Archive for the ‘Country Study’ Category

National History Bee

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Sometimes we happen to be walking on a path that leads us to certain destination without realizing.  That’s exactly what happened to us.  

Roan Johnson introduced us to homeschool and Sonlight curriculum which has lot of emphasis on history.  Ritu Gupta introduced us to Magic Tree House series when Kabir turned 4.  Hence, Kabir started getting a strong foundation in both US and World history.  Then, we found out about National History Bee during Fall 2016.  It’s usually difficult to register for a competition if you homeschool in rural US and are not a member of a big homeschool association and local public schools are not willing to help you.  However, it was super-easy to register for History Bee competition (free for homeschoolers).  Kabir took the qualification exam just to have fun without any preparation.  He qualified for Regionals!  He prepared for it by listening to Story of the World Vol. 1-4, doing some past History Bee Q&A and learning US and World history at Khan Academy.  While preparing he had fun making paper cranes.  He really enjoyed!

We went to Birmingham, AL for Regionals in February 2017.  Kabir absolutely loved the thrill of answering questions during buzzer rounds.  He was second in the Regionals and hence, he qualified for Nationals.  We were overjoyed.  We made it a point to complete the entire 5th grade curriculum (except Math and Easy Grammar) and to enjoy all our planned vacation before the Nationals during June 1-4.

Medal at Regionals

Kabir worked hard and he completed the entire 5th grade curriculum by April 1 (except Math and Easy Grammar).  He also participated in Science Fair, TCT off-broadway production of “On The Radio”, and MMTA piano competitions.  We enjoyed our travels to LA, Greece, and India before the Nationals.  So, we did not make preparation for History Bee the only thing we need to do between February and June because in life you always have to take care of multiple areas.  In order to prepare for the Nationals, this is what Kabir did.

  • Completed the US and World history section from Khan Academy.
  • Listened to the Story of the World Vol. 1-4 and made notes so that he can review the notes during the last week before the Nationals.  I am so happy that he has learnt to listen and take notes.  This is a skill that will serve him well in future.
  • We read past History Bee Q&A.
  • We made notes from the entire 5th grade history curriculum that he reviewed during the last week before the Nationals.
  • We made notes from one of US history textbooks that we had studied during the 4th grade.  Again, he reviewed these notes during the last week before the Nationals.
  • He re-read many of the history books that we had read during grade 1- grade 4.
  • He read “History Essentials – US & World Timeline” – recommended study guide.

While preparing he made lots and lots of paper cranes.  He enjoyed and that was the key.  Also, his knowledge of US and World history has become stronger because of this and I am absolutely thrilled about it.  When we reached Atlanta for the Nationals, we were just hoping for him to do as well as he can.  He did very well during all the preliminary rounds and made it to the finals.  Being a homeschooler, I cannot tell you how reassuring it was.  I tend to go through lot of self-doubt especially because I am not a trained teacher and I have never been to US school.  So, I keep doubting if Kabir is at par with his peers.  Sometimes, I wonder if he would have done much better if he had the opportunity to go to one of the best schools in the country.  Participating in this competition reassured me that he is getting exactly the education he is meant for and is in no way any less than most of the state-of-the-art schools.  I realized that I need to be grateful for it and have faith in the Divine plan!

He couldn’t do as well during the Finals but that’s ok because he knew most of the answers but he was slow in pressing the buzzer.  I am proud of the knowledge he has gained by participating in this competition.  He is #12 in the country and we are very grateful for that!

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Monday, June 19th, 2017

We read “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr.  Kabir was so inspired by the story.  We tried to make a crane using the instructions in the back of the book but it was too difficult for us.  Mrs. Kyoko Okamoto taught us how to make cranes in the origami classes for homeschoolers.  Kabir was so inspired that he has made 1000 paper cranes and they are all hanging in 10 garlands of 100 paper cranes each in our house in different rooms.  They are beautiful!

He has been making them wherever we go and giving paper cranes to most people we meet, hoping that his paper cranes will bring good luck to them.  He has been making cranes out of all sorts of papers but my favorites are the miniature ones with candy wrappers.  He just can’t stop and he is making more paper cranes whenever he is inspired.

Studying India

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Kabir and Arjun have been studying India.  They talked about India and represented India during the Celebration of Cultures event at Oren Dunn Museum in the month of September.  In November, they did a presentation for a few homeschoolers.

Kabir has read the book “Illustrated History of India” by Wilco second time.  Based on his research along with his friends he blogged on various topics from this book.  I am reading this book with Arjun and we are almost done.  Boys represented India during the Celebrations of Cultures event at Oren Dunn Museum in the month of September

In November, both boys presented India to a small group of homeschoolers.  Arjun created a PowerPoint presentation on India for homeschoolers.  Here is a video of Arjun presenting India (6:54 minutes).  Kabir created a movie based on our trip to India.  The movie India 2016 is 16:31 minutes long.  Overall, they have a learnt a lot about India and are proud to have Indian heritage!

China Study

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Boys completed the fact sheets for China and then, updated the graphs.  Kabir has no space left in the religion graph and so, he did not update the religion graph.  He helped Arjun update his religion graph.  However, Kabir did update the population graph.

They made a 3D model of China with clay.  This time boys worked together (at least tried to!).  This was so worth it as we learnt a lot by doing this project.  The boys did this project by themselves.  I helped them only when they got stuck and also, I made sure that they got it right.


Arjun did a presentation on Ancient Chinese Inventions.  We read Magic Tree House #14, “The Day of The Dragon-King” and the fact tracker #31, “China: Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall”.  The fact tracker really helped us a lot.


Kabir did a PowerPoint presentation on the Abacus.  Both boys learn to use Abacus and they love it.  If you wish to download the PowerPoint presentation, then here it is: Abacus.  Kabir wore the Mandarin hat with braid while presenting.


This morning we met for the presentations.  We had only 4 kids that did present.  I made spring rolls.  Other homeschoolers made egg rolls, fried rice, and rice with tofu and vegetables.  Everything was so delicious.  It was very interesting that we had the presentation in the library where they have a statue of Guanyin – the Chinese Goddess of Mercy.

After the presentations, we took the kids to the park.  I did update the kids’ pretend passports with China sticker.  Now, Kabir has 12 country stickers in his passport while Arjun has 6 country stickers.


American Study

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

We have been studying about America and this morning we met with a few homeschoolers to listen to our kids’ presentations and to eat traditional American food.  It was just wonderful.  Although each of the kids did a great job but my favorites were a movie about the history of Colorado using Legos by John Gannon, a brochure of Texas by Aidan, an A-Z list of symbols of Louisiana by Lou, and history of civil rights in Alabama by Emory.

Kabir and Arjun filled all the fact sheets about America on their own.  Then they started a new folder where there are going to complete fact sheets for each of the 50 states.  So far, they have completed fact sheets for California and Missouri.  This is because Arjun chose to focus on California and Kabir on Missouri.  They created a clay model of the USA.

They updated the population and religion graphs.

Arjun chose to focus on San Francisco earthquake 1906.  We adapted the script from a book, “Lizzie Newton and the San Francisco Earthquake” by Stephen Krensky.  We did Readers Theatre where his grandmother, Kabir, Arjun and I participated.  We will remember this forever in life!  Here is the link to the script, San Francisco Earthquake and here is the link to the video of San Francisco Earthquake Readers Theatre.  He created a Lego model of San Francisco and then broke to represent San Francisco after the earthquake.  As far as food is concerned we bought California Roll and California Sourdough bread from Kroger for the party.

Kabir created a Missouri newspaper dedicated to homeschoolers.  He did this mostly on his own and worked real hard.  Here is a video link of his presentation of the Missouri Newspaper dedicated to homeschoolers.  For food, we made Ozark pudding and Squash casserole for the party.  We spent last week in St. Louis, Missouri.  We had a great time as it’s a great city for kids.