Summary of Arjun’s 4th Grade

2019-2020 academic year has been difficult for various reasons but academically Arjun has shined and blossomed. He has fulfilled all my expectations academically despite of being sick for majority of this year. Arjun had a “get it done” attitude this year. This is good but I hope he will try to enjoy it too and sometimes take time to go deeper. I think he enjoys learning the subjects he is interested but his interests keep varying so much that it’s best to let him be at this phase of his life.  As far as behavior is concerned, he has become so much neater than before. There was a phase when he had become perfect in this arena but he has started lagging again. Hopefully, he will pick up the slack once again. His anger and rebellious tendency is so much under control. So, even though he has to improve a lot but I am so happy and pleased that he has made a serious effort to make his personality more pleasant. For this, I am proud of him beyond words. Here’s the summary of all he accomplished this year.

Arjun has been accepted to Duke Tip program.

SaxonMath Homeschool 6/5
Life of Fred series – Completed Elementary Series (till Jelly Beans)
Mathological Liar Grade 5 & 6
Khan Academy Grade 5
The Abacus Institute of Mrs. Emily Zhang – Currently working on Pre Mathcount Book 1; Mental Math Grade 8 Book 2; National Standardized Test Grade 5
Cryptography: Math and Codes via CTYOnline – Earned A+ (100%). For final project, he created a movie – The History of Cryptography (17:11 minutes long).

Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Figural – completed
Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Verbal – completed until page 168; will complete this book in grade 5

Bookshark Science Level E
TOPS: Electricity 32
TOPS: Magnetism 33
Janice VanCleave’s Oceans for Every Kid
Snap Circuit – completed 230 projects out of 692 projects.
Healthworks Homeschool Health & PE – 1 semester of bi-monthly classes.
Science Bee – Arjun took the online exam for Science Bee. He got 79 and this score qualified him for Regional Science Bee Competition. We were registered to attend it in Memphis but due to COVID-19, the even got canceled.
Memphis Zoo Homeschool Programs – 3 homeschool classes in Memphis Zoo which includes dissection of frog.

Frog Dissection

Household Chemistry Class via CTYOnline – This course was not graded but he received excellent evaluation. He created a video as part of his Household Chemistry final project.

2 meetings of Stem Challenges with homeschoolers

Science Fair Project – Arjun studied particulate matter in air in various environments: simulated forest fire, neighborhood front yard, ambulance bay, wood carving workshop, Ballard Park (city park), neighborhood backyard, and Tupelo crosstown. His question: which environment generates the maximum particulate emission. For this experiment, he created his own monitor to calculate the particulate matter in air. He didn’t get to present it at Regional Fair due to COVID-19 lockdown.

Language Arts:
Bookshark Language Arts Level E
Daily Grams Grade 5
Easy Grammar Grade 5
Editor in Chief Level 2
Wordly Wise 3000 Book 5
Vocabulary Cartoons: Word Power Made Easy
Natural Speller – completed grade 5 list
Dictation from Lives of The Scientists: Experiments, Explosions (and What the Neighbors Thought) – just 4 biographies left that we will complete in grade 5
Mrs Heather Tate continued to edit and guide all the compositions written by Arjun this academic year. He learnt typing using the typist program in Mac. This helps him as he can now type faster.

Currently, he is doing CTY Online Grammar Fundamentals course.

Bookshark Curriculum Level E
American History II Lap book Kit

US Elections Lap book Kit

Biography – we couldn’t participate in biography fair due to COVID-19. Arjun chose to study one of the great warriors of Indian history whose life taught the real meaning of patriotism – Maharan Pratap. For this, we watched the entire TV serial of “Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap.” He created a PowerPoint Presentation on Maharan Pratap. Biography is one of the ways that I feel can teach us life lessons. So far, we have watched following Hindi TV serials that will teach culture and life lessons: Ramayan, Mahabharat, Buddha, Jhansi Ki Raani, Maharana Pratap, The Gospel of Luke, The Gospel of Mathew, The Gospel of John, Nanak Shah Fakir, The Message: The Story of Islam, and episodes about Navaratri in Vighnaharta Ganesh. Currently, we are watching the 10 forms of Mahakali in Vighnaharta Ganesh. I don’t know if Arjun gets much out of these serials as he’s so young but hopefully, Kabir does. I know I have learnt a lot about history, geography, religion and culture by watching these serials.
Geography Fair – We participated in 1 geography fair this academic year where Arjun studied and presented Galapagos Island.

Bookshark Curriculum Read Aloud and Readers Level E – we had bought a few audiobooks when Kabir did this curriculum. So, Arjun had the advantage of listening to audiobooks for many books this academic year. If we could find a movie based on the books we read, then we did watch them.
A Child’s Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa
Poems of Kabir translated by Rabindranath Tagore
Arjun added to Children Books Reviews blog and a Children Books Reviews podcast of all the book reviews he wrote this academic year.

Arjun did weekly classes with Homeschool Spanish Academy and completed Level 1 (scored 100%). The syllabus he covered can be seen in the photo below.

Arjun participated in 1 play this academic year: Candy Coated Christmas Carols. He was one of the shepherds.

Arjun participated in 2 local cooking classes. He cooked and baked a lot this academic year. All these dishes he made on his own and were absolutely delicious.

Arjun volunteered to help at Avonlea Assisted Living only 3 times this academic year. We couldn’t go more frequently this year due to sickness, travel and Covid-19 circumstances.

Arjun took 12 art classes each semester at Party in the Art Room. During COVID-19 situation, the classes were held online. The best art classes he has taken so far is from He completed following courses: Drawing Birds: The Essential Guide, The Ultimate Animal Drawing Course: Beginner to Advanced, Drawing Animals: From Anatomy to Rendering. These art courses at are exactly what brought happiness to his soul.

Arjun took weekly classes with Mrs. Sandy Coutoumanos and completed level 4. During COVID-19 situation, the classes were held online.
National Federation of Music Clubs – Earned superior for Piano American Patriotic Folk Song, Earned superior (5th Consecutive Year) in Piano Solo Primary III; Earned superior (4th Consecutive Year) in Musicianship Theory IV. We had online piano recital.


Arjun managed to attend very few swimming classes – only for 1 semester. This summer, he is learning tennis.

Dog Training:
We got a dog and named her Tara. She is a silken windhound. Arjun had to study a lot about how to take care of dogs and train her in basic obedience. He is the main person who takes care of Tara totally. Also, he did online scent work classes for Tara: Online Beginning Scent Work and Online Beginning Odor Class. He did novice trick training class at Use Your Nose Dog Training Online and Tara earned Trick Dog – Novice title from AKC. Currently, he is doing Rally course.

In Summer 2019, we took Alaskan cruise to Alaska and Arjun had such a good time. On ship, he went on his own to eat his breakfast and lunch and attended talks on Alaskan sea animals, geography and history – all alone. He learnt so much during this trip. We went to San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Peru, and took an American road trip to Yellow Stone National Park, Big Horn, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Wounded Knee, and Austin. In October, Arjun and I traveled to India. That’s all the traveling we did this academic year. This academic year was a little tough as there was sickness in our family every few months but it all ended at a good note in the end. So, we didn’t get to travel as much or go to field trips as much.

This academic year, we have felt the divine hand of Shri Mataji on us. As I mentioned before that this academic year has been difficult but it has been blissful too in so many ways. All difficulties did get resolved. We have had memorable family times together at home. I am so happy that Tara joined our family! Tara has made Arjun so responsible and mature. Kabir gets out of his room and away from his computer. Amit is like a young boy playing with Tara. Yes, she is a blessing to our family. My mother-in-law survived open heart surgery. My father-in-law is 80 and doing well. Yes, we have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. So, thank you, Shri Mataji!!!!

End of School Celebration

To celebrate end of school, we did a Thank-You puja to Shri Mataji for a wonderful academic year. Then Kabir did a presentation of all Arjun’s journey this academic year. Next two days, we had online celebration of Kabir’s end of school. So the party continued for three days. The menu for the three days of celebration included: dahi-bhaat (yogurt-rice), salad, potato-kale-leek gratin, homemade mozzarella pizza, dumplings, garlic paneer, chicken kabob, parmesan cauliflower, banana bread pudding, and Italian wedding cookies.

$20 Grocery – May 2014

This weekend, $20 grocery project was very special for Kabir. This is because he went to Kroger with the help of his grandfather and made the dinner with the help of his grandmother. As Kabir had lost all his previous savings by taking us to a restaurant last month, he was very cautious with his money. He spent only $13.90. So, his savings is $6. He is thrilled to have $6 as savings.

He picked “spaghetti with herbs & garlic” from the book, “what shall we cook today?” I have to say that this is the best kids’ cook book I have come across. I love the recipes from this book. Out of 70 recipes in this book, Kabir has already tried 6 recipes in the last 5 months. Each one them have received 5 stars from him. So far, he has tried the following recipes from the book:

  • spaghetti with herbs & garlic
  • sticky toffee pudding
  • chocolate salami
  • oatie cookies
  • creamy pea soup
  • tomato pesto rolls

Amit is not really fond of spaghetti but this one changed his mind. It was just super-duper delicious! He also bought cookie dough ice-cream for dessert. He served us a satisfying and delicious meal!

Restaurant for Dinner

Kabir has been saving some money each month when he does $20 grocery dinner for us. This evening, I asked him to take us to a restaurant and use his savings to order food. The idea was for him to figure out how to order food in a restaurant, to calculate the bill, to calculate the tip. It was fun! He did amazing job! Hopefully, he realized that eating out is more expensive than at home.

Here’s Kabir’s report for this little project:

“Today I decided to treat my family to a Thai restaurant using my savings. We forgot the bill, but we know that the food costed $31.55, and I gave $5.45 as tip, and I spent $37.00 ($31.55 + $5.45 = $37.00).

I bought Pad See Ewe, Pad Ki Mao, steamed Thai dumplings, Thai iced tea for my parents, and four waters. I was also going to get Hai Karo soup, but my parents said it was too much, so I canceled the soup.

Now, I have zero savings. Either I had made a mistake in one of my calculations, or I had lost some money. According to my previous calculations, I should have $41.97, but I had only $36.97. I learnt from this that you should make sure everything is correct before you spend the money.

While ordering the food, I felt a mixture of happiness, proudness, and nervousness.”

$20 Grocery – December 2013

For the month of December, Kabir spent only $8.43 as he served us tilapia fish, salad and mashed potato for dinner. So, he has saved $11.57 this month. Adding his previous savings, he has $39.17. He might take us to a restaurant pretty soon!

He seasoned the fish with Old Bay seasoning and I grilled it for him. He scrubbed the potatoes and boiled it. Once cooled, he peeled it and mashed it up. Kabir is not fond of potatoes but he enjoyed this mashed potato as if there’s no tomorrow! I have never seen him enjoy mashed potato ever before! It’s amazing how much he enjoys the food when he is the cook. The salad was one of the salad kits he chose from Kroger. Kabir and Arjun finished the ice cream that Kabir had bought in August.

Grilled Tilapia, Mashed Potato and Salad
Grilled Tilapia, Mashed Potato and Salad

$20 Grocery – October 2013

Yesterday, Kabir decided to make egg casserole, a recipe from his favorite person, Ms. Catherine. He had enjoyed it so much when Catherine had made it for us during 4th of July celebrations that he still could taste it. So, he wanted to follow the recipe exactly. Also, he decided to make salad and for that he wanted to try his own recipe. For dessert, he served us honey dew melon and oreo cookies ‘n cream ice cream left over from last time.

The salad was really delicious and I was very impressed with him trying to make his own recipe. He made a list of ingredients before we went to Kroger. For salad, he used Italian seasoning and Greek dressing (we are studying Greece and so, our focus is on everything Greek). It turned out very delicious. The best part was how he presented the meal. He decorated the table and made it very special. When buying egg, I gave him the option of cheaper eggs or buying cage-free eggs. He did his maths and decided to go for cheaper eggs. He had a saving of $2.33. He has come a long way and this little project has helped him in different ways. We are going to try to keep it up.

Egg Casserole and Salad
Egg Casserole and Salad