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Book 1 Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Book 1 Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Book 2 Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Book 3 Figural Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Book 3 Figural Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Book 3 Figural Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Book 3 Verbal Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Book 3 Verbal Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Book 2 Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Beginning Sample Page
Building Thinking Skills Beginning Sample Page
Mathematical Reasoning Book E, 4th Grade
Mathematical Reasoning Book A, Kindergarten
Mathematical Reasoning Advanced
Mathematical Reasoning Advanced, Teacher's Book
Mathematical Reasoning Book B, 1st Grade
Mathematical Reasoning Beginning Book 1, 3 Year Olds
Mathematical Reasoning Beginning
Mathematical Reasoning Book C, 2nd Grade
Mathematical Reasoning Book D, 3rd Grade
Mathematical Reasoning Sample Page
Mathematical Reasoning Sample Page
Mathematical Reasoning Beginning Sample
Mathematical Reasoning Sample Page
Mathematical Reasoning Sample Page
Mathematical Reasoning Sample Page
Mathematical Reasoning Sample Page
Bambino By Beyond 123
Bambino By Beyond 123 Critical Thinking Set 1
Bambino By Beyond 123
Bambino By Beyond 123 Special Needs Set
Bambino By Beyond 123 Starter Set
Bambino Starter Set
Lego Creationary Game
Lego Creationary Game
Lego Creationary Game
Lego Creationary Game
Lego Creationary Game
Lego Creationary Game
LEGO Creationary
Solitaire Chess from Joy In Our Journey
Solitaire Chess from Joy In Our Journey
Solitaire Chess from Joy In Our Journey
Solitaire Chess
Simply Draw - Peace Creek on the Prairie
Simply Draw - Peace Creek on the Prairie
Inchimals by Fat Brain Toys
Inchimals by Fat Brain Toys
Inchimals by Fat Brain Toys
391-404-5
391-404-6
391-404-7
Inchimals
Simply Draw with Bob Parsons
Simply Draw with Bob Parsons
Simply Draw with Bob Parsons
Settlers from My Life on a Taffy Pull
Chess_08 from My Life on a Taffy Pull
Chess from My Life on a Taffy Pull
Knot So Fast
knotspics
Knot So Fast
Knot So Fast
Knot So Fast