Why Take The ACT Or SAT Test To Apply To Uni In ON?

As a homeschooler in Ontario, it is highly recommended – and required in order to apply to some schools – that you take either the SAT or the ACT standardized tests before applying to university. In Canada, public school students are not required to take these tests unless they are applying to schools outside of Canada, unlike in the United States where every high school student must take these tests.

 

Why take these tests?

It helps the universities bring all the students who did not attend a local high school to about the same playing field and judge them fairly. It can also give them more proof of how well you do in some subjects and that you’ve actually learnt things, basically just insurance that you have actually had an education.

 

What standardized test to take?

There are the ACT, SAT and SAT Subject Tests that can be taken and used for your application. All of the schools I wanted to apply to did not specify if they wanted ACT or SAT and the SAT test date was sooner than the ACT date so I went with the SAT test. One of the schools asked for homeschool students to have taken 3 SAT Subject Tests that correlated to the program you’re applying to, for example, I would have to take the Chemistry, Biology and Math tests in order apply to Kinesiology. However, I was too late for signing up for the Subject Tests and just went with the original SAT test without the essay.  I recommend signing up for the tests well in advance to ensure you get a spot at a test centre nearby and that you can get the tests that you want!

 

More on my experience taking the SAT coming soon! For more on university requirements for homeschoolers in Ontario look here.

P.S It’s Peri

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Tackling Transcripts

My mom and I have dreaded high school transcripts from the start. I didn’t follow one exact curriculum and did courses that worked best for me and took a huge variety of classes so the whole transcript process has been daunting. Luckily, it isn’t really that bad!

The process

Before I go into the process I just need to say if you’re homeschooling high school I highly recommend writing down all educational things you do in detail, even if it’s just slightly educational. We had been keeping track of the courses I was taking, but I think last year and this year I didn’t write down everything I did. Luckily, it wasn’t that long ago so I know what courses I had taken, but if I hadn’t written down things from Grade 9 or 10, I definitely wouldn’t have remembered everything.

So, the first step was to lay out all the courses I had taken and basically “translate” them to public school “language”. Things such as art – I drew freely, took online art requests, art classes, art history and appreciation, etc. – we summarized into Integrated Arts, for convenience to the schools.  The goal is to make everything as easy as possible for the schools and whoever is looking over the applications. We wrote each course on a post-it note and separated them into each grade.  We double checked the required credits for this province to graduate to ensure I had all of the courses, we also checked the required courses for Kinesiology

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Post-its with the name of courses, divided by what grade they were taken in

in university to make sure I was set for that. Everything was good there, so the next step was to move everything into an online spreadsheet. We used Google Sheets and just wrote down each course separated by year. The universities require that you write down how much time and how many weeks you’ve spent on each course. This is a good thing to write down, too! It wasn’t too hard to come up with but it did take awhile to figure out how long was spent and how many weeks since I didn’t usually take summers off and would only take maybe a few weeks per year off. On average I spent 39 hours every week doing school as opposed to the public school average of 35.

Course descriptions

After time spent, grades and all of the courses were written down in the spreadsheet, we had to make detailed course descriptions. Technically, these aren’t part of the transcripts. Transcripts are just the course names, time, and grades, the descriptions are separate and will be uploaded to the schools separately. But since we were already going through all of my courses it made sense to do these at this time, too. This is where it would be most helpful to have everything previously written down and described in detail. It has been a several day process to get through all of the descriptions. I looked up what the courses descriptions were from the websites of the courses and copied all of them into a doc to have all of the info in one spot and not rely on memory for the exact things I’ve learnt. From there my mom and I have been writing descriptions and editing them down so everything is very brief and detailed. It’s pretty time consuming but soon we’ll have them all done and be able to send them to the schools. Once everything is done it will be uploaded to the schools through their student centres and they will alert when they’ve received the docs.

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Applying To University In Ontario As A Homeschooler

In Ontario, all university applications go through the Ontario University Application Centre ( OUAC ). There are 2 main ways of applications, 101 for students in public high school and 105 for all of those who are not in a public school. And since I am Canadian my application was 105d, standing for domestic. Before any documents can be sent to the universities you have to apply to the schools through the OUAC.

 

OUAC application

The OUAC was actually pretty simple once I realized it wasn’t the full on applications to the schools. The first step was making an account for OUAC and putting in my info about where I lived, how to contact me and where my previous education was from. Next was picking out the programs I’m applying to and what schools. You have to pick 3. And that was it! There’s a fee, which was more expensive than I was expecting but maybe because my applications have to be individually looked over by someone.

 

Acknowledgement and setting up accounts

After applying through OUAC, all of the schools sent emails of acknowledgement, I was excited for this because it makes it seem so real! The first one came within about 3 days and the others took almost a week. With each email, they sent a username and password for my account in each of the schools’ student centre websites and an email address with the school where they would contact me. The first one I spent around 2 hours setting up my account and exploring the student centre site. This is where they contact you, keep track of your application status, finances, choose your classes, basically where you do everything.  I ensured that all of my personal info was right and that they had the right program. Within a day or 2 after getting my account set up, my application had been reviewed and they sent a list of required documents and prefered deadlines.  Now I will be able to send them standardized test scores, transcripts, and other docs they would like. The first major step is done!

 

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University Requirements For Homeschoolers

I am lucky to have pretty easily picked out the schools that I would like to apply to, which really narrowed down what my requirements as a homeschooler had to be.

 

Requirements and the to-do list

Requirements vary from school to school but the basic idea of what they want is all the same.

  • Results from a standardized test such as the SATs or ACTs. – To make sure you are up to par with the students coming in from public schools.
  • Transcripts of high school courses. – To see what you’ve done over the years.
  • Cover letter describing the curriculum you used to homeschool, why you homeschooled and your plans for your university journey.
  • And required courses for the program you’re going into.

 

Finding requirements

Some schools are very accepting of homeschoolers and have everything laid out nicely with regards as to what they want to see, others were harder to find and said that it would be best to just go to public school. I found the easiest way to find what the homeschool student requirements were was to just Google the school name and “homeschool requirements”. Contacting an admissions officer would be a good step, too. All of the requirements felt a bit overwhelming, but one step at a time and they’re all getting done and it’s not as bad as it seemed at first!

 

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Homeschooling Vs Public School For Grade 12 – Why I Continued Homeschooling

Lots of people go to public high school for at least the final year of homeschooling high school, the universities recommend it and it can be simpler. But, after much debating, I decided to try to pioneer my way through the last year of homeschooling high school and into the world beyond.

Why I continued homeschooling

There were benefits to both going to public school and homeschooling this year. Going to school would make applying easier, I wouldn’t have to find the right standardized tests for each school, wouldn’t have as much work to do personally on applying so I could focus on the schoolwork itself. But there were many downsides to going to school: having never been to public school before, the whole situation would take getting used to. I’ve spent many years trying to stand out from public school and going to school for the final year would be setting me back, in my opinion. So, I decided to stay. Personally, there are many benefits to staying, such as: being able to stand out in university applications because every homeschoolers’ application is individually evaluated, so there is no chance of mine being missed. No getting used to a new environment of a public school, I can do courses that specifically relate to what I would like to go to university for so I am more prepared and it looks better on applications, more free time and less stress because I have more control over my application and schoolwork. Plus, it is an adventure to go through this not-so-common process!

And since I have not found much on life as a homeschool high school student, I hope to keep this more updated about the process of applying and how things are going! If you have any questions or there are posts you want to see, let me know in the comments!

 

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Still Alive And Coming Back

 

Hello!

Yes, I am still alive. Thanks to everyone who still follows, I will be getting back into active blogging and will be documenting my final year of high school, the process of applying to universities and my life along the way!

If you have any questions or things you’d like to see in upcoming posts, please let me know in the comments!

 

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I’m Still Alive!

I’m still alive!

I just noticed I haven’t posted on the blog in over a month! I’m still alive, don’t worry lol I haven’t been very motivated to post anything but hopefully, in the summer I can get some more posts out!

 

Thank you for not unfollowing me!!

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March Break + University Tour

Hello, readers! Sorry, I’ve been so inactive, I was feeling kind of uninspired but I’ve had several blog post ideas and will be posting them for the next little while!

 

March break

I kind of forgot it was spring break here. The break should really be in February, by March I feel like I can make it through until summer but February feels like it’s never-ending. I only slightly this week off because I wanted to keep busy. Friends who go to school were off and bored so I got to get together with some of them and there was extra practice for dance because of the fast-approaching competition season.

 

University

One of the 3 main universities I’d like to go to was having an open house for spring break. I am very lucky to live close to several universities which really narrowed down my choices. This one is the closest, but I wasn’t too sure if their programme was the best. Now it might be my first choice after having spent the day there it felt like I could live there and be comfortable and I’m excited about their Kin programme! I got to see some of the labs, hear about what it’s like studying there and explore the campus, plus got to tour one of the residences which were really nice. Since I still have another year before applying to universities this was sort of just to stake out what this particular university is like.

 

How did you spend your March break?

 

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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

 

 

 

Big Book of Awesome 

I started my Big Book of Awesome in October and it’s been super helpful, more than I could’ve thought it would be! Actually, my mum had made it wayyy before and I didn’t touch it because I thought it was a dumb idea ( sorry mum, I love you ) and I kept forgetting about it.

 

 

What is it?

It was originally inspired by The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and some worksheets that my mum had printed off the Internet that went with the book and things he talked about. Now it’s sort of progressed into almost a Bullet Journal or life planner kinda thing. I have a daily journal where I dump my thoughts and write down what happened each day, but it’s definitely not pretty since that’s where I just pour my thoughts out, and I wanted to make a pretty journal like the Bullet ones because those make me really happy so I did that in the BBA.

 

 


The BBA currently consists of the first part which is the 7 Habits worksheets still so I can easily go back to the Habits. The next is career, I only have the results of an aptitude test right now but I assume there will be more to add to that. Then it’s the goals and as you’ve probably seen from my previous post I put a lot of value and thought into my goals so that’s the biggest section of the book. It’s where I write down all of my goals and keep track of previous ones and have my major, long-term goals written down. Next is the mission statement section. This is from 7 Habits and it’s basically just setting down your personal morals or what’s important to you and what you’re going to try to always hold yourself to in your life. Here I’ve collected quotes that inspire me and that I like what they’re trying to get across then took out all the common points and wrote down a rough, not too fancy, outline of my mission statement. After that, I have a section of people I admire and who inspire me. I once read, when I was maybe 10, that it’s really important for teens to have good role models but for some reason I thought then that only really famous people could be role models, or something I don’t really know what I thought a role model was, but I decided to learn about people who seemed really successful. Right now I only have Sir Winston Churchill and Cassey Ho from Blogilates but I’ll definitely work on that. Relationships are the subject of the next section, which just has the definition of The Relationship Bank Account from 7 Habits.

Then it’s motivation where I have all the reason why I workout and motivation to workout. Next section is about school and things that I find wrong with the current situation and the plans for the next two years of high school. I always write a monthly to do list then put them in the book once the month is over and I’m now just realizing I could probably throw them out instead LOL. Then things in life that I’m finding are not working so I can set goals to change them because this is the year of change for me. Finally my new and most favourite section – the enjoyable things one, where I write down things to do that are relaxing and make me happy! Yesterday’s post on Hobby Hunting goes into much more detail on this.

How it is helpful to me

I feel like this just keeps my goals and things organized, and makes it me feel like I’ve got my crap together when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I can keep important paperwork there, it reminds me to do things when I look through and see the goals and know what I’m working towards, and it’s fun to make it pretty like a Bullet Journal. It was interesting, too, to see how where I want to be in a year has changed since I wrote it in October, and how my goals and everything is almost constantly changing, and since they’re in the book I can just update them. This is also one of my favourite things to do when I’m really bored because it’s pretty productive and helps with future productivity!
That’s it for now! I hope everyone is having an awesome day 😊

P.S. It’s Peri