Monday, 14 May 2018

Graduation Day 2018

Yes, at Dreaming Spires, we have a graduation day ... that's because we get students who study with us for four or more years, and this year was no exception: we said good-bye to six students who are finishing their journey with us, and we held an online ceremony for them.

They took the opportunity to talk about their journey, what they learned, and what they'll take away from it. I loved hearing their "little pieces of advice" to the next general - I say "little" because they were actually HUGE!




The video of the ceremony will be coming soon, and I'll embed it here (we just need to cut out some photos for privacy reasons).

In the meantime, you might enjoy reading the speech from our student whose family currently lives in Africa as missionaries.


Joy's Graduation Day Speech

"Hello? Can you hear me? Dr. Patrick here."

Those were the first words I ever heard as I began my Dreaming Spires journey. That’s when it was still called Cm Live. And what a journey it’s been! I could tell you so much about these years, what a model student I’ve been NOT but I’ve decided more talk about the learning journey.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about finishing Dreaming Spires. In the last few days and months, and it is sad to think I won’t see many of you whom I have known for 3 and a half years, but I also feel a sense of purpose and achievement. I feel satisfaction that I have completed something so worthwhile. So let me explain.

I was writing my Walden DQ – it’s one of the books you read in AmericanLit. Henry David Thoreau was a, well I guess you would call him, a philosopher who went and lived next to Walden Pond for two years, and I was touched by these two quotations from his conclusion that we read this week

"I learned this, at least by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of hisdreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected incommon hours."
"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me the truth. I sat at a table where were rich food andwine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not, and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board."
And that’s what I want to encourage you to do, you who are still on this learning journey with Dreaming Spires, to pursue your goals and seek the truth, whether you learn about the author Sir Walter Scott and his characters like Ivanhoe, or how steamboats work and relate to Huckleberry Finn. I want to encourage you to read these books as living books, make friends with them, make connections, laugh with them, shout at them, throw them against the wall ( I know people who have done this, myself included).

You see, the real goal of Dreaming Spires isn’t just to make you learn how to read properly, though that may be part of it, but it’s to show you new things, it’s to deepen your understanding and give you a springboard into further education. Dreaming Spires' goal ultimately is not to ensure good grades (though that helps), but to help you come to know more truth about this beautiful world, and the amazing books in it. And the best part of it, these books aren’t just part of the here and now, but of the future as well. Generations before us and later after us, people will read the same books as you. Imagine! You and I may read the same book which Thucydides wrote about the Peloponnesian war.

Books are even part of the future you, and me. All you have to do is let them become that. So I encourage all of you to finish well, and well doesn’t mean grades, but a new whole library of truth inside you to be deepened and expanded over the years pass. Never stop seeking the truth and seek your dreams confidently – they may yet happen!

I would also like to say a very special thank you to these very special people who started me on this journey of seeking the truth. Dr. P who started me on this journey as a small 11-year-old. Mrs. Alison Samuels, who teaches history, may Athens live on! Mrs. Kim, who teaches Biology and Senor B for teaching Spanish. These people are the ones who helped me on the way. Now it's up to you and me to do what you do with your newly acquired truth.

I'm excited to see how their teaching and effort will be put to good use in years to come, in all of us.





Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Early Bird Sees Courses Filling Fast

We've just had our first course reach maximum numbers and close to further registrations, our ever-popular Middle Ages Literature course on a Monday.

It's all a bit crowded in here!


But never mind: we have a second section available on Tuesdays.

This brings up a good point, however: Early Bird registration sees an influx of families who want to reserve their spot for next year at the best level of discount, so there are two reasons why taking advantage of this is in everyone's interest.

The first is, classes do fill up, and only a very few of them have more than one section on offer. If you want to grab a spot on our live, online courses with subject experts who teach via living books, then do it now.

I'm not saying this because it's sales talk - I'm saying it because Middle Ages Lit on Mondays is only the first course that's full. There are four others that are near this level, and once they're closed, they will be closed for the full academic year.

The second is, there are only two weeks left of the Early Bird specials, of which there are three main perks: one is to lock in your place on any course for just the registration fee, and following on from that, the chance to pay the rest of your balance in installments*. The third is that you will be assessed at last year's rates for the course fees.




As a very practical person myself, and a homeschooler to boot, I hope you'll also see the logic in grabbing a good deal while it's available. There's only so much of me and my colleagues to go around.

So honestly - register today or your teen may be bummed they missed the chance to join such motivating and stimulating opportunities for learning!






*With installments, you're welcome to pay a little bit as a time, as long as the full balance is paid by 1st September, 2018. No student with a remaining balance will be admitted into the live classroom.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

A Video in Praise of Organic Learning

At Dreaming Spires Home Learning, we use this term "organic learning" a lot when describing our style of teaching.

We're talking "organic" here!


What exactly does that look like? Here's a video with some thoughts, but also, and invitation to share your ideas, too. After all, we're all home-educating parents, and learning from each other is key to our own family's growth.




Saturday, 31 March 2018

Early Bird Registration is NOW OPEN for 2018-2019

The REGISTRATION FORM for the academic year 2018-2019 is now live for the Early Bird registration period for our unique, online courses taught live for homeschooled teens worldwide.


Oh, the excitement!!

The EARLY BIRD PERIOD runs 1st April to 31st May, 2018.

Paying the registration fee for your chosen courses during the Early Bird Period will secure your place and entitle you to course fees at last year's rates, to be paid by 1st of September, 2018.

For full information, please refer to the Fees page of the website. This especially applies if you have used Early Bird registration in the past since the fee structure changed last year.


Thursday, 15 March 2018

Proposed Timetable of Dates

I've been looking ahead to plot the next academic year and thought I'd share how we get 30 weeks into our year while enjoying generous blocks of holiday!


DateEvent
Sept 10th 2018First week of Term
October 22nd 2018This week is a holiday for Autumn Break
October 29th 2018Classes resume this week
December 10th 2018This is the last week of class before Christmas Break
Dec 17th - Jan 6thChristmas Break
January 7th 2019Classes resume this week
April 15th 2019Start of Easter break for 2 weeks
April 29th 2019Classes resume this week
May 13th 2019Last week of classes before the end of the academic year


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Meet our Newest Tutor and History Teacher

Welcome to our newest tutor at Dreaming Spires Home Learning: a specialist in modern history, Yvonne Mason is a well-known online tutor amongst home-educated high schoolers in the UK, and we are so pleased that she is able to join us next year for a fascinating course about World War 1 and World War 2.

Yvonne will teach Modern History


She took her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature, then an MA in history from Royal Holloway in London while working as a costumed historical interpreter at the Tower of London. She has been working as an online tutor since 2001 in both English and history, home educates her own daughter, and in her spare time, is an avid embroiderer. She has plans to study for a PhD in Medieval Studies very soon.