Arjun has completed Kindergarten. He is looking forward to first grade very enthusiastically. He has worked hard sometimes enthusiastically and sometimes unwillingly. He has lot of agendas in his head everyday such as making a house or digging up the yard to make a pool or making a theatre. He loves to spend time outside and in his room creating stuff. So, I have to do school with him as early during the day as possible to make sure he has lot of free-time during the day. He gets tired quickly during school and so, I cannot do too much at a time. We tailored Sonlight Kindergarten curriculum to our needs. Here is a summary of all that we did during Kindergarten.
Arjun completed Singapore Primary Math grade 1 workbook set. Also, he completed Horizon Math Grade 1 Workbook set. With Amit, he read the book Apples from the series of Life of Fred. He has been taking classes to learn Abacus. During these classes, he learns to use Abacus, hone his skills for mental math and practice word problems.
Arjun has been working on Logic Links. He will complete it during first grade.
We completed the Sonlight Science curriculum for K. I can tell that Arjun really enjoys science especially if the book has recommended internet links. Also, we did Sonlight’s recommended hands-on experiment. Arjun is never satisfied with following the instructions and always wants to create his own version of experiments. His favorite thing to do is to search up science projects or experiments on YouTube. He participated in bi-monthly Health and PE Classes for homeschoolers at Healthworks. He participated in Peak Science Fair. He came up with the project idea himself and figured out how to do it using YouTube. He explained it to Amit and then, with his help Arjun did it.
This is my favorite part of the school with my boys. I love to lie down or sit comfortably to be cozy while reading to my boys. We completed read-aloud section of the Sonlight. I could tell that Arjun loved the non-fiction stories such as Dolphin Adventure and Dolphin Treasure but yawned and couldn’t wait for me to be done whenever it was fiction such as Winnie the Pooh. He was so glad to be done with that book. I was really surprised to see Arjun’s reaction as Kabir had absolutely loved the book. Also, even though he can read very well, I don’t see him sitting down and reading books. I noticed that he was competing with Kabir. Any book that was his level, he thought it to be too babyish. The books that Kabir reads are too heavy and boring for him but he cannot admit it. As a result he doesn’t read for joy. Although, he pays full attention and thoroughly enjoys the read-aloud section of Kabir’s curriculum irrespective of whether it is fiction or non-fiction. He can actually answer quite a few questions if I asked him. Also, I do see him sitting with science books. He enjoys them. He enjoys activity books but he will never follow an activity as per the instruction. He will get the idea and create something of his own which might be completely different from the original plan or task.
So, after completing the list of books in the read-aloud section of the Sonlight curriculum, I read to him the first 32 books from the series of Magic Tree House. It was a great idea! Magic Tree House appeals to him as it’s based on non-fiction facts even though the characters are fictional. He has started making the effort of reading ahead of me and I am very pleased. For the Reading Fair 2016, he chose Magic Tree House. He did a great job.
We completed the history/geography section of the Sonlight. Again, he enjoyed the recommended internet links. We did a fair share of activities to go along with our lessons but Arjun is much happier if I give him the idea and then leave him alone to do the way he wants. In the end, I cannot be critical as it just kills his joy. So, I end up saying that he did a great job (which was very true quite a few times) or that it’s not bad at all (which was true most of the time if we forget the original goal of the task). He participated in Biography Fair. He created a documentary on Helen Keller (about 9 minutes long). We visited Helen Keller museum in Tuscumbia, AL.
We completed the language arts section of the Sonlight curriculum. He completed Explode the Code 4-6 and Wordly Wise A. For handwriting, he completed the worksheets I had created with Shri Mataji’s quotes. Once this was done, he started with Kumon workbook for cursive letters. He has completed this workbook twice – once with pencil and second time with marker. Now, he is working with cursive words that he will complete in 1st grade. His spelling is really good if he is saying it aloud but when he is doing creative writing, his spelling is completely messed up most of the time. I am just ignoring as it’s not often that he is willing to do creative writing. When Kabir won Gum Tree writing contest in first grade and got second place in second grade, Arjun said that he is going to win it in Kindergarten. I was concerned about this goal as he doesn’t really enjoy making up stories. His favorite thing to do is to take a book and copy it. Literally, he loves copy work when it’s his choice to do so. He doesn’t enjoy it if I have given him this task as a school work. Somehow, he came up with the story of Inventor Brothers. I loved it and made him re-write it neatly on a nice paper and submit. Surely, he won the Gum Tree writing contest and accomplished his goal (Kabir didn’t win and so, it was really nice for his self-esteem and now, he can’t say that it’s Kabir’s thing to do and not his). Also, he enjoyed creative writing classes with Ms. Heather Tate in February. He loved and took lot of pride to be able to keep up with the older kids in the class.
Arjun joined the swim team. He doesn’t like the cold water but enjoys swimming.
He participated in two Pied Piper productions. He played Patch in 101 Dalmatians and a skeleton in Aladdin. He really enjoys being a part of Pied Piper plays. We watched a Tupelo Community Theatre production – A Christmas Carol.
He took about 10 2-hour art classes from Mrs. Vicki Farmer. Also, he participated in Tupelo Macaroni Kid Art & Music Fair at Tupelo Farmers’ Depot. He played piano and created following 2 art pieces for the competition. He made these completely on his own.
He participated in 5 Monthly Challenges: Collaborative Art Challenge, Make-a-Movie Challenge, Make a Candy Challenge, Make a Handmade Game Challenge and Tallest Tower Challenge.
He participated in 4 Career Quest days where we visited 21 local businesses.
He made cards and coasters to sell in Kids’ Market in Town Creek Festival at Nettleton.
He participated in monthly Lego Club whenever we were in town and Lego Fair. Everyone got a certificate and trophy cup for participating in the Lego Fair but he insists that he won!
He participated in monthly visits to Avon Lea Assisted Living.
He loves learning Piano from Mrs. Sandy Coutoumanos. He participated in National Federation of Music Clubs Piano Festival and earned superior rating. He is very proud of it. Sometimes, he participates in the weekly bhajan sessions with Archana Mayfield over Skype but mostly he naps.
He has been working on The Complete Book of Spanish. He plans to complete during first grade.
We participated in various field trips. In addition, we participated in the following field trip events. We participated in food webs and owl pellet dissection lab at the library hosted by Brandy Watson. We visited Terry Vandeventer’s educational and fun, “Missississippi Snakes” Program at Natchez Trace. Also, we visited University of Mississippi Museum in Oxford and participated in the q-tip tree painting art activity that he enjoyed thoroughly. I had to keep him off my stash of q-tips that were disappearing very fast. At the museum, there were so many beautiful handmade quilts and my boys made sure that they took photo of every quilt on display for their grandmother who loves quilting. We visited the Nina and Pinta – Replicas of Columbus’ Ships at Fulton.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with our homeschoolers’ group. During this school year, we have visited Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas, Vicksburg in Mississippi, St. Louis in Missouri, Hawaii, Atlanta, Stonehenge in England, India and Chicago.
We celebrated the end of school with my in-laws, Nitu and Kumar Khiantani as our chief guests. We made pizza, pasta salad and fruit cake for the party. Arjun created a PowerPoint presentation on Sachin Tendulkar as part of the end of school presentation.
I am very satisfied with all that Arjun has learnt as a kindergartener. He is a very smart kid with lots of ideas. He has the capability to think outside the box. He is very creative with his hands. At the same time, he has come out of his shell and has become quite outspoken (sometimes I have to put my hand on his mouth). He is a very strong willed and strong headed boy and he absolutely drives me mad. Our house is always a mess because of him. He never puts anything back in place. I am constantly running out of tapes, glues, scissors and staples. Most paints and markers are dried because he forgets to close them. There are pieces of paper and cardboard everywhere. Sometimes there is paint on the carpet, wall and his desk. Once his desk was full of ants because he saved some chocolates in it. He is constantly creating things and making a mess at the same time. He never saves his creations and so, we have nothing to show. If he makes a gift for me, he might just take it back in a few days and re-gift it to someone else in the family or just use it to create something else. Yes, this is Arjun and he rules every part of my heart! He knows this very well and he never fails to take advantage of it. Everyone in the family keeps scolding him but we cannot enjoy even a minute without him. He brings joy and smile to all of us every day! We love him and are very proud of him.
Over all, it has been an amazing school year with Arjun that I will cherish forever.