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!

 

P.S It’s Peri

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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!

 

P.S It’s Peri

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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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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?

 

P.S It’s Peri

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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

Career Path (#backstoryweek) 

There wasn’t a day where I just all of a sudden decided I wanted to go into some sort of physiology. It came gradually. I pretty much had no idea what I wanted to do until last year, besides quick interests and looking into a few careers by talking to an architect/interior designer and photographer and seeing what their work consisted of.

 

Sparking an interest.

Three agos I started to take an interest in living a healthier life ( see tomorrow’s post! ) which then brought up possible careers as a nutritionist, personal trainer, physician, and physiotherapist. I paid close attention to all the jobs at my doctor’s office and other health care places and decided that, frankly,  I wouldn’t be able to handle a career as a medical doctor with the stress, time spent in school, and things I might find gross. I was more interested in how the body moves, and improving mobility through exercises. Especially with being in dance and knowing many people who have needed physio and having used exercises to heal injuries myself.

 

Narrowing it down.

For awhile I stuck with wanting to be a physiotherapist because it was a good solid thing to tell people when they asked what I wanted to do and it was a good place to start searching for careers from. At the start of this school year in September I started to narrow things down to get more of a direction as to where my goals should be.

Physiotherapist

I went with my dad to a physiotherapist’s and talked to him about what he had to do to become a physiotherapist. He had gone to school for physiotherapy in India and moved to Canada and took the Canadian physiotherapy certification exam. Then he goes to different practises and works there. Physiotherapist heal with heat, exercises, massage and other alternative forms of medicine as opposed to healing with drugs or surgery.

Kinesiologist

There was also a kinesiologist in the practise so I got to talk to her about what becoming a kinesiologist was like. Kinesiologist is almost like a physiotherapist, but they heal with just exercises, so it’s less hands on. It also doesn’t require as much time spent in university. It requires going to school for a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, then becoming certified.

Pedorthist

I went along with my dad, again, to a sports medicine practise and talked to a pedorthist. Pedorthists specialise in making footwear to correct gait and pain in the lower limbs. It requires a degree in kin and then taking a course that prepares you to become a pedorthist. So not as much school as a physiotherapist but not as little as a kinesiologist.

 

What now?

Now that I have the 3 careers that I’m most interested in, with different levels of school for each but all with a basis of kin, I’m going to try to explore each more, then once I’m done the kinesiology programme I can make a decision once I’ve hopefully been able to explore more of all of the careers!

 

P.S. It’s Peri