FAQs




Frequently Asked Questions:

How much do courses cost? 

Explanations about our fees, multi-course discounts, and referral bonuses can be found on this page

~ Do you have a calendar of dates and holidays for this year? 

See this page for that information.

~ What are the technical requirements for taking your courses?

In order to connect to our course site, you will need to have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend the purchase of a headset with mic, which should cost no more than $10. 

 ~ Which online service do you use?  

Dreaming Spires uses a learning management system ("LMS") called Blackboard Learn. This service allows synchronous (live and interactive) webinars, as well as asynchronous ("not at the same time") learning experiences such as accessing the online course materials, taking part in various forums, and asking questions at any other time that suits you. Both types of learning are key to getting the most from the course.

~ What if I can’t get online easily? What if my computer is older? What if my internet connection isn’t very good?

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he/she has access to a high-speed, reliable, and consistent internet access.  Usually, if you can use Skype, you can use our course provider.

At the very first meeting, the instructor will conduct an orientation session to highlight the important parts of the environment and to explain the course structure.

~ What is your Attendance Policy?

Enrolling in any class requires a commitment. Regular, weekly attendance is expected for all courses. However, we know that absences do occur for reasons beyond the student's control. We record all our classes so students can watch them later. In addition, all documents and presentations referred to in class will be stored on our course page for asynchronous access outside of our weekly meeting.  

As a courtesy to the instructor and fellow students, please inform your instructor of any absences, planned or otherwise, as soon as possible.

~ What is your Grading Policy?

In the main, we have a very gentle method of learning: students are assigned weekly writing tasks that receive points for simply submitting them. The reason we operate this way is that we see improvement and maturity through perseverance and consistency, and it allows a wider range of achievement among our students without reminding them of public school! There will be, however, some qualitative assessment along the way so that we can attend to an individual's strengths and weaknesses.

What we don't do, however, is chase up students for homework. We know there are so many definitions of success for our individual students that we couldn't possibly juggle which of those view 92% as underperforming and those for whom simply attending the live class is a big deal, and for that reason, we make it easy for parents to see the metrics on their child's Blackboard profile and judge for themselves.

We highly recommend that you check on their progress at regular intervals to make sure he or she is achieving what is right for the individual and the family's aims.

That being said, we do send out reports via email about every ten weeks with point totals, awards achieved, and a brief observation of what's going well and what could be improved. At the end of the year, we supply a certificate with the grade that we've calculated based on a percentage of points accrued throughout the year.

The grading policy is different for writing extensions such as English, Art History, and Ancient History, where student submissions are based on mark schemes for UK exams. Students who undertake an add-on will be eligible for an honors designation on their certificate.

~ What happens if a class is unexpectedly cancelled without notice?

If, for any reason, an online class meeting needs to be cancelled, your instructor will make every attempt to contact students enrolled in the course as soon as possible. In the event of website issues, such as a power outage, then the instructor will continue to try to get online until 15 minutes after the main course was due to begin. If there is still no success, then the webinar will be deemed to be cancelled for the day, and the syllabus will be altered accordingly. (We usually call these "snow days", and simply extend lessons past the scheduled end of term; fortunately, they are rare).

~ What happens if the whole course has to be cancelled before the year is out?

In the rare and unfortunate event that a course has to be cancelled, you will be refunded all your tuition, pro-rata. The registration fee, however, is not refundable, because it's used to reserve your place in the course before term, and to cover costs associated with setting up your account.

~ Can I share the Instructor-Created Course Documents with other people?

As these are class notes which have been written by the instructor, it would be against copyright law to share the documents without the author’s permission. Please do not share Dreaming Spires or instructor-created course documents with persons outside of the Dreaming Spires class environment.

~ What is your Payment Policy?

Dreaming Spires Home Learning requires a $40/£30 non-refundable reservation fee per course upon receipt of invoice. This fee reserves your child's seat in any enrolled courses and covers admin costs.  The remainder of the tuition fees are due on 1st September. For US payments, we use a secure payment portal for submitting an echeck; we don't accept credit cards at this time. For the UK, we accept direct bank transfers to a UK account, details of which will be noted on the invoice. 

If you live outside of the US or UK and you don't have bank accounts in those currencies, we generally encourage families to set up a TransferWise borderless account to keep foreign exchange fees at their absolute lowest. Sometimes, it's necessary to employ international transfers via a bank. Contact us for more details about this.

All balances must be paid before the beginning of term.

~ Do you provide a Sibling Discount?

We offer families a 10% discount on all main courses if they enroll in 5 or more of them. Please contact via the Contact Form in the sidebar to the right if you have questions. 

~Do you have any other Discount Programs?

Yes! We offer referral discounts. For each paying, enrolled referral, we offer a gift certificate equivalent to a part refund on the reservation fee. There is no limit on these referral discounts down to a balance of 0.

We also offer multiple course enrollment discounts. In other words, if your teen enrolls in at least three Dreaming Spires course in a year (for example, English, Spanish, and Biology), your child will receive a 5% reduction on the cost of each course. This discount applies to main course only and does not apply to add-on extensions.

~ What is your Course Withdrawal Policy?

Any withdrawals before the start of our Week 4, are refunded 100% of the course fees, less the registration fee. After these dates, there are no refunds given. If you join a course in the middle of the year, your withdrawal date will be stated clearly on your invoice: usually, it's 3 weeks from when you are first entered into the system.

~ I have a conflict with the course meeting time. Will you offer additional sessions?

Typical class size is 15 though we would take a maximum of 20 students under certain conditions. If there is enough interest, and the instructor for the course is available, we will consider opening up a second session for the course, at a different time.

~How do I enroll?

Just use our handy registration form, or send an email to dreamingspireshomelearning <at> gmail<dot>com and Dr Patrick will be happy to assist you in the process.

~ How do I stay up to date with your course offerings?

We're on Facebook!  You can find us here. "Like" our FB page or find us on Twitter: @dreaminspiresHL for our updates, prizes, contests, and discounts. 
We're also at Instagram: @katpatrickonlinetutor

~ What is your statement of faith?

We're often asked if we're a secular or a Christian company. The short answer is that the Founder, Kat Patrick, is a Christian, and many of the tutors (who also design the courses) are Christian, but we are first and foremost subject specialists whose primary objective is to be true to the course we're teaching and to the Charlotte Mason principles (see this link to explain more about Charlotte Mason).  

To that end, we believe as Miss Mason that there's something more to education than being just a mechanical skill: call it soul or spirit or imagination or what have you, our students are being nurtured to find that spark for learning that we believe is within all children regardless of faith, creed, etc. Some of the courses, such as Middle Ages literature, will have Christian content because religion was a prime mover in writings from that time - you can't really do the subject justice if you leave it out. Other courses, like the foreign languages, will have very little Christian content since it's often simply not relevant. 

That being said, every course will be thoughtfully respectful of choices in texts, putting the welfare of our students in a prime position - occasionally, texts may be necessarily graphic or difficult, and we will give warnings and suggest skipping some pages or passages, or even offering alternative texts to read. 

We can assure you that, throughout all our years of offering courses through Dreaming Spires Home Learning, our approach is inclusive for all students from over 35 countries and a variety of faiths, because our focus is on them as individuals and their excitement about their studies.

~ About your data:

Where Dreaming Spires Home Learning (DSHL) receives any personal data (as defined by the General Data Protection Act 2018) (“GDPR”)) from a client, potential client, or minors therefrom, it shall ensure that it fully complies with the provisions of GDPR and will only deal with the data to fulfil its obligations. This will normally be limited to communication between DSHL (or any of its tutors as relevant to fulfilling the contract for services) and the client/the student, and the conducting financial transactions as necessary to effect or terminate said contract. All personal data acquired by DSHL from the client shall only be used for the purposes of this Agreement and shall not be further processed or disclosed without the client's consent. DSHL shall take all reasonable precautions to preserve the integrity and prevent any corruption or loss, damage or destruction of the data and information, and if after six years the client directs DSHL to erase all information and data that he/she has provided to the company, then DSHL will do so.

2 comments

  1. What subjects are covered in the Biology course?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great question! Why not pop over to our Youtube channel and hear more about Biology from Miss Kim, our tutor? https://youtu.be/wXt8aKLur3o

    ReplyDelete