Choosing the Right Atlas: Tips

There are so many types of atlases that it can be hard knowing what it the right choice for your homeschool library. Here are things to consider plus our top picks.

There are so many types of atlases that it can be hard knowing what it the right choice for your homeschool library. Here are things to consider plus our top picks.

1. The Age of the Atlas

Please don’t use a grossly out-of-date atlas for your studies. If you bought one at a yard sale for 50 cents, but it was printed in 1985, well, you got what you paid for. Country names and borders change frequently.

2. Atlases and Age of Student

It is important to match, as best as possible, the right atlas for the student’s age. The older the student, the more information can be put on a map and still be useable. The younger the student, the more important it is to keep the maps clean and simple for easy readability.

3. Atlases: Modern Versus Historical and/or Biblical

A good home library will have all three! Why? Current or modern atlases show you the world today. Historical and Biblical atlases show you the world yesterday. Need to find Thebes, the extent of the Roman Empire, or where Paul’s Missionary Journeys took place? Then you would look in a historical or Biblical atlases.

Most mainstream historical atlases will have few, if any, maps showing biblical history. That’s why we also recommend having a good Bible Atlas on hand as well—especially when studying ancient civilizations. Bible Atlases are great for both history class and Bible study, although they’re a bit too specialized to be your only historical atlas. You won’t find the Roman Empire of the Han Dynasty in a Bible atlas. So the reality is that all types of atlases are important when studying history in the Christian homeschool.

WonderMaps Satisfies All Three Areas

1. Our resident geography expert Tyler Hogan stays on top of changes to political geography and periodically updates his WonderMaps software. Free updates are included in your purchase so that you always have up-to-date maps.

2. WonderMaps allows you to select what features to show on your printable maps, whether you want bare outlines or the whole kitchen sink.

3. With WonderMaps, you get modern, historical, and Biblical maps in a single product. You can easily search for what you want and print out the maps you need.

Besides WonderMaps, we suggest these excellent print resources.

The Student Bible Atlas

This book is our favorite, inexpensive Bible atlas. We find it easy for younger students to use while being compelling enough for adults.

Then and Now Bible Atlas

This atlas adds a wow! factor with cool overlays showing modern borders over ancient sites.

Rand McNally Atlas of World Geography

This modern atlas is for secondary students from grades 6-12.

Rand McNally Historical Atlas of the World

This historical atlas is for secondary students from grades 6-12.

Schoolhouse Illustrated World Atlas

This modern world atlas is for grades K-6.