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.

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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

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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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Teenage Bucket List

This sounds like it should be the name of a coming of age movie.

Sometimes with being homeschooled, I have felt like I’m missing out on being a kid because I’m not in school like lots of other kids my age, and I’m at home a lot of the day like a retired person. That’s not a bad thing at all and I like to think it makes me a little more mature, even though it probably doesn’t haha. A little while ago I made this list of things that felt like a teenager should do or that I didn’t want to miss out on, mostly it’s just things on my bucket list that I want to do as a teenager.

 

The Teenage Bucket List

  1. Climb a tree because I haven’t done this yet?!
  2. Go to a concert. Did this, but more would be fun or a festival.
  3. Stay up all night. I’ve done this, too!
  4. Watch the sunrise?? I’ve done this, not quite sure why I had this 0n the teenage list, though.
  5. Go to a sleepover. Did this!
  6. Dye hair crazy colours. Did this, too!
  7. Start a business. Working on it.
  8. Learn to drive. I’ve read a little bit of the book, that’s probably good enough, right?
  9. And get drivers license. Because what’s the point of learning if I don’t get a license?
  10. Go to a school dance. My homeschool group doesn’t have a lot of high school aged kids so I can’t really set one up, but I’ve always wanted to go to one. Ok, to be honest, I just want to dress up.
  11. Go on a road trip. Or just travel. Done a little bit of this.
  12. Get a job.
  13. “Graduate” homeschooling. Getting there.
  14. Go to a pool party. I’ve done this already, too!
  15. Meet some of my online friends. I’ve met one and there’s plenty more to go.
  16. Go to one of the Great Lakes beaches.
  17. Have a Tumblr photo shoot.
  18. Do a colour run. I’ve done this a few years ago!
  19. Learn to skate. Sort of did this, I stood up and moved a little bit on skates.
  20. Learn to ski.
  21. Play tennis.
  22. Learn an instrument. I’m not sure what one I want to do, I’m also not very motivated to do this.
  23. Make a blog. Here it is!
  24. Take ballroom dance lessons. I need a partner.
  25. Make a giant collage in my room. I had one then took it down after it had been up for about a year.

 

What would be on your Teenage Bucket List?

 

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.

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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!

 

 

P.S It’s Peri

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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

 

Balance + Motivation

One of my words for 2017 is “balance”. Balance in schoolwork, social life, mood (LOL??), workouts, food, just balance in everything.

 

 

Motivation

As a homeschooler, I find one of the problems is motivation and actually getting schoolwork done ( #homeschoolproblems ). You have to be pretty self-driven especially if you take a lot of the control over your own work and curriculum. There isn’t really the peer pressure to get things done, or time limits, you can just stay in bed all day and never have to get out. It isn’t a bad thing but I find I need to be doing stuff, to actually get out of bed and get dressed and leave the house, in order to stay sane ( slight exaggeration ), so it’s super important to me to try to stay motivated and get things done, that’s where balance comes in.

 

 

Balance

I am really bad at balance. Like really bad. I procrastinated most of my schoolwork last year until the last month before summer break and got it all done then. I was highly motivated because it was almost the summer, and I couldn’t get summer break without having done any work. Learning doesn’t really work that way, though, and I’m thinking I should change my ways of binge learning. No more ( or at least less ) procrastinating, and no more time spent in these “down”, no motivation periods.

 

Balance in being social

There are times when I will barely be home from all the things going on, then there are times when I won’t leave the house for about a week straight. I would really like to change this because those weeks when I don’t leave the house can become very boring and the others very overwhelming.

 

Balance in schoolwork per day

When I do schoolwork, I usually do it after breakfast then right up to when I go to bed with taking breaks for tea, dance and running. But then I get burnt out because that’s all I do all day.

 

Balance in workouts

I often don’t really take days off of working out, except one day I do not run and have about 2 hours worth of dance class. Usually, I don’t take breaks just because I don’t know what else to do.

 

 

The plan

First and foremost – get motivation, and for it to be constant motivation instead of the sudden spikes of heavy motivation. I’m not quite sure what that would be to me, and I’m going to work on finding out what is motivating. Currently, I know that stretching after a tough run is motivating because I love stretching and it’s so relaxing, it’s like a reward once the workout is over. And in the morning if I make a little sweet potato hash that motivates me to get up and get cooking.

 

Schoolwork balance

I need to set certain times for myself that I should be working, like do schoolwork for a bit in the morning then lunch break, and for all the afternoon plus workout break, then that’s it for the day so it’s not too much. Oh, hey I just set my schedule right there! Then I need to take long-term breaks as well, like actually not doing things on the weekend. Now I’ll just need to find things to do in the breaks.

 

Workout balance

One word – yoga. Balance is the whole point of yoga, isn’t it? Or something along those lines. Yoga is not as strenuous as always running, and it’s stretching which I love!

 

Social balance

This can be hard because my friends who go to school often can only get together when there’s time off of school, so it all tends to be at around the same time. But I will try to spread out things and keep a little busy all the time!

 

 

Officially getting back to school tomorrow so more posts on homeschooling are coming soon! Also, do other homeschoolers struggle with balance, too? What keeps you balanced? And what do you do in your break time?

 

P.S. It’s Peri