Kabir has completed third grade! He has indeed grown and matured this year yet he is still a 8-year old kid at heart. It is unbelievable that I am still homeschooling him but it seems to be the divine plan. It has been a very busy third grade for Kabir but very satisfying as we have learnt a lot. He has delivered every time I have asked him to. I am honored to be his mother and teacher. I am sure it is hard for him to be my son because sometimes I ask too much from him. Hopefully, he understands and one day, he will become a hard-working, honest, productive, content and happy citizen of this world! Here is the summary of all that we did during this school year. We followed Sonlight Curriculum Core D.
Math: We completed the workbooks for Horizon Math grade 4. He has completed ‘Life of Fred’ Elementary Series. Every Sunday (when we are in town) he has worked on Abacus Maths with the help of a teacher in Oxford. He worked through Mathological Liar game for grade 4. Occasionally, he worked with Khan Academy.
Language Arts: We followed Sonlight Language Arts D Advanced Readers. Kabir completed Daily Grams Grade 4, Easy Grammar Grade 3, and Worldly Wise 3000 Book 3. For Spelling, we covered the 5th grade list from Natural Speller. Ms. Heather Tate helped Kabir with composition. She edited every essay, story or book report he wrote this year. As a result, his writing has improved by leaps and bounds this year. He is working on a biography of his grandfather (he should be able to complete it during his 4th grade). He wrote a travel journal on Costa Rica. Kabir participated in three writing competitions and won none. Losing is as important as winning and I am proud that he took it very sportingly. Kabir took SCAT test to become eligible to participate in courses offered by John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. When he took the test first time, he couldn’t be eligible for Math. So, he took the test again. This time, he scored so high that he received an award. We attended the award ceremony at Rutgers University. Kabir participated in two online courses offered by John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth: Young Readers’ Series: Mystery Stories and Wild Things. It was like an online book club that he absolutely loved and enjoyed!
Science: We followed Sonlight Science D. Our favorite part of Science this year was doing experiments based on Tops Learning Systems GREEN THUMBS: Radishes #38 and Tops Learning Systems GREEN THUMBS: Corn and Beans #39. We did several experiments such as: making Periscope, water experiments, capillary action experiment, oil exploration experiment, conductor or insulator experiment, measuring time and history of clocks, and cell experiment. We participated in zoo snooze in Memphis zoo and backyard astronomy. Kabir participated in two science fairs: Peak Science Fair and MSEF Region 7 Science Fair – Lower Fair at Ole Miss and won the first prize for Class I (grades 1-3) in the category of physics. He attended Health and PE classes at Healthworks for homeschoolers.
History/Geography: We followed Sonlight History & Geography D. We enjoyed reading American History this year especially about Native Americans and American Revolution. To reinforce our study about Native Americans, we visited Chickasaw Nation, participated in Thanksgiving party with homeschoolers, and visited Wampanoag Indians in Plymouth Plantation. To reinforce our study on American Revolution we spent four days in Boston. It took us two days to do Freedom Trail, one day in Provincetown and one day in Plymouth. We wished we had more time in Boston. We studied three countries in depth and presented it to our homeschool friends: Poland, Costa Rica, and England. As part of our cultural study, we traveled to Costa Rica, London, and India. Along with two of his closest friends (Gargi Koul and Architesh Prasad), Kabir studied My Journey by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (one of the Presidents of India) and presented it to us. These three musketeers studied Gandhi and based on this book, they prepared a documentary on Gandhi.
Read-Aloud: We followed Sonlight Core D curriculum. Most read-alouds were related to American history. This made the history come alive for us. I read aloud about eleven books from the read-aloud section of the curriculum. Kabir added a few book reports to his book journal blog. I didn’t make him write a book report for every book we read. Kabir read to me about nineteen books. He mostly read to me in the car. He participated in Readers Theatre performance of “The Lorax” at Avon Lea Assisted Living.
Handwriting: Kabir created a handwritten (cursive) book of quotes of Shri Mataji.
Field Trips: We had many opportunities for field trips. In fact, I just had to refuse a few due to time constraints. You can read about our field trips here: Fields Trips Sept – Oct and Field Trips Nov to May. We spent five days visiting museums in Washington DC. We took Amtrak to Chicago and we took a short weekend trip to Los Angeles for a meditation seminar. Kids participated in Kids’ Spring Market where they sold handmade stuff at Oren Dunn Museum.
Extracurricular Activities: Kabir participated in Lego Fair. He participated in monthly Lego Club at the Lee County library. After having hosted Lego Club for two years, I have finally given the charge to the library and they are doing a great job. He has been swimming in the swim team. He is not that enthusiastic about swimming but he has no choice. He absolutely loves piano. He has participated in several music festivals and recitals this school year. He earned superior rating each time. He enjoys art classes with Ms. Vicki Farmer. He learns devotional songs called bhajans from my dear friend, Archana Mayfield via Skype. He has loved participating in two Pied Piper plays this school year: Robinhood and the Sherwood Hoodies (played a scout), and Disney’s The Aristocats Kids (played Berlioz).
Yes, it has been productive school year. I feel satisfied with all that we have managed to do. After all this hard work Kabir has been really enjoying his time off since about couple of weeks. We shall begin our fourth grade soon. I want to thank my in-laws for their support. They make it possible for me to concentrate on school completely when they are in town. Amit is my anchor and without his support and encouragement it just wasn’t possible. Kabir is a kid that has been cut out for homeschool. We did give him the choice of homeschool or traditional school for 4th grade. He wrote an essay to persuade us to continue homeschool. Thank you to every person that comes in our way because each one of you make it possible for us to smoothly continue our homeschooling journey. Thank you to the Divine for showing us the path and guiding us during every moment of our journey.
We celebrated end of the school by inviting Heather Tate and her family. We ate homemade pizza, pasta salad, homemade sponge cake loaded with fruits and cream, and homemade strawberry ice-cream.