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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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

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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!

 

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