Friday, March 19, 2010

Review: Homeschool in the Woods

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I’ve never seen a product by Amy Pak of Homeschool in the Woods (HSitW) that I didn’t like. Last year I had the good fortune to review HSitW’s New Testament Activity Pak and was deeply impressed with the incredibly detailed artwork. I was thrilled to find out that this year we would be reviewing the Brand NEW Old World Style Maps.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received free downloads of the Olde World Style United States Maps and the Olde World Style World Maps from Homeschool in the Woods for review purposes. I received no other compensation. This review reflects my honest opinions on these products.

FrameForHomePage The Olde World Style United States Map Set includes:

  • Maps of all 50 states, plus Washington, DC, in 3 different formats: labeled, unlabeled and just the outline;
  • Student notebooking pages and teacher keys for all 50 states;
  • State flags to color and cut out to add the the notebooking pages;
  • And various maps covering different eras of U.S. history, including the 13 colonies, the Louisiana Purchase and more.
  • The entire set is includes over 170 maps!

The Olde World Style World Map set includes:

  • Maps of different parts of the world for both ancient and modern times;
  • Political maps, physical maps, and unlabeled maps;
  • Over 40 notebooking pages, including a template for making a travel brochure, and various templates to report on whatever topic you choose, including world religions and cultures;
  • Full-color flags to print, cutout and use to enhance your projects;
  • Various specialty maps, including maps of Paul’s Missions.

You can download samples from both sets here.

Together, these will probably cover just about any map need you might have. The inclusion of unlabeled maps makes their use even more flexible.

The maps come in pdf form, either as a downloaded zip file or on cd. Rather than plowing through a folder full of pdfs, you’ll double-click on a “start” program which will open an attractive and easy to navigate menu in your default browser. Nice and convenient.

But what really sets these maps and notebooking pages apart from others I have seen and used is their very high quality artwork. Each map is hand-drawn, and once your child adds some careful coloring with high quality colored pencils…

watermarked map …you’ve got something genuinely impressive to add to his portfolio. Or even frame and hang on the wall (the watermarks do not appear on the actual product). I intentionally left part of this uncolored so you could see the detail in the blank map itself. These maps are gorgeous. And we love maps around here, especially antique maps. Our family will get a lot of use out of this set all the way through high school.

As much as I love this set, there are a couple of things that could be improved. I would have liked to use the U.S. Political map as an overlay to the U.S. physical map (both from the World set), but the 2 maps are not drawn to the same scale. On the one-hand, this is good, they are 2 unique maps rather than something added to another. On the other hand, this limits my ability to combine them. I’ve found doing maps with overlays is a great way to bring various aspects together. This was disappointing, I haven’t checked all the world maps, but so far, only the U.S. map appears to be in 2 different scales.

And while each map has an ornate box with the title and scale, there’s no room in the box to add your own symbols. You’ll have to add another box if you want to add a legend, which seems a bit of a shame. It would be nice if the title/legend box were a little oversized so it could be added to.

The Olde World Style U.S. Map set is available:

  • as a download for $18.95
  • on cd for $19.95

The Olde World Style World Map set is available:

  • as a download for $18.95
  • on cd for $19.95

Or buy the complete set:

  • as a download for $28.95
  • on cd for $29.95

You can read other reviews of this product here:

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2 comments:

  1. http://meyerprints-americawestindies.blogspot.com/

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  2. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
    And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

    ReplyDelete

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