Arjun has completed 2nd grade. He has come a long way this school year. Finally, he loves to read. Math comes naturally to him and he has a flair towards science. Watching Kabir’s preparation and participation in National history bee, has piqued his interest in history. He experiences inertia in starting to write a composition but once he gets to a point where it seems that he has an idea (with some coaxing and/or incentives), he relaxes and starts enjoying. He gets flustered when he doesn’t get things right away. His instinct is to create a mental block and give up. So, he still needs to learn to stop panicking, relax and then try. We are working on this. Also, his behavior has gained some maturity this school year. He is super excited and really looking forward to 3rd grade especially because he is aware that I’ll be spending much more time with him now as I’m free from homeschooling Kabir.
Arjun’s talent is to create stuff with his hands. He has a hard time following instructions and his instinct is to follow his own mind. Most of the time, this creates a huge mess but once in a while it results in products that impresses me. Mostly, it gets destroyed before I can click photo but here are few:
This year, Arjun took SCAT (School and College Ability Test) exam and he earned high honors for being among the highest scoring students. He was awarded the following pin. Now, he is eligible to take courses through John Hopkin’s CTY Online.
Character Development: The most important aspect of education is character development. Even though we have long ways to go but I see big improvement in this area. For development of character, here are few of the many things we do: listen to talks of Shri Mataji and meditate!!! This is the most important foundation of our homeschool. Amit and I try to be a good example for them. We try to encourage their good behavior and reprimand the bad ones. Whenever we read a book together, I try not to miss any opportunity from pointing out life lessons. We try to learn from the biographies of great people and so we read lot of biographies and watch them too. So we have completed watching episodes of Ramayan, and Mahabharat. We are watching Jhaansi Ki Rani (almost complete) and Mere Sai.
Art: We started working through the lessons in ARTistic Pursuits Book 1. Arjun insisted on illustrating Kabir’s book “Children of The Sun.” So with help of Mrs. Vicki Farmer, he and Kabir illustrated the book. After publishing it, Arjun has been enjoying doing book readings at various venues. This book has been the highlight of our homeschool this school year! He wrote this article about one of the illustrations. He is absolutely enjoying the spotlight. Also, Arjun did 4-day art camp at Wet Paints. We visited Prado Museum and the Museo de bellas artes in Spain.
Read-Alouds: Completed Sonlight Core C Read-alouds. For a few books, we listened to audiobooks and also, we found movies for a few books in the list. He wrote book reports for most of the books and Mrs. Heather Tate checked all his reports. For reading fair, Arjun chose The Tales of Robin Hood. Finally, Arjun loves to read. This summer, I find him sitting and reading for hours. Sometimes, he makes himself a plate of fruits and sits with a book! I love and cherish this scene!!!
Poems: We finished reading “Falling Up” by Shel Silverstein as we had started this book in first grade. Then we moved on to Songs of Innocence by William Blake. After that, we started the Random House Book of Poetry for Children (a gift from Mr. Alan Wherry). We are more that 50% done and will complete this book in 3rd grade.
Penmanship: Completed Cursive Writing Practice Inspiring Quotes. He created a notebook where he copied Shri Mataji’s quotes in cursive. We discussed these quotes each day.
Compositions: All of his compositions as assigned by Language Arts 4 Sonlight curriculum were edited by Mrs. Heather Tate. A sample of his writing is this article: Have you ever used shaving cream for an art project?
One of the biggest accomplishment in Language Arts was writing 10 short adventurous stories of his grandmother (daadi) and putting it in a book format. Mrs. Heather Tate edited each of these stories.
History/Geography: Completed History/Geography curriculum of Sonlight Core C. He made a few lapbooks/poster on topics that interested him. He experimented with candle clock when we learnt about the history of measuring time. He learnt and loved the Geography Songs CD. We visited Amory Regional Museum, fossil hunt at W. M. Browning Cretaceous Fossil Park, and downtown Tupelo History Walking tour as our field trip for the study of history. We visited Washington DC and by August 2018 we will end up visiting 10 countries and that itself is a living history lesson – India, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. Being a witness to Kabir’s preparations for National History Bee and the participation itself taught a lot of history topics to Arjun.
Science: Completed Sonlight Science C curriculum except the experiments. We did our own experiments such as pig heart dissection, oil exploration, volcano, breathing experiment, blood and circulatory system, digestive system, sheep heart dissection, teeth cleaning, and more.
He participated in one of the homeschool days at US Space and Rocket Center at Huntsville. Also, he participated in 1-week homeschool academy and 4 homeschool days at Memphis zoo. He attended bi-monthly Health and PE classes at HealthWorks.
Science Fair: Arjun won 2nd place in the category of Physics and Astronomy in MSEF Region VII Lower Science Fair at Ole Miss. His project was: “Morse Code: Is it Still Useful in the Modern World?”
Spanish: Worked with Mrs. Maria Hernandez. They used Realidades 1 – completed 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a and 3b units. Hopefully, they will be able to complete this book in grade 3. When we visited Spain, I was really happy with his enthusiasm and capacity to understand and use the language.
Music: He sometimes participates in weekly bhajan sessions with Mrs. Archana Mayfield. He takes weekly piano classes with Mrs. Sandy Coutoumanos. He earned superior rating in piano solo, and theory in the festival of National Federation of Music Clubs. He earned gold cup for earning superior rating for 3rd consecutive year for piano solo. Also, he participated in the competition of Mississippi Music Teachers Association and he qualified for State Championship. At the state level, he won 2nd place for Piano solo and 3rd place for Sonatina.
Theatre: In Fall 2017, Arjun took part as Alex in the play: “The Magic Wishing Ring.” His performance was outstanding! In Spring 2018, he participated in the production of “Alice in Wonderland.” He was Frog Footman.
Extra-Curricular Activities: He swims twice a week at Tupelo Aquatic Center as a member of Tupelo Swim Team. We visited dry cleaning and frame shops as part of field trip. He joined us for monthly visits to Avonlea Assisted Living. He participated in 5 challenge get-togethers for homeschoolers.
I am grateful for a productive and joyful school year. It takes a village to raise a child and in the homeschool environment, it is exactly and precisely true. There are so many interactions each day that teaches and shapes a child’s personality and character. Everyday is different and yet, there’s a pattern. There’s no strict schedule and yet, there’s a predictability and things get done. I’m thankful to everyone who helps Arjun become a good citizen of the world such as his father, grandparents, teachers, aunties and uncles, friends, relatives, the person hosting the field trip, the checkout girl in stores, the air-hostess, the taxi-driver, and everyone we interact with. Life is the biggest educator and Arjun has the opportunity of letting life teach him in a real-life environment.