Homeschool Life

Hi Everyone!

As a student who has homeschooled every since Kindergarten, I can honestly say that homeschooling takes guts and bravery. The day-to-day process is hard on the parent and on the student. Two to three times weekly I meet some people who are completely fascinated with my experience and want to know more. Unfortunately, I also meet some people who question how I interact with people, my intelligence level, and the overall homeschool lifestyle. Still others want to know “what is so wrong with public school?” Some people can be downright disrespectful, and a few applaud our family’s educational choice. The question I am asked most is “what is it like to be homeschooled?”  There are so many different responses. So here I go….

First we will address stereotypes.There are so many misconceptions, starting with: “Do your parents do your homework?” “Do you have any friends?”  “Are you scared of the world?” No, I feel very comfortable and confident with the person I am. Each homeschooler is different and  unique in their own way. It depends on their surroundings, upbringing, and what they’ve been exposed to. There are different co-ops out there. Homeschoolers have their own community.  You would be amazed at all the opportunities we get.  I’m not just saying all of this to change your mind or make you like homeschoolers. You don’t have to like us but respect us.

I want to be a veterinarian. Being homeschooled has allowed me to be flexible with my schedule and take advantage of many opportunities. This school year I have been volunteering a few days a week at a nearby animal hospital. There I have been able to acquire different skills and gain hands on experience.  I have also house sat for seven cats while the owner was in the hospital. Although I have not really been a cat owner, I have fallen in love with all of them. During the three months that I cared for them alone every afternoon (checked on them, cleaned up, fed them, some cuddle time, etc.), I was able to gain their trust and learn their different personalities. These experiences have helped me to feel comfortable with my major choice (for now) and to explore some different options for my intended field.

Whether you’re homeschooled or go to public school, you can’t change who you are. In my homeschool I don’t have to worry about being bullied, being picked on because of the way  I look or where I come from. Home has no peer pressure or clicks, especially with only two students (different ages). Sure, I have to make the effort to be around people more often, I have to work a little harder to make friends sometimes, and there are times when I am lonely -especially since my older sister, who is closer in age, has gone three hours away to college (she just finished her Sophomore year by the way). GO HANNAH!!!

My mom is my teacher/ coach/ mentor/ nag all rolled into one (positive and occasionally negative, I love you mom). My little sister is young, and requires a lot of extra attention. That can be annoying sometimes. I do see my family, including aunts, grandmothers, and cousins often. I don’t get as much of the mall teenage time in, mainly due to my volunteer and extra curricular schedule. At this stage, I have more work deadlines for papers and less multiple choice tests. We do more narrating, note taking, and library time. My school is kinda project based with real literature. We read daily. I am now following the campaign trail for a class.

I get to eat what I want provided it is in the house. We do lunch out weekly, and also can travel while still doing school work. I work out almost every day at home, walk my dog, check on the cats, etc. I can sleep late if I need to, and take plenty of time on my hair. I do try to follow a schedule though.

Being homeschooled has been one of the best decisions I think my parents made for me. I love them for making this sacrifice. It has opened so many different doors for me. I’ve been able to experience so many things. Every little thing makes you the special person you are growing into. I can honestly look into the mirror every day and feel proud of who I am becoming. Being homeschooled has taught me to love myself, speak up, to be strong minded, and to always look at things from an open-minded approach. I am optimistic, respect others, and respect the planet. I do not second guess myself. I am willing to try new things and also to work through any challenges.

So next time you see or meet a homeschooler and you ask what’s it like to be homeschooled, ask with an open mind because we all have a different answer to the same question.

If you liked this post and want to know more, please comment below.

Thanks for reading,

Nia

College Update

Good Afternoon Everyone:

I’ve been on five college tours since Spring ’15: Campbell University, Guilford College, Elon University, High Point University, and Salem College. Before I talk about all the different things I liked about each school, I will start with a general review. First I’m going to tell you guys what I am looking for in a college and what I hope to get out of my experience.

My major is going to be biology with a pre-vet concentration. I am also thinking about a minor in business to prepare me for running my own practice one day. All of the colleges on my list offer my major and concentration, and I have a very long list to work through.  So far all of the college dorms that I’ve seen look amazing and like hotels. I am ready to move-in, sign me up! I really want to attend a private college because I don’t want to just be a number, and I want an intimate setting, somewhere that has a homey feel.  I also want to grow in a community that’s academic and thriving, a place where there’s so much happening on campus that I won’t have time to feel homesick. I definitely want to be among students who are as enthusiastic about learning and about being there as I am.

I am considering which schools will make my early action decision vs. the one school which I will select for early decision. I have to be careful with this step because early decision means if admitted you agree to attend there, accept the scholarship and financial aid package, and stop looking at other schools. Early decision is binding, while early action allows you to receive a priority or early admissions review and decision. A few of the colleges I’m looking at are test optional. I am willing to move out of state, but right now I think I would go no further than Tennessee or Georgia.

Before I was willing to get in where I fit in. I had schools sending me mail and emails from Florida, Texas, Alabama, California, even Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. As we have toured, I have realized that I do not want to go that far away from home. I would miss everything that I love- family, hanging out with my friends, working with my new colleagues, etc.

In addition to the tours, my mom and I have looked at test scores and GPA of the recent incoming class, diversity, the city where each college is located, the opportunity for study abroad and internships, as well as the institutional scholarships. We have carefully read through the webpages, emails, and brochures from each school. Our next step is contacting the departments and meeting with admissions counselors during a spring follow up visit for rising seniors, where I will also have a chance to sit in on classes, although I have already met with some counselors and financial aid people.

I hope this general overview can be helpful as you start your college search. I will be posting more college updates because I am going on more tours in March and April. I feel like I should be closer to identifying what I am looking for after these tours.

During the summer I plan to test, intern, and prepare for the fall application process. I will hopefully narrow down my list and get a chance to visit the campuses I like a few more times.

Later Everyone,

Nia

My Natural Hair Journey

Three years ago, I decided to get a big chop. Which means I cut off all of my hair and started all over again. Let me tell you it wasn’t easy but it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Before that I was all about relaxers and having straight hair. There’s nothing wrong with that but I like to change it up, and being natural allows me to do that. My Mom, sister, and I started the journey together, which has made it easier. I’ve had a couple of moments where I felt a little insecure. Being natural gives you a new attitude and you just have to OWN IT…and there are so many different hairstyles out there that you can try.

I am in love with my natural hair and I’m still learning how to take care of it -it’s definitely a work in progress. I don’t think you are really supposed to get the hang of it, but that’s what makes it fun! I’m always looking for something new, something unique, something that really says naturally.

So if you’re thinking about changing it up a bit or going natural I suggest you do your research. Think about how you are going to feel and then make a decision from there. Good luck! I hope you guys enjoyed my natural hair story, there’s more to come!

Oh before I forget, be on the look out for my YouTube Channel where I will be posting hair tutorials and more. Let’s get the hang of it together!!

Bye everyone,

Nia

Volunteer Update

Where do I start? Everything is going great! I love the people I work with. I’m really starting to be put to the test. I have learned how to restrain dogs and Scruff cats when necessary, take temperatures, collect fecal samples and I also learned how to do a heart-worm test. I’ve done a lot of hands-on work. I’m still trying to find the balance between volunteer work and school work. It’s a lot to juggle but my mind is made up. All of this hard work will pay off. This is something that I have a passion for and I’m determined to see this all the way through. I will admit I’ve had a couple moments where I felt disgusted… but it all comes with the territory. This opportunity continues to inspire me. It makes me want to learn more and do my best in everything I do.

Next let’s talk about the staff….they’re awesome and the Doctors are just brilliant! I can really see myself learning a lot from them. They have taught me so much already. They are a true dream team. Every time I’m around them they keep me laughing and you can really see how the customers react when they see how much their pets love coming to the vet. They treat the animals with such love and care. I am in awe of everything that I’m doing, observing and getting to be apart of.

Be on the lookout for more volunteer updates. There will definitely be more to come!

Talk to you soon,

Nia

One Step Closer!

I am so enthused and thrilled to share this news with you all. I started volunteering at a nearby Animal Hospital. My first day was two weeks ago. Everyone is so nice and willing to help me learn. I will be working two days a week with the Doctors and staff. I have already been able to observe a couple of surgeries and to see what a typical day looks like. I have truly fallen in love with everything…I’m so excited and extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity! I’m one step closer to my career!!

So, be on the lookout for more posts like this about my volunteer work…I find it so fascinating. I wish you could see how excited I am. A big thanks to everyone for taking the time to check this out. And sincere thanks are extended to our neighbor and family friend for referring me (I hope you are reading this Ms. Amanda).

Talk to you later guys!

Welcome

Hello and Welcome to my Blog!!

My name is Nia and I just turned 17. I am a junior in high school and a naturalista. What is a naturalista? it’s just a cute nickname that people like to use in the natural hair community. I cut all my hair off, which is known as “the big chop”, and started all over again three years ago. Now I don’t use any relaxers or harsh chemicals that can damage my hair. It’s a lot of work but I enjoy it. I really love trying new hairstyles.

I’ve been homeschooled since pre k by my Mom and I’m at the beginning of my college search. I want to be a veterinarian. I grew up with pets mostly dogs. Right now I own a mixed breed medium dog, named Diddy. He’s been a part of our family since I was six years old. Everyday I wake up and he reminds me why I want to be a vet- to help animals like him. It’s amazing how animals can impact our lives and help mold us.They make life more sweeter!!

This blog is about my college search, having natural hair, being homeschooled, and my journey to becoming a veterinarian.

Talk to you soon.

Nia