Saturday, August 30, 2014

Week 4: My Teachers

I have found that my teachers are more than helpful. I get emails anytime a teacher is out and it is almost annoying. Every week each teacher sends out what we are supposed to do for the week and that surprises me. We should have to look in the course calendar to know what we are suppose to do for the week, but the teachers always email it out. Some of my teachers are very good about making study guides (which I personally love) and one of my teachers even goes over the entire thing with the class. That really helps me and I am doing well in that class. Sometimes I feel like my teachers are too helpful. whenever I have an issue I just go to the class or the help session and it gets cleared up and I undertand. I am glad that I don't have to worry abut getting a bad teacher because all of the teachers seem to really care.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Homeschooling VS "Real School"

This is how school looks to me ;-)
There are so many benefits to homeschooling, I don't know why more people don't do it. It is better than going to school for so many reasons. If I could go back I would have started homeschooling sooner. My life has been so much better since I've started this and I have been a lot less stressed about school as well.

I would say homeschooling is the better option. I get more sleep than I used to when I went to school. I get up at around 8:45 while my sisters are up at 6:30. I am finished with school by one at the latest and that is with an hour hike break, a ten minute lunch break, and little 'I'm bored' breaks here and there. My sisters get home at about 3:15 and have to start on their homework, where as I am completely done for the day. They stress out over tests that they have a one day notice for and try to cram for it. I know about my tests weeks in advance and if I need an extra day to study I can take it and just take the test the next day.

This year my sister got a bad math teacher. As if math isn't hard enough to learn adding a horrible teacher to the mix makes it even worse. I am so glad that I don't have to deal with that anymore. I am my teacher. I do have a teacher for each of my classes and if I need help or don't understand something I can go to them. I no longer have to rely on them to teach me properly. I can teach myself the lesson for as long as it takes for me to understand it. If it takes fifteen minutes to read the lesson and understand it then I can go take the quiz over the chapter and move on. I don't have to wait an hour for the entire class to understand it, I can go as fast or slow as I want. If it takes me fifteen minutes then that is a waste of forty-five minutes at a "real school".

The amount of free time is almost too much. If you don't have a hobby and you want to home school then you will be bored out of your mind. I get one whole weekday off every week because it really doesn't take me five days unless I'm being really lazy. I am pretty sure that if I worked a little harder I could even have Thursday off. I love having the time to go to school and still do everything else I need and want to do. Before I would go to school and once I got home I would have time to do my hour or so of homework, my chores, eat family dinner and then it would be time to go to bed. I wouldn't have enough time to do anything extra. I would have to take my weekends and do the other things I needed to do like my laundry and cleaning my room. Now, I can go to school, do my chores, clean my room, and have hours of free time after that. It makes me so much happier to not feel like I have to rush and get things done in time before it's time to sleep. I can take my time to do things and I can read for four hours if I wish. My sisters have no free time and I just kind of laugh at them.

 I love that when I get bored of doing schooling work I can take a ten minute break to go read or do something a bit relaxing and then just go back to school. At a "real school" you're stuck there for eight hours learning whether you like it or not and whether you can process it or not. Sometimes, your brain just needs a couple minutes of rest and I love being able to take that. I used to come home from school not wanting to look at another math problem only to have twenty to do for homework. Now, I have no homework and sometimes I'll purposely watch T.V. while my sisters are stuck doing homework.

The one thing a "real school" has that homeschooling doesn't are other students around. I personally did not like to socialize with the particular type of people that are at my local public high school. They are the main reason I left. While my sisters are swamped with homework and complain about the school drama I really just want to laugh. My parents are always telling them that they could just home school and not have to deal with that anymore, but they say the same thing every time. "I have to have a social life." That is when I face palm. Really? You are purposely putting yourself in a more stressful position and putting yourself in a position do deal with other people being unkind to you just so you can social with your few friends. Honestly, when high school is over you will probably never talk to your friends ever again. I honestly could not care less about having a social life or friends because they will eventually move away and have a life and we'll never speak again. I'll admit that it does get a bit boring being alone all day, but I think it so worth it.

If you are contemplating switching to homeschooling I would strongly recommend it. I have never been happier and less stressed. If there is something you love to do, but you never feel like you have time to do it, then home school. Trust me, you will have plenty of time to spend doing what you love every day. I know this a better option based on my experiences. As long as you pick a good program and pick one that you'll like it will be worth it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why I'm doing it

I have been told multiple times that I am crazy for wanting to home school. The other kids at school would ask what classes I am taking for the next year and I would tell them I'm not coming back and I will be home schooled. They would give me a weird look and just ask 'Why?' then proceed to tell me why I shouldn't and that I am crazy. This happened many times and even happened with some teachers. I don't care what any of them think. They probably won't even remember me in a few months anyway. I want the best education I can get. I knew I wasn't getting it at that school, so I decided to not go back for another year.

Growing up I always went to highly academic schools. I had a uniform and was taught well by teachers who cared. My parents always searched hard and thoroughly for a good school. I was always happy with my school, my teachers, and the students around me. When we moved to a different town hours away my parents didn't have the time to look for a new school while trying to move. They figured we would just go to the public schools and try it out. This would be my first time attending a public school. When my first day rolled around I was terrified. I was even more terrified as the day went on. I wasn't used to the environment that a normal public school has. I wasn't used to hearing curse words in every sentence, seeing people dressed so inappropriately, and seeing the rude behaviors off all the other students. I was mortified my first day and did not want to go back ever again. Unfortunately, I had to. I felt unsafe as I didn't trust the students around me. There were fights (which would have gotten an expulsion as my old schools) all the time like it was nothing. I eventually had to start carrying around a defense mechanism in my pocket as I found out some other kids carried around tasers.

 Later on, once I had gotten a bit comfortable, I realized that for the first time I had gotten a crappy teacher. We all know those teachers that clearly don't care and really couldn't care less about you or your grade. They teach in a bland way and just try to get the lesson done quickly so they can sit down. I didn't know what to do with this kind of teacher and I had no idea how to handle it. I payed attention carefully and took plenty of notes so I could reteach myself later. I had my share of bad teachers and I had my share of exceptionally good ones. The entire school year I just kept telling myself that if I stuck it out I wouldn't have to come back. The one thing that really irked me and really made me want to home school was a comment from one of my teachers. It was the end of the year and we were about to take the finals over the whole year. I am trusting that my teacher has taught me everything and has prepared me to study well and ace the test. Then the teacher says, "We haven't covered everything this year so there will some stuff on the final that you haven't been taught. Your education is your own doing so..." I was livid. I was so close to arguing with the teacher right there. I almost yelled out 'Then why are we here?'. I'm sure that would have gone well.

That comment right there is why I am doing this. That was the teacher. The person I spent an hour of my time with every day and even more when I came for some extra clarification during my own lunch break. If the person who is supposed to teach me basically says that my education is my own doing and technically not his job, then fine. I will make my education my own doing. I will teach myself at my own pace and in the very best way I can. I won't take your crappy lessons that no one understands anymore. I will give myself a better education.

I started hunting around for online schools. I looked at reviews and watched intro videos trying to decide which one I liked the best. I asked my sister what she thought of the online school she took a summer course from last summer. When she told me that she wasn't fond of it I crossed it off my list. I looked for a school that would let me go as fast as or as slow as I wanted and where I would teach myself everything. A school that may even offer some get togethers so I wouldn't start to get awkward. When I finally found  the school my dad and I liked the best i was excited and wished I could just start right away. Once the next school year started to approach I signed up for K12 and withdrew the crappy public high school.

This will be my first year home schooling and learning how to do it. I know it might take some time and personal disicpline to get used to. I know I may get bored and want to do something else. I know for a fact that I will be getting a better education and I will enjoy school a lot more. I do know that this will be better for me and for my education. I don't care if I have no social life or if I don't have many friends. After high school they won't matter to me anymore anyway. All that matters is my education and I will make it a good one. I know I will get a good education this way, where a teacher is just back up and I don't have to count on them to teach me what I need to know. People still think I am crazy, but I know I doing what is best for my education. I think they are crazy for staying at a school that doesn't teach properly and they constantly complain about the sucky teachers. I know this is the right choice and I'm not going to let anyone change my mind.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Road so Far

It's been a few weeks since I've stared homeschooling. So far, it has been better than I imagined. I finish my work hours before my sisters get home from school and I even start later than they do. I enjoy being able to do a few hours of school work before going on a hike with my mom. I can take a break whenever I like for as long as I like and still finish my school work by one in the afternoon. I really wish I had started doing this sooner.

My life has been so much better since I've started homeschooling. I get more sleep than I used to and I am not as stressed as I used to be. I have time to take as long as I need on an assignment, where as before I only had the few hours between school and sleep. I have a lot more free time to relax and do what I want. I love being able to control my day and make it as productive as I want. Before I only had time to go to school, do my homework, and do my chores. On the weekends, I would have to get my room clean, do my laundry, and do other necessary things that I didn't have time for during the week. Now, I can do all of that in one day along with all my school work.

School has been a thousand times better since I've started homeschooling. I know I am getting a better education this way. I can teach myself a lesson in twenty minutes and pass the quiz on it compared to the hour long lesson at "real" school and still not pass the quiz. I've learned that I really don't need five days to get all my work done. I can do it all in four days and have Friday off to do whatever I please. I'm pretty sure if I worked a little bit harder I could even take Thursday off. I think that just goes to show how much time in wasted at a "real" school.

I really don't have any complaints. People ask if there are any downsides to homeschooling and so far I don't have any. Of course, there is the part about less socialization, but if I really cared about that I wouldn't be doing this. I would say the only thing I don't like are the audio class sessions that I'm supposed to attend. Some days I could have an hour of classes or some days I could have the whole day full of different class sessions. I can either attend the class or just watch the recording of it later. Honestly, most of the time I don't do either. Sometimes, it would be a class over a lesson I already did in advance a day or so ago, so I don't feel the need to go. I only attend the classes that I like, the required ones for my honors classes, and when I need help understanding something. I have got to admit that I am angry at myself for not doing this sooner, it really is so much better than going to a "real" school.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Week 3: Class Sessions

I've learned more about the class sessions as I've gone through the past few weeks. I went to all of the classes and listened to the teacher drone on and on. I couldn't help but be frustrated over the dare I say stupid questions the students asked in the chat box. I read some of the questions and kind of laugh at how obvious the answer was. For example, someone asked if we would be learning about the World Wars in world history. The World Wars are world history so of course we would learn about them. It kind of annoyed me how much some of the other students talked in the chat box just to talk. I am trying to py attention, but it's a bit difficult when I see a new message pop up ever minute. Sometimes the students would talk so much and be so off topic that the teacher would disable the chat box. I think that is a bit immature for 15 turning 16 year olds.

I learned that I didn't have to go to all of the classes all the time. I'm just going to go to the one that are useful and will help me. If I need help then I'll go to the class and I'll go to the required classes for my honors classes. Sometimes I found that I was spending an hour on a lesson that would have taken less. I started homeschooling to get away from that so I stopped going to the ones that weren't necessary. I'm just going to be smarter in choosing which classes to go to and only go to the classes that will benefit me.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Week 2: School Supplies

My school supplies arrived this week! They came just in time as I will be starting science labs next week. I got all the normal school supplies a student going to school would get. My supplies include:
  • a history textbook
  • a kit with all the things I will need for every science lab this year
  • a science textbook
  • a math textbook with a compass and protractor
  • a book to read for English
  • a vocabulary book for English
  • a book with short stories and poems for English
  • and an English to Spanish Dictionary

I use most of my supplies daily, but others not so much. Some of my books just sit on the shelf and don't really get used. I find that most of the time the lesson online is a lot easier to understand than reading out of a textbook. It is nice to have a textbook for extra clarification if I need it. Along with getting my supplies I also got a freshman English set of books. Since I was accidentally put into the wrong English class at the beginning, I got a set of books for that class as well. I had to email my counselor and let her know. She mailed me the postage stickers to return them. That was just a minor issue and I was glad that it was quickly taken care of. Now, I just have to mail the box back.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Week 1: Orientation

Week one went off without a hitch. I had a computer sent to me by my school, printer/scanner, and a mouse. At first, I couldn't get into class on my computer. I ended up having to use a different computer. After that I got it working and now it works perfectly. I used my printer/scanner to scan in some contracts I had to get signed it worked like a charm. So far, I am having no problems with the technical side of my schooling.

I attended all of my orientations and my classes seem great. Since this week was just orientation week and learning how to do everything week I only spent about a total on ten hours at school. I think it was nice that I didn't have to waste a full week at school learning the ropes like I usually would. All my teachers seem like they genuinely care and are available for help anytime I may need it. I am excited to start doing my work and see how it goes.

Everything is good so far and I am already enjoying it. I am just a bit worried about not having my school supplies yet. A lot of other students haven't received their supplies either, but I just don't want to need them and not have them. I should be getting them in a couple weeks, so hopefully they get here before I start to need them. Other than that, I am excited for school.