After starting online school courses, I found out that made me eligible for automatic entrance scholarships at schools. These are awarded upon admission when your average grade is 85% or higher. Usually, they are one time awards that will be taken off of tuition pricing. At the school I applied for, they range from $1,000 to $2,000 plus money off if you do a semester abroad. These awards are great because you don’t have to do anything extra to apply for them.
Thankfully, my grades were high enough to qualify for one of these entrance scholarships! I still haven’t found any others to apply to but that’s not going to stop me in future years.
Coming up soon will be a post on how I am trying to get through university debt free!
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.
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?
After a few setbacks and much work, I was accepted into my top choice university!!
University Number 1 only did admissions throughout the month of May. So, I was expecting to have to wait towards the end of the month or at least later on to hear back from the school. The first day of May I didn’t even check the application centre. But, the next morning I did and it read that there was an offer of admission! I thought that the school would have emailed right away, but they ended up sending an email more than a week later so I was glad I checked the application centre. Later on, the sent a letter in the mail letting me know as well as a handwritten letter from the academic advisor welcoming me to the school.
I revoked my applications to the other two schools and accepted this offer. Along with the offer of admission I was also awarded a scholarship for high marks, which will further help my goal of I debt free.
I’m so relieved that the school accepted and that they accepted early on so the suspense was finally over. Also, that I get a backpack for school for the first time.
Just because I was accepted it does not mean I’m done! The first step is to finish the coursework with marks that align with the admission offer conditions. Step 2, write the final exams for the courses. More on the experience of this later, after I actually take the exams! Exams will have to be graded and sent back to me before the school’s document deadline. Currently, I am working on studying and preparing for the finals, then I will be done!
Because of choosing to live at home during university there is less to prepare for, which is also much less stressful!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
Tomorrow is my 18th birthday (the Internet keeps pointing out how it’s Aries season, also my fourth Friday The 13th birthday) since that is often considered the start of adulthood this post will be on a note to my future self going through adult life, mixed with “things I’ve learnt so far”.
Be friendly! People are always way less friendly than you’re expecting and it’s nice to see people who are genuinely friendly.
Consistently doing things to work towards goals is key and makes them easier to achieve. Make working towards goals part of your everyday habits.
Tea solves all problems, also smoothies.
And good music. Even if it’s what might be considered weird.
Hard workouts are satisfying and it also correlates with doing small steps towards goals everyday.
Always push yourself because you’re always better than you think.
And take picture to savour every beautiful things in the moment.
Pet cuddles are great but cats might try to kill you haha.
Fairy lights need to be everywhere possible.
Reading isn’t too bad if you’re reading something you enjoy.
Drink lots of water then drink even more because you’re probably not hydrated enough.
To pre-teen Peri, you didn’t make it through without acting like a teenager at all.
But also, 18 doesn’t magically make you an adult.
Doing schoolwork is better than being bored. And nothing good comes from procrastinating.
The outdoors is your friend but mosquitoes aren’t. Otherwise it’s fine.
Good clothes make you very happy.
And always do your best.
This post felt very cheesy. 😂 I’m curious, do you all like having big birthday celebrations or do you keep it lowkey? What kinda of things do you do for your birthday?
Last weekend was the start of March Break here, most universities have open houses and it’s a great time to check out schools either before you apply or after.
Last year’s tour VS this year
The mission of the tour last year was to see the buildings I would spend most of my time in and check out some of the residences on campus. Over the course of the year, I decided that residence was not a good idea for me, mostly to save money and because I live close to the school that I want to go to so it would be easier to live at home. This year’s tour mission was much more specific in what I was looking for since everything has been sorted out and I know this is my school of choice. I went to find updated brochures for 2018 admission, to check out the gyms because I didn’t get to last time and look for a locker as a place to keep things on campus.
The open house
I went to a sample lecture as soon as I got to the school. It was pretty interesting and good to see one of the bigger classrooms and what that experience would be like.
After the lecture ended it was very cold and I was hungry so I just went to one of the gyms, took a tour around, saw lockers for rent and then went home, but all in all saw everything that I wanted to and it made me very excited for hearing back from the schools soon!
It’s March! Made it through February and it’s one step closer to spring. There wasn’t a huge amount of goals completed this month but the ones I did complete were pretty major.
Goals completed this month
Hit 1,000 followers. There are now over 1,000 followers on the blog and it’s crazy! New goal 2,000?! That might be a bit high but it’s going to happen.
Get my own domain and site. The blog move was a little tedious, trying to figure all of the bugs and switching all the links over, but now the blog has a permanent home.
Set up ads. You may have noticed them on the blog, adding them will help with paying for university!
Post more regularly on Instagram. You can see my posts here!
Start the Newsletter back up. It is a work in progress but the sign-up page is back. Sign up for future newsletters here!
Get everything caught up. Somehow I was a term behind in math and several ahead in my other courses?? A side effect of being homeschooled. I finished my last math courses, started the new one and have caught up there. I’m also almost done half of my courses for this year.
It’s not really school related but I finished reading Tom Sawyer which I was reading digitally and kept forgetting about.
Come up with some backup plans in case I do not get into university. I talk about the process here.