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Homeschool Crew Review: Olde World Style Map Packages



Have you ever wanted to quickly find an outline map to supplement your history or literature?  I have, often.  We once even bought a whole book of reproducible outline maps, but we have rarely used them because we rarely get to the photocopy center.  Often we traced the maps instead, and that is good practice…but it’s not quick.  So many learning opportunities were being lost!  What we really needed was something printable. 


And now, we have exactly that!  Amy Pak from Home School in the Woods sent us two wonderful sets of maps, one concentrating on the US and one about the whole world, both conveniently indexed and organized.  Here’s exactly what we got: 

1) Olde World Style Modern and Ancient Maps: World Maps

This set of beautiful maps covers the countries of the world including oceans and the poles. Maps are offered with and without labels as well as without titles.  The historical maps section includes all the  expected maps as well as maps of Chinese dynasties, Paul’s missionary journeys, the Ptolemaic world, and the Viking world (all labeled), as well as generic unlabelled maps.  A matching cover page and spine for binders are also included, both in color and black and white.


There are also over 40 note booking pages, some generic and some geared to topics such as daily life, explorers, recipes, geography, colored flags, missionaries, and more.  There are pages full of tiny maps that show where each country is in relation to its neighbors, made to fit onto the note booking pages.  There are even history pages with a little timeline at the bottom!  Many of the note booking pages have a version for little ones with dashed lines to help them with their printing.  And, where possible, there are even teacher’s answer keys.

2) Olde World Style Modern and Historical Maps: United States Maps

This beautiful map set contains state maps and maps reflecting America’s history.  There is also a bonus note booking sheet for each state with facts and symbols to color, as well as an accompanying answer key for each sheet.  (Phew!  I certainly couldn’t do it without that.)  Now, we wouldn’t be studying the US in such detail, but many of you would.  Since these sheets are such a nice summary of each state, we may try to set similar sheets up for Canadian provinces, using bits and pieces from other curricula that we have.   That would be a lot of work, and I’m hoping that Homeschool in the Woods will have done the job by the time we need it.  (Smile.)


How We Are Using Them

For years I’ve wanted a visual way to organize information about our missionaries.  The note booking pages are perfect for this, even including a map of the world to locate each mission field, and I’m excited that we can finally do this. 


The Little Misses and I went through the first five books of The Little House on the Prairie series last fall.  The historical maps are wonderful to trace the family’s travels.  They even include Indian Territory mentioned in Little House on the Prairie, where the Ingalls family built a lovely home that they had to leave because they were just on the wrong side of the border.


Our little girls have been learning about Nigeria and just filled in a country report, Miss 9 using the ruled page, and Miss 7 using the page with dashed lines to help her print more neatly.


One of our upcoming read-louds for all the children will be Of Courage Undaunted by James Daugherty, about Lewis and Clarke’s travels.  We will use the US physical map for this, as well as ‘The Growth of the United States to 1810’.  Another book I’ve got on my preview pile is First Through the Grand Canyon by Powell.  For this we’ll also use several state maps.


Soon the Little Misses and I will start studying world history, and the maps and timeline reports will help make it relevant.  We like to concentrate on biographies, so we can also use the  People of the Past note booking pages as well as another Amy Pak product, the HISTORY Through the Ages Historical Timeline Figures.


Some of our favorite read-alouds have been about England.  Recently we read Adam of the Road and as I read, I wanted so much to put Adam’s travels onto a map.  The chalk paths he followed through the heather will be too small to put on the British Isles map, but at least I can get some idea of where he was.   Currently we’re reading Robin Hood by Howard Pyle, and can put Nottingham, Sherwood Forest, and Lincoln on the map.  When it arrives, we’ll read The Magna Charta by Daugherty, and we’ll use the maps, the timeline report page, and the biography note booking page. I also want to locate the New Forest of Children of the New Forest by Marryat, and map the travels of the four children, but that will have to wait until the summer. 


There are even maps of the Atlantic and the Pacific!  That’s perfect for a study of the explorers.  It’s also perfect for Miss 12 as she reads The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin, an exciting account of modern sailors voyaging from Ireland to Newfoundland in a leather boat, following the path of the medieval monk Brendan.  I’ve been planning to read Kon Tiki aloud to the older ones, but they’ve been distracting me with other options.  (I’d almost think they’re not interested in the book!  Smile.)  Once we get around to it, we will, of course, mark up a map.


Miss 12 loves European history and will be able to use her gel pens to her heart’s content on these lovely maps.


Mr 14 loves geography and spends his happiest school hours each week making a power point presentation about the countries he’s studying.  He’s pleased to have maps that are easily available, rather than needing to search all over the internet for them.


Miss 17 still traces out the maps for her history studies.  She’s studying in depth, and occasionally generic maps do not meet her needs.  Besides, I think she likes tracing them herself. 


As for me, I’ve rediscovered how much I love coloring maps…with pencil crayons, in blue and shades of green.  It’s just so satisfying!  I’m also planning to print out and fill in a history timeline page for the historical books I read.  These pages include a world map and lots of writing space, making it easy to mark everything down neatly. We have never used note book pages before, but they are proving to be very handy.


Our Opinions

For anyone who loves to learn using literature, these maps are a wonderful resource, helping to tie many different stories together.  The maps also give our family a much easier approach to the map-work recommended in Ambleside Online.  I wish we had had this resource years ago. 


We’ve also discovered note booking thanks to the bonus sections, and it’s fun!



To see if these beautiful maps would suit your family, download the samples available on the website.  While you’re there, also be sure to look at the wonderful HISTORY Through the Ages Historical Timeline Figures.     We’ve used these for several years, and now they are even available on CD.  You can also look here to see what other Crew members thought.   



The Olde World Style map sets are available from Homeschool in the Woods as downloads ($18.95 US each) and as CD’s ($19.95 US each). There is also a Combo-Pak priced at $28.95 for the download and $29.95 for the CD set.



Disclosure Policy:   As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free download of both sets of Olde World Maps, in order to review them.


Dial-Up Friendly PolicyFor the sake of my dial-up readers, this blog avoids visuals. 



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