Happy, Happy Birthday!

Happy Happy Birthday!

Today I get to have gluten and dairy free dessert made my by future pastry chef.

While January keeps me busy with birthdays, mine and 3 of my children are all born in January. I know the mid year slump can affect homeschool moms.

In the fall of last year I was given the chance to join a group of bloggers writing a series on refreshing your homeschool.

A common theme for me last year was battling being overwhelmed. It seemed to sneak up on me about every 3 weeks.

If you are looking for ideas on How to Battle an Overwhelmed Spirit…follow the link to read what I wrote over on Year Round Homeschooling.

Thank you for hanging out with me!

How to Battle an Overwhelmed Spirit

Updated WonderMaps, Create Your Own


I will admit…having a son who is majoring in GIS and working with Tyler Hogan who has loved maps since he was 6 years old…makes me nervous writing about WonderMaps. 

But I am a brave homeschool mom…well at least today I feel brave.

Hopefully if you already own WonderMaps you have downloaded the update.

Yes, WonderMaps now includes The Mystery of History Volume IV maps and the answer key for The Mystery of History Volume II maps!

But that is not what has me excited about the new update. 

The new update now has annotations…which allows users to create their own custom maps. I know…I am excited over annotations…what can I say…I love to create. 

For example…let me show you how a map assignment from The Mystery of History Volume III can now be completed.

Over the course of a few lessons, students are asked to add a reformer onto the map of Europe. Showing the location where the reformers did most of their preaching or teaching.

First I opened the Europe map from WonderMaps. [Read more…]

Civitas and World Governments


My kids could not wait for Civitas to reach the warehouse at Bright Ideas Press! (Coupon at end of this post)

They have been playing beta versions for the last year and they were ready for the final version to arrive. They have been playing everyday since they unwrapped their box.

What is Civitas?

  • A card game to learn about different government forms.
  • Deck of 225 playing cards and 12 leadership cards
  • 8 Different kinds of government cards
    • Democracy
    • Monarchy
    • Communism
    • Theocracy
    • Pluracracy
    • Military
    • Anarchy
    • Republic
  • Geared toward the 10 and up age group

My kids love props for playing games so they chosen different hats to represent the different governments. The leader of the current government in play now wears the chosen hat for that form of government.

Hats for Civitas:

  • Democracy: First Citizen wears a laurel leaf hat.
  • Monarchy: The king or queen wears a crown.
  • Communism: The Chairman has a fur hat with ear flaps.
  • Theocracy: The Chief Cleric has a papal tiara or mitre.
  • Plutocracy: The CEO has a money hat or a hat with money stuck to it.
  • Military: Military General wears a camouflage hat or  general hat.
  • Anarchy: The Anarchist refuses to wear any hat.
  • Republic: The president has a top hat.

Your students can research which hats or props they would use after playing a few rounds of Civitas.

Civitas: Create Your Own Government

Yes blank cards are included in the deck. Currently my youngest is working on developing his own government based on what he has learned playing Civitas.

Using the cards from the deck as an example he is designing law cards, event cards and leadership cards.

I can not wait to see what he comes up with!

If you think your kids would enjoy learning I have a coupon code for you to use.

This code gives you 25% off the regular price: staceyplayscivitas

Expires 2017-05-31 

staceyplayscivitas coupon code for 25% off

staceyplayscivitas coupon code for 25% off

Why I cancelled Christmas

I recently typed a post on Facebook where I was sharing that I had cancelled Christmas at my house. After the comment posted…I was bothered by the magnitude of the comment.

Cancelled Christmas

No, I had not just cancelled Christmas but instead we were not exchanging gifts on Christmas day. Was I going to allow that one aspect of the holiday to overshadow the whole season?

Nope. I have all intentions of putting up our tree, baking Christmas cookies and making our advent wreath…and a list of other activities my kids have not yet informed me about.

My happiness with the holiday comes from my family celebrating the day with me…I will be thankful they have the health to be laughing and eating goodies.

Yes, this year with my husband being on disability, our septic getting replaced, and medical bills…well we have had to make some serious choices with finances.

How many Christmas traditions are wrapped around activities not linked to gift giving? [Read more…]