Monday, July 25, 2016

Show and Tell: Maps for the New School Year

I'm sure a lot of you do the same thing as we do: go back and forth from the dining room table to the couch, to the backyard to do your homeschooling. We have a normal-sized house, adequate but not expansive space for a dedicated room for homeschooling here!

I had an idea this year for all the maps we need for our lessons. I put a tablecloth on the table, laid out the maps, and put a clear vinyl tablecloth (from the dollar store) on top of it all.
I'm finding the vinyl tablecloth a little thin and will be looking for one of a bit heavier weight, but I think the idea will serve us well. I may also look for some clips to hold it all in place. The vinyl has been sliding a little bit, though the tablecloth underneath and the maps stay in place remarkably well.
Most of the maps are outline maps, unlabeled. We will write in the names of the places as we read. The map below is one of Newfoundland, the Maritimes, and part of Quebec for our study of Jacques Cartier this term. I also have maps of Canada, Europe, the Great Lakes, the Exodus from Egypt, and the Mongol Empires of 1200-1480 AD. All of these relate directly to our lessons coming up this year.

For the maps themselves, I searched online for maps in the public domain, saved them, and sent the files to Staples to print them in the format I requested. Most are 11x13 on cardstock. 11x13 was the largest size I could print before the price jumped from 89 cents to $14.99, and I thought cardstock would be a bit more durable than paper. If you are using Ambleside Online, I realized just after I did all the work of finding maps that the forum there has links for all the maps you might need!
We also have a world map and a Canada map on the wall next to the table to give context to these smaller maps.
What about you? How do you use maps in your homeschool? I'd love to hear how everyone else does it!