Strader Spiel

What We Wonder and Where We Are

Blazer 4/24

Math: volume, rounding decimal numbers to the nearest whole number and symmetry.

Grammar: continued FLL 3 & WWE 3.

Art: worked on rhythm.

Eating at a table.

Eating at a table.



History: learned about John Wycliffe and John Huss. Finished reading Joan of Arc: Warrior Saint. Started reading The Beggar’s Bible. 

Literature: finished reading The Hobbit. We made a story chart together at the end. Blazer thought the moral of the story was “Going out of your comfort zone can lead to great treasures. Sometimes in actual wealth and sometimes in growth as a person.”

Bible: read how the Jews returned under Zerubbabel and the Temple restoration began.

Latin: first- and second-declension adjectives.

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Book a Week: Week 54: O Pioneers!


From Amazon: Alexandra Bergson’s father, John, is dying. He entrusts his farmstead on a desolate stretch of plain to her, rather than to her brothers. Faced with the rigors of frontier living, droughts, and penury, Alexandra only becomes more determined to carry on her father’s legacy and battles through remortgaging the farm and adopting new techniques. Fast forward 16 years, her hard work has paid off, her brothers Lou and Oscar have both created prosperous farms, and under Alexandra’s management the original farm has thrived. When childhood friend Carl Linstrum returns from traveling it appears that romance is on the cards, but Lou and Oscar drive him out of town, fearing that their sister’s marriage would disinherit their own children. The community begins to unravel as jealousy spills out into murder. Although born in Virginia, Willa Cather’s family moved to Nebraska and her writing reflects her upbringing in the prairie lands steeped in history.

My Thoughts: This was a really easy read as far as classics go. I was able to finish the book in 2 days! I really enjoyed the not-overly-descript-but-still-descript writing style. I did think a few times that I didn’t see anything in the book that would really qualify it as a “classic”. I enjoyed the strong female character who was maternal, nurturing and smarter than most of the men around her, which isn’t often seen.

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Physics Friday: Week 27

Read DK Eyewitness: Electricity and Charged Up: The Story of Electricity. Also made some snap circuit models and lit a florescent light bulb using only a balloon!

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Racer 1/23

Math: writing number sentences to show equal groups, covering designs with tangram pieces, writing numbers in expanded form and doubles plus one subtraction facts.

Grammar: FLL 1.

Art: worked on circles in co-op.

Racer's various circles.

Racer’s various circles.

Miss C's various circles.

Miss C’s various circles.

Reading: finished the first half of HOP 1st grade and started reading the Detective Dog chapter books!

Geography: learned the countries in Asia.

Biology: learned about animal senses like echolocation, infrared and electric. Made a shark cupcake and a cheat sheet for magnified parts of the body.



Bible: continued reading through the New Testament.

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Blazer 4/23

Math: graphing points on a coordinate plane, rounding mixed numbers to the nearest whole number and subtracting decimal numbers using zeros.

Grammar: continued working through FFL 3 & WWE 3.

Art: worked on balance.


History: Learned about the Great Papal Schism. Finished Robin Hood and started reading Joan of Arc.

Literature: continued reading The Hobbit.

Bible: learned the story of Daniel in the lion’s den.

Latin: studied noun jobs in the nominative case.

Life Skills: had a trip to the ER for ear pain. Poor kid didn’t have an infection, just fluid build up :(


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Book a Week: Week 53: City of God


From Amazon: Saint Augustine of Hippo is one of the central figures in the history of Christianity, and this book is one of his greatest theological works. Written as an eloquent defense of the faith at a time when the Roman Empire was on the brink of collapse, it examines the ancient pagan religions of Rome, the arguments of the Greek philosophers and the revelations of the Bible. Pointing the way forward to a citizenship that transcends worldly politics and will last for eternity, this book is one of the most influential documents in the development of Christianity.

One of the great cornerstones in the history of Christian thought, The City of God is vital to an understanding of modern Western society and how it came into being. Begun in A.D. 413, the book’s initial purpose was to refute the charge that Christianity was to blame for the fall of Rome (which had occurred just three years earlier). Indeed, Augustine produced a wealth of evidence to prove that paganism bore within itself the seeds of its own destruction. However, over the next thirteen years that it took to complete the work, the brilliant ecclesiastic proceeded to his larger theme: a cosmic interpretation of history in terms of the struggle between good and evil. By means of his contrast of the earthly and heavenly cities–the one pagan, self-centered, and contemptuous of God and the other devout, God-centered, and in search of grace–Augustine explored and interpreted human history in relation to eternity.

My Thoughts: I did not finish the entire book. I did read the first 5 books of the volume and just couldn’t continue. Much of Augustine’s writings are directed to specific people and places. Unless you have an knowledge of those people and places, the writing seems odd. It’s also a heavy book. Once I parsed the theology out of the chapters, I was in complete disagreement with almost all the conclusions Augustine reached. In chapter one, it was that women who committed suicide rather than be raped by Romans did so not to retain their chastity, but because they were so wanton they were afraid they would enjoy it. It makes me incredibly sad that this theology is what has shaped much of Christianity today. The second through fifth books were about how if you disagreed with the first book, you were just too selfish, vain, sinful and ignorant to understand what he was saying. I know this is heresy to even think (not to mention write!), but I thought it was really bad theology and has caused many problems for women throughout the history of Christianity.

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Physics Friday: Week 26

Read: about light from the Usborne Science Encyclopedia, Light Show, The Magic Schoolbus: Gets a Bright Idea and Light and Color.

Blazer worked on Snap Circuits by himself this week and had fun getting to play around with it more than when we are doing it with a group.

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Racer 4/22

Math: adding three two-digit numbers with a sum less than 100, estimating & counting large collections grouping by 10′s and 100′s, subtracting a number from 10 and creating a bar graph with a scale of two.

Grammar: FLL 1.

Art: Drew another castle and added a wizard to it with co-op group.

Racer is really enjoying drawing. He's getting better every week!

Racer is really enjoying drawing. He’s getting better every week!

Miss C's more abstract work.

Miss C’s more abstract work.

Blazer's castle. I love how he's finally adding color to his work. It's so cool to see how art progresses year to year.

Blazer’s castle. I love how he’s finally adding color to his work. It’s so cool to see how art progresses year to year.

Geography: learned the countries in the Middle East.

Bible: continued reading through the New Testament.

Biology: learned about the senses sight, hearing and touch. For a snack, we had the kids close their eyes as we poured them each a cup of Cocoa Krispies. They used their sense of touch to guess what it was. Then, we poured milk on it and had then use their sense of hearing to make more guesses. Finally, they could use their sense of taste & sight. They thought it was really cool.

We also made some models:




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Dr. Seuss

March was Dr. Seuss month for Miss C. We had so much fun!

We met up with our homeschool group to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday:

Reading One Fish, Two Fish while eating goldfish crackers and making tissue paper fish.

Reading One Fish, Two Fish while eating goldfish crackers and making tissue paper fish.

Reading Cat in the Hat with strawberry/banana hat cabobs.

Reading Cat in the Hat with strawberry/banana hat kabobs.

We also read Hop on Pop with popcorn and then played hopscotch. The last station was Green Eggs and Ham while we ate a pretzel snack made to look like green eggs and ham and had a green Easter egg relay race.


Miss C also made a Thing 2 with her friend N (he made Thing 1)



We made “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” pancakes:


Practiced counting with goldfish:


Made our own Put Me in the Zoo creature:

Miss C used the dot markers and did it all the color by herself.

Miss C used the dot markers and did it all the color by herself.

Once the dot markers were out, Racer had to jump in:



Finally, we made Cat in the Hat parfaits:


It was a fun month of Dr. Seuss!

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Blazer 4/22

Math: ratios, negative numbers, adding and subtracting whole numbers & decimal numbers and simplifying decimal numbers.

Grammar: continued with WWE 3 and FLL 3.

Art: worked on creating balance.


History: learned about the Hundred Years War, the Black Death & Joan of Arc. Continued reading Robin Hood.

Literature: continued reading The Hobbit. Iconography didn’t work as well this week. I think the newness wore off and the natural tendency was to make the drawings more intricate, which resulted in more of the story being missed because of working on the details. The week we did it certainly helped much more than I thought possible and he’s getting almost all the comprehension questions right now! We’ll keep the iconography idea to add in whenever he starts forgetting to make the pictures in his head.

He also enjoyed reading the book to his nephew:


Bible: read about Belshazzar’s Feast.

Latin: worked on learning some second-declension neuter nouns.




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