Exams With Online School

In order to fully complete my online courses, I had to take final exams.

The experience & what was required

I had never taken an official exam before this, besides the SATs but it turns out those were different. The SATs had set studying (Khan Academy SAT Practice) so I didn’t have to figure out how to study. All I needed to do was go through the SAT Practice. This time I was rather unprepared even though they provided a practice exam. The stress to finish fast and effectively took over in the first exam. Luckily by the last exam, it was not half as nervewracking.

The exam took place at a library with a proctor. Some online school exams can be proctored through a program and completed online, or with an in-person proctor you provide but still taken online. There were other students there taking other exams. You had to show photo ID to ensure you didn’t just get someone else to write the test (a very smart identical twin would be handy) and sign that you had taken the test. Each test was 2 hours. After the tests were completed they were sent to the ILC’s main office and it took about a week until I got my grades back.

Study method

Eventually, after several of the tests, I figured out a study method that seemed to work well.

  • If the practice exam is given, go through the questions and the answers to figure out what kind of questions are going to be asked and where you may struggle.
  • Review every lesson, concept, practice questions in the lesson and assignments. Especially the questions that are similar to the practice exam ones.
  • Ask yourself questions, Google to find extra questions on those topics, do questions out of the textbook. This ensures you know the topics. You could also teach concepts to someone else.
  • Take the practice exam mimicking the conditions you’ll be taking the real exam in.
  • Final review of everything before taking the test. Plus remain calm before the test, you’re almost finished!

I have learnt exam taking is not my strongest skill and I am working to get better at it! Do you have any study method that works best for you?

P.S. It’s Peri

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School Mistakes Were Made

My school of choice starts admissions in May (fingers crossed for acceptance!!) so in mid-March, just before spring break, I emailed the admissions office to double check that everything was OK for applying. I highly recommend doing this, especially if you’re homeschooled, to ensure you have everything you need for the application process. Admissions wrote back and said that I would need to take the required courses for Kinesiology through an Ontario high school in order to be considered for admissions. In retrospect, this makes complete sense and they had said that in the requirements, but I assumed that it was just the school saying it was easier for them if you go to public school for grade 12. They want everyone to be evaluated as fairly as possible, so having homeschool applicants take at least the required courses through a public school takes everyone to a level playing field.

In order to be considered for Fall 2018, I had to submit progress grades within 2 weeks (hence the short hiatus) of having emailed the school. This meant that taking these required courses at a public school was not an option for the time crunch. So, I enrolled in an online public school that allows students to work at their own pace. In future posts, I will talk more about the experience of switching to an online public school. Progress grades were submitted within the short time limits and currently, I’m working on fully finishing the courses!

Some points if I were to do this again/tips

  • Email admissions early! About as soon as you apply, that way you have plenty of time to do whatever else may be required.
  • They only required 4 courses in the final year to be taken with a public school, so you do not need a whole year’s course load at a public school. Other schools may be different, though. I only double checked with my #1 school choice.
  • It was actually a benefit having a time crunch because it forced me to get lots of schoolwork done. Good motivation.
  • The first term of grade 12 can be homeschool courses (I would take things relating to the required public school courses because there would be less pressure initially and more time to fully learn concepts) and the second term can be public school courses.
  • Even though it’s been stressful, overall it’s not too bad. The more I work for this the better it will feel once it’s over and hopefully once they accept.

 

 

P.S. It’s Peri

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Scholarship Struggles

Scholarships have been a bit of a struggle in the journey to university. They either require you to have done something very extraordinary ( which is definitely justifiable! ) or it seems like the places are just getting you to do their work for them. It’s been overwhelming with the amounts of scholarships available and trying to figure out what ones are actually worth pursuing.

 

Scholarships in Canada and some websites to find them

It’s worth looking around as early as possible for scholarships. I started looking into them last fall and most of the smaller ( about $1000 and under ) scholarships required it to be the year in which you’d be attending university. I would thoroughly check out the major scholarships but if you haven’t done anything too crazy it’s not worth spending a lot of time trying to find huge scholarships.  Apply instead for as many smaller ones as possible! When you apply to universities and if you meet the scholarship requirements, schools will automatically consider you for some of their scholarships.

Scholarship sites for Canada

I’ve been using yconic.com which I like because they send emails with contests in which  you can win money for university. Contests are a good, easy and a generally pretty hassle-free way to try and get some school money. I also use scholarshipscanada.com.  They do not send email updates of scholarships I qualify for, which would be nice. Generally, you fill out a very detailed profile and they match you to any available scholarships. It’s not too overwhelming and there are quite a few options out there.

 

Not finding any

I haven’t actually applied for any yet! There doesn’t seem to be a lot of Applied Health specific ones, nor has there been any school-specific ones. The only scholarships I have found so far have been things like “design 3 T-shirts and you can win $25” ( that was legit one of them! ), or a lot of work for very little money. Once I have finished my schoolwork I will spend a lot more time on scholarships, though, because offsetting costs will be worth it!

 

Are there any fellow Canadians out there looking for scholarships, what sites do you use? Any other homeschoolers struggling with finding good scholarships?

 

P.S. It’s Peri

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Motivation To Do Schoolwork In Grade 12

The motivation for doing schoolwork can be so hard, especially during the winter when the days a dreary and the last thing you want to do is school.

 

Grade 11 vs 12 motivation

Last year, motivation was pretty low around this time of year since it was post-winter break and everything seems dull until spring starts to pop up. This year, I feel pretty highly motivated to get school done, so much so I’ve been getting done a week’s worth of work in a couple days.

 

Highly motivated in grade 12

I think the motivation to get schoolwork done gets easier when there’s an end in sight and once I’m done this grade it’ll be done for high school. In previous years I have not taken summers off, instead, I took off a few days here and there when I felt like it. That can be very good for when you feel like you really can’t do schoolwork and need a break. But, having a set “I will be done school” point helps to motivate to get to that point. I’m trying to have a combination of both, do as much school as I can while I’m feeling super motivated then taking a few days off ( weekends or days when I’m busy doing other things ) with the end point of whenever all of my courses are finished. The end feels close enough that I’m trying my best to get to that point as soon as I can with still learning everything. The downside of the days when I get lots of schoolwork done is there is sometimes a “crash” day where my brain is mush, that’s when it should be a break or an easier work day. Overall, I’m just looking forward to having all of the work done and that’s motivation enough to keep going.

 

How do you keep motivated during these dull months?

 

P.S It’s Peri

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Teenage Bucket List

This sounds like it should be the name of a coming of age movie.

Sometimes with being homeschooled, I have felt like I’m missing out on being a kid because I’m not in school like lots of other kids my age, and I’m at home a lot of the day like a retired person. That’s not a bad thing at all and I like to think it makes me a little more mature, even though it probably doesn’t haha. A little while ago I made this list of things that felt like a teenager should do or that I didn’t want to miss out on, mostly it’s just things on my bucket list that I want to do as a teenager.

 

The Teenage Bucket List

  1. Climb a tree because I haven’t done this yet?!
  2. Go to a concert. Did this, but more would be fun or a festival.
  3. Stay up all night. I’ve done this, too!
  4. Watch the sunrise?? I’ve done this, not quite sure why I had this 0n the teenage list, though.
  5. Go to a sleepover. Did this!
  6. Dye hair crazy colours. Did this, too!
  7. Start a business. Working on it.
  8. Learn to drive. I’ve read a little bit of the book, that’s probably good enough, right?
  9. And get drivers license. Because what’s the point of learning if I don’t get a license?
  10. Go to a school dance. My homeschool group doesn’t have a lot of high school aged kids so I can’t really set one up, but I’ve always wanted to go to one. Ok, to be honest, I just want to dress up.
  11. Go on a road trip. Or just travel. Done a little bit of this.
  12. Get a job.
  13. “Graduate” homeschooling. Getting there.
  14. Go to a pool party. I’ve done this already, too!
  15. Meet some of my online friends. I’ve met one and there’s plenty more to go.
  16. Go to one of the Great Lakes beaches.
  17. Have a Tumblr photo shoot.
  18. Do a colour run. I’ve done this a few years ago!
  19. Learn to skate. Sort of did this, I stood up and moved a little bit on skates.
  20. Learn to ski.
  21. Play tennis.
  22. Learn an instrument. I’m not sure what one I want to do, I’m also not very motivated to do this.
  23. Make a blog. Here it is!
  24. Take ballroom dance lessons. I need a partner.
  25. Make a giant collage in my room. I had one then took it down after it had been up for about a year.

 

What would be on your Teenage Bucket List?

 

P.S It’s Peri

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OMG am I weird? #homeschoolproblems

“I forgot you were homeschooled!” the best compliment I can remember getting. There are so many stereotypes about homeschoolers being weird, unsocialized and incredibly awkward and I took forgetting that I was homeschooled as a great compliment to me being able to blend in with the other kids. I’ve been homeschooled my whole life and it’s always been a fear of mine that I would end up like an alien to everyone else having not had that common experience. I want to fit in but not too much.

 

Different

Being homeschooled, you might be different. Just going to face it. You don’t have that common experience that the majority of other people have that’s school in a classroom with other people the exact same age as you. And honestly, that is such a good thing! Don’t wanna be basic like that.

ninabasic

 

It also doesn’t mean you’re completely insane or anything, either! I think that homeschooling really lets you be yourself because there isn’t really the pressure to be like the “popular kids” or anyone else, you can just be you.

fullsizerender-14

I kind of pride myself on being very much myself and sometimes I can be a bit weird, but it’s me. I am still a pretty typical teenager, though. I fangirl over anything fangirlable LOL, I go to the mall with my friends, I spend way too much time on Instagram stalking makeup accounts and way too much time on Snapchat, but not using the dog filter because, again, not basic LOL. Sometimes, though, I don’t really feel like a teenager, which is probably a good thing, or at least I tell myself it means I’m more mature, even though that’s probably not true at all.

It is a great thing to find out who you are and really embrace it. People spend their whole lives trying to find who they are and some never do, they just live a life like everyone else. Public schools build mental models that shape the way kids think, forcing them all to think similarly and live the same. Go to school, get some sort of job, start a family somewhere in there, retire then just hang out until that’s it. I want to be different and not fall into the typical life flow because that doesn’t sound very fun to me.

WOO! That was a good little rant!

 

Sheltered

There is the stereotype that homeschoolers are very sheltered and don’t know what’s going on in the world or anything from pop culture. There were a few years where I definitely was sheltered, but I was also not that old so that was good and I’m thankful for maintaining a little innocence as long as I could but not too long.

 

Avoiding being sheltered

One word for how I’m not sheltered – Internet. I love social media, it’s one of my crazy dreams to be kind of Internet-famous so I tend to be on it a lot. Some of my best friends all go to public schools. I listen to music that’s popular, occasionally watch popular TV shows. My family has a joke that we have “culture class” if we learn any new term or anything from pop culture. I kind of try to not be sheltered by making sure I’m sort of up to date on trends and things but really, as long as you’re not completely out of it, it doesn’t matter at all.

 

Not every homeschooler is weird, we’re just like everyone else, just not in the same place as everyone else – in a public school. But embrace all your differences because it’s what makes you, you!

 

 

P.S It’s Peri

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Homeschool FAQs

With exams being this week here, I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions about homeschooling so I thought I would answer some of the most common ones!

 

  • Do you have to take exams?

I do not. Exams are just to make sure that you’re learning what is being taught, I just do my schoolwork until I have mastered it or know it pretty well then move on to the next thing.

  • Why do you homeschool?

Because of my severe nut allergy and how schools weren’t good about it then, and my parents decided that it’s a better way of education for us. For more check out A History Of My Homeschooling (#backstoryweek)

  • Is it fun?

Sometimes, yeah! But most of the time, it’s incredibly boring, just like public school. My family has lots of fun some days together, and being able to go places or basically do what I want is fun. I don’t have a classroom filled with other kids, though, so it doesn’t get too exciting.

  • Who teaches you?

I do some things online, and those things are videos with teachers, and other things are from books and if I need help I will ask my mum, or Google.

  • Do you get to sit around in pyjamas all day?

If I wanted to? But no. I love clothes too much, and I think that would make me get quite depressed.

  • Do you get a summer break?

This depends on the year, usually, I just lessen the amount of schoolwork I do, but last year and what I will probably do this year, I took off the same time as kids in public school did. I do not take PD days off, though because those don’t apply to me at all.

  • Do you get to sleep in?

YESSSS! Honestly favourite part of homeschooling. I used to wake up between 10 or 11 am but now I have been getting up earlier around 8 am to do Pilates. And I usually stay up really late.

  • How do you make friends?

See my post on The S Word.

  • What about the high school experience?

I don’t even know what this is, but I get asked this a lot. The only thing I can think of is going to maybe school sports games, school dances or things like that, and I can just ask my friends who go to public school to invite me.

  • What about extracurricular things?

A lot of things are offered in the local homeschool group or community centres.

 

If you have any questions about homeschooling feel free to ask them in the comments or contact me!

 

P.S. It’s Peri

 

 

 

A History Of My Homeschooling (#backstoryweek)

Deciding to homeschool.

From what I’ve heard my parents decided pretty early on that they would homeschool me. I don’t know if they had thought about it before this but we found out I had a very severe peanut allergy and they didn’t want to send me off that young to be possibly exposed to peanuts and it be life threatening. The schools did not have rules about having things nut-free then. Thankfully my mom was able to stay home and lead me and my brother’s education.

 

 

What I remember from the first while.

I don’t have a clear memory of the early days of “school”. I remember walking to the kitchen to get my school snacks before going into the dining room where we did our work when I was around 4. We have always used Math U See so I remember working with the blocks and doing math. The rest is a bit of a blur but I know I kept up with Math U See and lots of reading, travel, and we tried to get as many experiences as we could.

 

 

Kicking it up for grade 7-8

After having moved a few times within 2 years we got settled down enough to get a little more serious with school. I took an art class with a local co-op, Math U See , of course, lots of reading of classics and mythology and writing about the books once I was finished, the Life Of Fred books helped along with maink aboutth and English, I did Saylor academy English as well. It was more focussed on English through those years. We also moved internationally again so a lot of school was put on hold while in the process of moving.

 

 

High school.

For 2014, which would have been my first year of high school, I did math, Life of Fred English, YouTube videos on French, Lively Latin, Khan Academy computer programming, read Shakespeare, read books on composers and painters, it was the year of classical education. I liked to pretend it was what royalty was learning in the 1700s. From what I’ve read a few universities didn’t need anything from grade 9 so that wasn’t as big of a deal as the rest of the other grades.  Grade 10 and 11 we went full force, taking philosophy ( Actually my favourite because it gives me things to think about, like how dogs enjoy bones to gnaw on I enjoy philosophy for my brain to gnaw on. ) physics, chemistry, biology, geometry, pre-calc + trig, statistics, Duolingo French, Duolingo Hungarian ( which is so hard I actually rarely get to it ) Lively Latin ( If I can remember ) reading A History of The English Speaking Peoples by Winston Churchill, a series of Canadian history books, videos on Can history, occasionally composer study if I’m in the mood to read it, and lots of reading of classics and self improvement books. It honestly gets so overwhelming and I often don’t get a lot of it done but those will be other posts!

That’s the end of #backstoryweek for now and hopefully that set a bit of a basis and let everyone get to know me!

P.S. It’s Peri