How I've Been Doing School - by Bella

Hi. I’m Bella, I’m 14 years old, and I go to Blue Sky School. But let’s back-track a bit. I was homeschooled until I was 12, then I went to public school for grade 7, and ended up pulling out within the first semester. This was in 2017. Then I went back to being homeschooled up until October 2018, when I found Blue Sky, and I’ve been here ever since. But now that schools around the world are closed or closing due to COVID-19, I’ve been doing online school. It’s kind of full-circle. Anyway, this is what an average online school day looks like for me.

My hours: 
On an average week, I do school through Google Meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10am to 3:40pm. During these days I do what we normally do in person, because we’ve tried to translate as much of our in-person program to online. We have morning house meetings, independent work time (when we work on our goals or missions), lunch, numeracy, literacy and end-of-day house meeting. This is a pretty normal Blue Sky day, whether it’s online or in person. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I take the day for independent work and mental health. On these days, I normally walk my dogs, and get writing work, and missions done. Missions are pretty much mini-assignments, that we complete within a certain time period and then share with the rest of the school.  These days are pretty much to keep me sane, because I go outside a lot. 

My house meetings and to-do lists:
House meetings are one of my favorite aspects of the online program. I’m in Shauna’s house, and I really love it. Because we have two half-hour house meetings a day, we are able to get a surprising amount done. In our morning house meetings we generally check in with Shauna, to make sure that we’re doing well and ready for the day, after that we go over our to-do lists. My entire house is trying to make and stick to consistent to-do lists or schedules for 21 days, because studies have shown that it takes 21 days to form a habit. As of Tuesday, April 7th (the day this is being written), we are on day 11/21. We’re past the half-way point! Yay! This is what my to-do lists generally look like, but there are so many ways that we do our to-do lists.
 



Online courses:
I also am partaking in two online courses through Virtual High School for credit, because, as you may or may not know, Blue Sky School will not be operating next year. But enough of the sad stuff. I’m taking grade 9 English (academic) and math (academic). I’m taking the math course along with 3 other learners, and during every numeracy block, we move forward and work on the course. Many of us also do this outside of school time. As for the English course, I’m taking it with only one other learner. We are working through it at a much slower pace than the math course, because its content is much more reading-heavy, and although I enjoy reading, I’m not very good at focusing for longer periods of time. We are currently reading William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and we are about half way through. I am also working my way through the novel study independently. The course requires we read The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, and I’m really liking it so far!

To wrap this all up, I first want to say how grateful I am to be able to work from home, I know not everyone has this privilege, and if that’s you, I want to thank you for everything you are doing to help the community, and the world. Second, these are the three main aspects of online school that are keeping me both sane and educated. Thank you for reading this, stay safe, wash your hands, have a great day!

-Bella Eccleston 

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