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.

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!

 

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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!

 

P.S It’s Peri

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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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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.

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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!

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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