Homeschool Vs Online Public School, My Experience

A little while ago I mentioned that I started online public school (read the post here!). At first, I was very unsure as to how I would find public school courses since I’ve never taken any before.

The online school curriculum

I enrolled in the four courses required for my application to the university, advanced functions, biology, chemistry and physics. Previously, I had just finished the homeschool chemistry course I was taking, had completed a bio course 2 years ago and taken similar math last year. This definitely helped out in the public school courses for 2 reasons. One – I still had my notes from previous courses and two – the concepts weren’t foreign to me. It was basically review for a lot of topics.

To be completely honest, I don’t know how people who hadn’t had previous experience in the same topics would get through the course. The textbooks were not always as informative as I would have liked, but luckily there are opportunities to research elsewhere.

Grading and assignments

The biggest things I’ve gotten out of this experience is that showing your work with attention to detail while making the assignments look clean and easy to read are very important! This allows teachers to see where you have gone wrong if there is a mistake and also overall makes it easier to grade. Being homeschooled, sometimes that attention to detail can be overlooked. I’m glad that I’ve learnt this now before entering university.

Receiving feedback and actual number grades were quite satisfying. Usually, in my homeschool curriculum, I learn subjects until I am confident in my knowledge and until mastery. Because of this, I didn’t really have any number grades. If it wasn’t 100%, I didn’t move on. So, it was interesting first, to see where I compared to public school kids (homeschool problems, always afraid you have completely messed up and can’t compare to public school courses!) and to receive quantitative grades. Thankfully, I have done quite well and was told that the grades I was receiving were above provincial average. I’m very relieved!

Deadlines

There are two different deadline topics to talk about, one having deadlines for turning work in and two, having an overall coursework deadline.

Being homeschooled, there hasn’t been many deadlines to get assignments and things finished. The online school I have been using does not impose deadlines either, besides the overall course deadline of 10 months. In order to complete all four courses in time, I had to set my own deadlines. I completed a few units and figured out about how much time it took me, then made a very fancy (not at all!) schedule to check off which lessons and units had been completed.

IMG_9167
A very dark picture of my very fancy school schedule. 

I also put the predicted days of when I would submit work into my phone calendar to ensure I was on track.

Without the short deadline for having mid-terms and final marks in, I would never be motivated enough to actually finish these courses. With the deadlines, it has taken me 9 weeks to complete all the coursework (should be finished all courses by tomorrow). The deadlines have been a great source of motivation and it hasn’t felt terribly overworked.

Since I am about to finish all of the coursework, I will have more posts on taking the final exam and other school things coming up soon!

Also be sure to vote on my Instagram story (link to my Instagram here!) about future post topics you would like to see! Voting only lasts for 24 hours.

P.S. It’s Peri

Bloglovin | Newsletter |  Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

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

Bloglovin | Newsletter |  Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

I Met An Online Friend And It Wasn’t Creepy + Niagara Falls Travel

This accidentally got posted on Tuesday, but I was busy and had forgotten to fill it in (AWKWARD) so now it’s the legit post! Sorry, about that! Now on to the actual post.

Homeschooling and online friends

Often with homeschooling, people are concerned about socializing and how it is done when kids are not in a traditional school. (you can read my post where I talk more about socializing here!) Just because it’s not the traditional way doesn’t mean we don’t make friends. We make friends everywhere from homeschool groups to communities classes, one just has to be creative.

A big source of friendships for me has been online. It allows for a broad range of friends and people around the world who you can interact with at any time (or not interact with if you don’t feel like it!) as opposed to if they were friends from school who you would just see during school hours or when you hang out after. This is good for homeschoolers, too, since they can interact during the day. I will definitely talk more about online friendships in the future, but for now, this is on meeting one of my close friends for the first time!

How we met online and meeting IRL

We met each other in 2016 (I think??) on a game and the first day she invited me to join in on a Skype call with a few others from the game to chat while we played. A little while later I created a group of a bunch of people that I liked and wanted to get to know better and since then we’ve had many calls where we do things like try to recreate makeup looks, watch movies (usually Disney Channel classics that I haven’t seen because I failed at Disney Channel watching besides Phineas and Ferb), cook or sometimes just talk. From calling and the amount of time spent together we had gotten to know each other for awhile before the meeting, just needed to get that in so it doesn’t sound too creepy. We found out we didn’t live too far away from each other and decided we would plan a trip to Niagara Falls together on my birthday!

  Niagara Falls has an amusement park where for a pretty good price (about $30) you get tickets to 6 attractions, which were a lot of fun. It’s a good idea to have something to do when meeting so it doesn’t become too boring or awkward, plus it’s in a public area for safety.

We found each other and took pictures right away and got some food before starting with the attractions. It would seem like meeting someone for the first time in person after years of knowing each other would be weird, but it felt pretty normal besides that fact that we were in an amusement park.

The first attraction we did was the Movieland Wax Museum, quite creepy to be honest, but fun to take pictures with all of the celebrities. There was a haunted hallway (I’m not actually sure what it was but it was like a haunted house as part of the museum) that we walked through and I was absolutely terrified and screamed like crazy when there was a loud noise. We tried to get out fast. Next was Ghost Blasters which was built into The Great Canadian Midway. It sort of reminded me of the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyworld only in 3D. I did not win at that and also jumped at anything that was coming towards me in 3D. I have the best of nerves. After that, we rode the Wild West Coaster, which is a 3D movie in special chairs that make it feel like a roller coaster. With the Fun Pass, you get arcade tickets so we played there and won 2 matching bracelets (which we both ended up losing).

There is a giant Ferris wheel over the falls also included in the pass. It provides good photo opportunities of The Falls.

Next on the pass was glow in the dark mini golf which was very fun and a 6D zombie ride similar to the coaster but with lasers shooting the zombies. After we had finished the pass we walked down to the falls then got tea before heading off. All in all a very fun and memorable birthday.

Have you met any online friends before? Have you been to Niagara Falls before?

P.S. It’s Peri

Bloglovin | Newsletter |  Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

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

Bloglovin | Newsletter |  Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

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

Email List | Bloglovin | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

Spinach, Salsa And Feta Scramble

Breakfast can be hard to find healthy options since it’s probably the only meal where one can really justify having sweets for. I find that I’m so hungry when I wake up I just want food fast and I want something that makes me excited to get up. ( #HomeschoolProblems, when you need exciting food to motivate you to get going instead of needing to be at school?? ) This is a high protein, low-carb and gets some vegetables in right away! The scramble is on top of a Broghie, which is almost like bread or a cracker. They’re popped corn or wheat, making them very low in carbs and calories.

Recipe

A savoury, high-protein, low-carb and easy to make breakfast of spinach, feta, salsa and egg scramble on top of a crisp Broghie or could be substituted with bread or tortilla.

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoon chunky salsa

1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese

1/4 baby spinach

1 large egg

A little oil to cook the egg in a pan

1 Broghie, tortilla or base of choice

Directions

Heat a pan to medium-low heat with a little splash of oil to make sure the egg won’t stick later on. Once heated add salsa to one part of the pan to heat it up. Scramble egg before putting it in the pan to cook, let egg cook until it doesn’t appear to have any parts that look clear anymore then combine it with the salsa in the pan and add in spinach and feta until everything is combined. Place on your base of choice and enjoy!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

 

What are some of your favourite healthy breakfasts?

P.S It’s Peri

Email List | Bloglovin | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

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

Email List | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

The S Word – Socializing ( #homeschoolproblems )

Every homeschooler has probably been asked at one point “But how do you make friends?” or had relatives ask about how you’re getting “socialized”. It makes me think of when my family had just gotten our dog and we were doing training at PetSmart and they said to make sure the dog was socialized so he wouldn’t be afraid of other dogs.

 

History of my socializing?

I’m not going to lie, I haven’t done the best with socializing. That just made it sound like I have never seen people, or I’m a hermit, but no, here’s the story:

My first friends were probably my neighbours when I was really little then at some point really early on we joined the local homeschool group and were quite active in there, plus when you’re little you kind of have to go with your parents everywhere so I was really comfortable with talking to adults. I was always called shy, though, probably because I wasn’t that crazy of a little kid and would just stand by and join in the conversation with my parents and other adults when it seemed fit. We lived near a park so I would make friends with kids who regularly visited the park, I took lots of different lessons, there wasn’t a lack of socialization at all! When I was 8 we moved into a typical suburban neighbourhood with the hopes of more kids my age around. It took awhile, but eventually, I met other kids in the neighbourhood ( and I’m still good friends with some today! ) and we had a pack of lots of kids that would roam the neighbourhood. Plus on top the neighbourhood pack, I still had Taekwondo, homeschool group, and other classes.

When I was 11 we moved to Louisville, Kentucky. It was a huge change, and I had to leave all my friends from Canada. At that point, I think the stress from moving had kinda gotten to me and I was actually a little relieved to be left alone for awhile. Looking back that would have probably been a time when I needed to have friends most, but live and learn! I really didn’t feel like I needed them, though, so it didn’t bother me then. I made a few online friends from games I would play, and I would try to Skype my friends back in Canada at least once a week, plus we were exploring the new city so I wasn’t sheltered or alone. We tried to get into the homeschool group there a bit, and I took a couple classes and met some people there but didn’t really become friends. We moved into a neighbourhood in Kentucky and my brother made good friends with the neighbour boy which was good because I didn’t always have to join in the games but could when I wanted to.

After 2 years of being in Kentucky, we moved back to where we originally came from in Canada and I got to see a few of my old friends again. A lot of the homeschoolers had gone off to high school or went the next year, so I didn’t really see a lot of them again. This is where things kind of went the wayside. Being back in the same city and older so I didn’t have to go with my parents everywhere, I started staying home more and was less motivated to actually meet friends. A little while after moving back, though, I joined a  dance class and did some things in the homeschool group. I honestly don’t remember 2014 for some reason, but I still didn’t get out too much and made a few new online friends again. 2015 was pretty much the same, and so was 2016. I didn’t really realize how much work one has to put into making friends especially if you’re homeschooled and have to try to get out more. I’m naturally a pretty friendly person, though, so that isn’t an issue. I’ve figured out several ways to get out and make friends and this year I got this!

 

Some tips

It has been a bit of a struggle, and something that I wish I had realized doesn’t magically happen and takes work and is important, but now I’ve figured it out and can work on it!
If you are homeschooling or going to start and this is a concern my advice would be to figure out how much socialization you need, are you an introvert or extrovert? Then work with that and try to plan things out of the house, take opportunities to do things. If you feel like you’re being deprived of social interaction then just do even the smallest thing to get out or talk to people, even if it’s through social media or on the phone. Like I said before, it doesn’t just magically happen, you have to go out and be friendly yourself. And if you’re a homeschool parent, don’t forget it’s important for you to get out, too and talk to people if you can! I know it’s wayyyy easier said than done but with some effort, it starts to become easier.

 

P.S. It’s Peri