History is one subject that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning more about alongside the boys over the past few years. One component that I felt I had little knowledge of from my youth is the related subject of geography. So I am constantly striving to include geography in our social studies for the boys.
Knowledge Quest has provided some wonderful map collections that we’ve tapped into over the years of homeschooling. Now they are taking it up a notch for select time periods of history with Time Maps.
About Time Maps:
The goal of TimeMaps is to communicate history in a truly engaging way. To do this, we use a combination of timelines, historical maps and encyclopedic entries merged together to deliver authoritative content that can be digested in an enjoyable way. TimeMaps are computer software files that use Flash – a free program from Adobe. Maps are shown in chronological order at the click of a button and progress at your timing, showing how civilizations, countries and continents have changed over time. Quizzes and encyclopedic entries are included and can be turned on and off at your discretion. TimeMaps are a work in progress with many Ancient and Medieval civilizations having reached completion with more historical topics on the way.
Units Available in the Time Maps Collection:
Rise of Rome
Fall of Rome
Rise of Islam
The Black Death
Atlantic Slave Trade
When I asked the boys which time period they wanted to delve into for this review, there was a stalemate. The two finalists fit together, though, as it was all about the Romans! D enjoyed heading to the library to pick out some books about the Romans, especially anything to do with soldiers.
D was all about the rise of the Romans while his older brothers had a greater interest in the fall. So, we dabbled a bit with both starting with me printing out the teacher notes to get ideas of how we could utilize the software. There are some neat activity ideas for each unit in the notes, although we were in dabble mode which meant more clicking and exploring the program rather than fleshing out a true study of the time period. What I really appreciated in the notes was the commentary so that I had plenty of information to share as appropriate with each child. Timeline pages and printable maps to label are other bonuses from the notes that allow for creation of a notebook documenting their studies.
Below you can see a sample page for during the Rise of the Romans. See those little ‘i’ buttons? Clicking on one of them will bring up more information as will holding the mouse over an illustration as shown with the information on the Roman Galleon. You can even have them check via a quiz what they are remembering from their exploration. Really, the software is fairly intuitive for use to the point of my feeling comfortable letting the kids do some exploring on their own.
Check out Time Maps in action:
I’m happy to have this resource in house for our next pass through world history or even to be an outlet for delight driven learning for my younger boys. By the time we wrap up our American History studies next year, there could be several other units available in this fun, interactive format.
Knowledge Quest’s Time Maps collection is available for $44.95 for the download, and $49.95, plus shipping, for CD-ROM. You can also opt to purchase just the particular unit you need for $9.95.