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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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

 

Looking Back

Sometimes I can be a bit too sentimental and it seems so old fashioned or melancholy but it’s kind of nice to look back on the year and see what happened since it felt like it flew by with nothing happening.

 

January

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, January was not the best. Instead of taking 2 months off of school in the summer I took 1 the previous summer and then half of December off and half of January. After Christmas was over I was very bored, there weren’t that many people I could talk to, I wasn’t pushing myself to do my best in anything, I wouldn’t get tired because I was only taking a little walk for my exercise and I need more than that. But in February I worked to fix all that!

 

February

I tried to surround myself with people I had met and tried to make new friends online, it was pretty successful and I met lots of great people and would call with 3 of them every day which really helped me get to know them and others! During the day I would wake up super late because of being on calls all night oops LOL, and do school, dance and walk. Not a lot of change from now. For school I did Math U See as always, then some French videos off of YouTube which helped me learn to pronounce things but didn’t really work with me for learning words, I worked on Khan Academy’s computer programming a lot then, too.

 

March

This was when I started to really journal so this is more documented! I remember just being really bored in March, baking a lot because I wasn’t sure what else to do lol, I started digitally drawing. School was pretty much the same as in February.

 

April

The first week in April was a dance competition and I got to help out at some of the dance classes while others were at the competition. I got my haircut for the first time in 5 years. And it was my birthday, all I can really remember from my birthday is making muffins at 3 am for breakfast, otherwise, I didn’t know what to do for it. And I got braces, can’t forget that! I started to feel more motivated in school so I did Georgia Public Broadcasting’s chemistry course and Khan Acdemy’s biology.

 

May

More dance competitions, more drawing, I talked to someone who was going to school for illustrations and decided that I wanted to work on that more. Every day in May I did at least 200 squats, which was crazy but it really built strength fast! Took lots of pictures of spring showers, got lots of school done, assisted with a dance class for a bit, made a contentment plan, got my first phone, walked outside and explored the area a lot. In May I was pretty motivated since spring had arrived and it would soon be summer! It was a good new start from the winter.

From a walk.

 

June

June was the end of dance classes for summer, there was an end of year recital and my company choreographed a dance together for it, I started to run a tiny bit, baked lots, started my hummus obsession, tried to finish up all the school I had procrastinated before it was summer break, put up our trampoline for the summer and got really sunburnt and that was probably the most I was outside all summer. No one ever talks about how hard it is to put a trampoline together, but it’s really hard. A bunch of my friends started calling every night. I decided that I liked Troye Sivan’s music.


A sunrise before I had gone to bed one very late night.

 

July

Finished all the school that needed to be done before the break. Started summer break!! Basically, all I did in July was stay up for most of the night with my friends LOL which was so much fun and I definitely do not regret! That also sparked my newfound love for coffee in order to actually stay awake during the day.


More super late night sunrise.


Coffee and a half eaten black bean brownie.

August

The same thing as July!! But at the end of August, I had Summer Dance that is all afternoon spent at the studio learning routines, strength and conditioning, stretching, it’s one of my favourite parts of summer! I got to go see some world class theatre, as well. I also discovered the TV show Glee which I was really late to but now I love it. And dyed my hair purple!



Random pics.


Hair dye mess.

September

I got to see the journals of the author of my favourite book series Anne Of Green Gables which was such a cool experience and these particular journals were very exciting with stories of proposals. It always inspired me to journals more. Got them bottom half of my braces, which hurt a lot more than the tops. My one cat ran away for 11 days and we got a call from a couple who he had decided to go stay with, we got the cat back now. Started working on really running and strength building, again. And also went back to doing school and was highly motivated so got lots done. Dance started again, as well. Started to question if I should continue homeschooling. More posts on this later!! I did a little work with my dad. Fewer calls happened as friends went back to school and started to get busy. It was a new start to the school year and I was highly motivated to get as much school as possible done! Added in other subjects that I was interested in like Khan’s Wi-Phi Wireless Philosophy and Khan’s health course.

A picture of Lucy Maude Montgomery in her journal.

October

My friends and I decided to put on an awards show, which we’re now doing for every season. We all suggest categories that there will be awards in, then nominate 3 of us for the award and make polls online. Everyone votes between a couple dedicated voting days, then two people “host” the awards and make a YouTube video together of them announcing who has won. I was one of the hosts for the first one and it took quite awhile to come up with everything so most of my time that wasn’t spent working out, dancing, or doing school, was spent on the videos and the rest of the awards for a good 2-3 weeks of October. It was also Canadian Thanksgiving so there was lots of cooking and visiting family.


Pumpkins!


Leaves changing colours.


Thanksgiving cake fail.


Driving home from thanksgiving visits.


First snow!

 

 

November

By November a lot of my motivation from before had faded, and I started to realise how many things need to be changed to work better for me. Most of November was spent researching universities, careers, laying out pros and cons to going to school, trying to figure out what needs to be changed here, all things I’m still trying to figure out and I will definitely write more on these!

Fresh apples.

Corn maze.

Troye Sivan concert!

December

Still trying to figure out how things need to be changed, more university research, less motivation for school and everything. Then Christmas! See Christmas 2016. Then it brings us to the end of the year and now!
Christmas market.


Snowy mornings.


Cardinal visiting.

 

Not a tonne happened in 2016 which isn’t really a bad thing! What were some of the highlights of your 2016?

 

P.S. It’s Peri