When someone new (who doesn’t homeschool) finds out we homeschool our children, the second question (we all know what the first question is!) they ask is “What curriculum do you use?” In my mind I am thinking, “Do you want the list?” Out loud I mumble off a few better known titles just to let them know that we do indeed teach our children.
I lean heavily toward a Charlotte Mason-type learning/teaching style. At the beginning of the school year, I will plan out the general topics that I hope to cover during the year. When we are studying a particular topic, if the children find it interesting I try to expand their learning.
One thing I have not done a whole lot of formal teaching on is geography. I don’t find that I have the time to implement an entire geography program separate from out other learning. And because out other learning is a menagerie of different things, I assumed that adding in a geography program would be difficult, or at least very time consuming.
When I was given the opportunity to review Knowledge Quest Map Trek Set, one of the first things I read about was how easily they can be incorporated into any type of learning program. In fact, there are curriculum integration guides to supplement several of the more popular history programs. Because we don’t use a specific curriculum, I wanted to make sure I would be able to integrate the learning myself.
Here’s what I found:
The set contains a lot of maps (and I do mean a lot!).
All maps are paired with both a student outline map and a teacher map that is labeled with the correct information. Each Map Trek map can be used as a stand alone map, incorporated into your own lesson plans, or they also come with their own lesson plans. If you use the built-in lesson plans, you are able to choose between three different levels of difficulty.
There are 2 parts to the US edition. Part 1 contains historical maps from the Viking conquest until the Iraq conflict. Part 2 contains maps of each state. Then there are Ancient maps which start from the time of Noah all the way until the Roman empire. The Medieval maps come next covering the Byzantine empire to the Reformation period. The New World maps cover the birth of America, while the modern maps cover several of our modern wars and conquest. Last, there is the world continent maps with grid pages to allow students to draw their own maps of the continents.
My favorite thing about all these maps is that they are labeled very well in the table of contents (in chronological order) and are linked to the pages (e-book format) so that no searching is needed.
The map set is great for the entire family.
The more children I have, the more I find products like Map Trek essential to our homeschooling budget. I need to be able to use most of my curriculum for several grades at once, and be able to use it over again.
As I was making mental notes of the topics in the tables of content, I realized right away that I would be able to let the younger girls use the New World maps along with their early American history studies while my son uses the Modern maps with his World War 2 studies. I was also excited when I was able to use some of the maps with a book I am currently reading about the history of the English language.
This map set can be used with littles (my 3 year old got his own Florida map to color when the girls worked on their state maps) all the way to adult learning.
Learning geography is easy to teach along with your current learning.
I guess I thought I had to spend large amounts of time (time that I don’t always have) on geography in order for them to learn it. But what I have found is that these maps can be brought out once a week during a lesson and because you are already studying the material, they simply add to the learning and recollection. In other words, not only is the history helping your student to learn the geography. The geography lesson is also helping the student to remember what they learned in history!
This means that by putting in a small amount of time, you are reaping an even larger benefit!
The Map Trek maps can either be purchased individually or as a set. Each map book is $19.95. The 6 book e-book set is $47.00 and the CD-ROM version is $49.95. If you prefer a hardcover book, the cost is $55.00 for both the book and a reproducible CD-ROM.