There aren’t many homeschooling resources that can be used for every single grade level. WonderMaps is one of them. This brand new product from Bright Ideas Press is an amazing resource and one that I highly recommend!
The WonderMaps software is far more than just a collection of maps. It allows you to customize the maps that you need from over 350 possibilities! There are 60+ world maps, 60+ United States maps, 125 historical maps, and 25 biblical maps, with many more features to choose from.
The software is very user friendly, with the option to watch a video tutorial right away! Once you reach the home page, you can choose one of the four main options: the World, the United States, Historical Maps, and Thematic Maps. You also have access to Contact & License and the Teacher’s Guide easily from this home page.
Let’s take a look at what WonderMaps can do! I’m going to choose Historical Maps, because I think it’s the most fun! If you are teaching using the Classical model, you will appreciate the fact that history is divided into the typical four year cycle. If not, it’s handy to have history divided up a bit for ease of use anyway. Here’s a map of Europe in 1721 AD.
It’s a nice map, but what if I want to use it as a mapping activity for our history lesson? Let’s zoom out a bit and see the whole WonderMaps window.
On the left side, under Layers, I have the option to hide different things on the map. Options includes topographical, political, outline, or reference color overlay, latitude and longitude lines, country names, city names, river names, and more! (Not every map has every option, depending on the type map it is.) I can create a map for my students to fill out.
By adding the Modern layer, we can also compare Europe in 1721 to Modern Europe. It has changed a lot!
My girls and I are having fun with WonderMaps! My five year old likes to color the maps, making sure she colors the water parts blue and the land parts green (“for the grass,” she says). My seven year old wants to do map after map after map. She is learning to locate borders on the map and find specific cities and nations. Today she asked if I could print out the map of China. The map included the surrounding nations, but she was able to follow the border around China and color only that nation on the map. “Boy, China is really big, ” she said!
There is another WonderMaps feature that I am particularly excited about. It also includes all the maps for The Mystery of History, which we will most likely be using next year, as well as All American History. It will be so convenient to just open up WonderMaps and print the map we need for that particular day!
WonderMaps is available for both PC and Mac, and can be purchased for $49.95 as a download or a download + CD. It uses Adobe Acrobat Reader version 9.1 or higher (available as a free download). Visit the Bright Ideas Press online store to purchase. While you’re there, check out the other great resources they have to offer, including The Mystery of History curriculum, the All American History curriculum, Christian Kids Explore science curriculum, and much more!
My fellow TOS Crew members are sharing their experiences with WonderMaps today as well. Hop on over to the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog to read more!
Disclosure: I received a download version of WonderMaps free of charge for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.