"'Education is the Science of Relations'; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of––
'Those first-born affinities,
That fit our new existence to existing things.'"

Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education
with a quote from The Prelude by William Wordsworth

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Maps and More Maps!

Awhile back my mother-in-law gave me a pile of old National Geographic maps, and they have been sitting in the basement waiting to be used.  I bought a large, black, zippered artist portfolio to store them in last year and now I've finally gotten around to doing something with them.

First I actually unfolded them all and placed them into the portfolio.  Excited about using them for homeschooling and knowing how easily maps get torn, I wanted to laminate them.  Dh on the other hand did not want to do anything to them in case a collector was interested in buying them some day (which also means using extreme caution when showing them to the kids).  I mused about having map-sized sheet protectors, and then I realized that they must make something like that to protect nautical charts from getting damaged at sea.  And I discovered they make them for blueprints, too.

I ordered them through Engineering Supplies.  They are certainly too expensive to use like sheet protectors for every map, but I bought one medium and one large one in which to put whatever map I am currently using.  They come with reinforced holes in the edging to hang them and a zip-lock seal on one edge.  Being plastic, we could write on them with dry or wet erase markers and then wipe it away for the next map.  And because these maps are double-sided I can easily make use of the information on both sides of the map.

Yesterday I cataloged the stack of maps so I knew what I had without having to sort through them.  It turns out I have 105 maps dating from 1975 to 2009.  There's a lot of history information in those maps, as well as earth and space science, and, of course, geography.  I really could have used the Great Peoples of the Past maps last year with our ancient history study, so now I am ready to pull one out that relates to whatever we are studying.  Maybe I can use them in much the same way as I do music or art study--hang them up and spend time each week just looking over the make becoming familiar with the geography and history of the world.


CherylinMA said...

Thank you for posting this. I needed to SEE them. What a great resource!

Kris said...

FYI, the map above the comb binding machine (Earth's Fractured Surface) actually just fits into the smaller sleeve that the other map is in.

National Geographic certainly did not use any standard size in making their maps over the years, lol!

Makita said...

Wow! What a collection and what a fabulous way to display them! I've added these giant sheet protectors to my wish list. :D

Nikki Olivier said...

That's such an awesome resource! I thought exactly what you said when you mentioned how many you've got: just display and leave it up like art study. Such a relaxed way to learn! Enjoy

Jennifer Lavender said...

What a treasure. Sounds like you've got a great plan for making the most of those maps.

See Jamie blog said...

That's a wonderful resource!

Richele said...

105 maps - I am so impressed that you catalogued them!

dstb said...

Those large sheet protectors look good. Being able to hang them up once and just replace the maps is better than having to hang different size maps all the time.

Here was a thought (I have not tried this, so I have no idea if it would work). I remember seeing clear plastic on a roll in the sewing section at Walmart that you would use to cover a tablecloth to protect it. I wonder if you could get some of that cut and fold it in half to make a pocket. No idea of the price.

Here's what I mean on Amazon:

This is a very interesting idea. It would save my walls and my maps!

Kris said...

Just folding that tablecloth in half and you would get a 60 x 42 pocket, less some for the seem. Glue the sides together, maybe? It would certainly be safe hanging on the wall, though not completely protected from spills if on the floor. I wonder how hard it would be to slide the maps in and out of it?

dstb said...

Hmm. Okay, don't laugh, but now you have me thinking. I wonder if you could sew up the sides, leaving the top open. I would imagine using some kind of tape (can you tell I am not a person who sews regularly?) under your sewing would make it less likely that the plastic would rip out.

Where the top is open, leave the side against the wall a little taller and put grommets in. Just slide the maps in and out at the top.

Kris said...

I wouldn't even bother sewing it, just gluing it, so it shows how much sewing experience I have, lol! Yes, that is what I was thinking--thought the grommets are a nice touch! I wonder, though, if it is the type of plastic that paper would slip in and out of easily (which the ones I bought are) or if it will tend to stick to the paper.

dstb said...

Your point about the ease of being able to slip the maps in is well taken. That could be an issue. Might be worth a try for the price. I'll let you know if I try it.

Jimmie said...

WOW! Our cats have destroyed our world map. They jump up and scratch it. Isn't that ODD?

I NEED one of these. THANK YOU!

Kim said...

What a wonderful idea for displaying maps!! My Aunt said she has a lot of old National Geographic's to. I'm really looking forward to getting them. :)