One of our more recent additions, Kat is pretty awesome, and she’s even bailed me out at the last minute when I goofed up. Yes – I goofed. Again. Ha! She managed to get a fantastic article written and delivered in time to be in the Summer issue (Juggling with Jay Jay). She writes the TEENMARVELous column and usually another article for the magazine, I love having her on board.
As the founder of Dreaming Spires Home Learning, Charlotte Mason-inspired online courses for teens and pre-teens, she provides a valuable service to families with kids in the 11-18 year age-group.
GN: How many kids do you have, and do how many are homeschooled?
KP: I have four children, currently aged 16, 14, 12, and 10. I homeschool all of them, but the older I get, the more outsourcing I do.
GN: I find myself outsourcing things here and there myself. What made you start homeschooling?
KP: Originally, it was because England starts their formal schooling in the year a child turns 5, so my daughter- born at the end of July – was due to start formal schooling about 4 weeks after she turned 4. That was just too early, so I was going to homeschool till she was at least 6. By the time I got to that point, we were having so much fun and adding extra babies, I wasn’t going to change our success. It wasn’t broke, so we weren’t going to try to fix it!
GN: That sounds like a familiar story! How long have you homeschooled?
KP: I have homeschooled now for going on 14 years.
GN: I feel like such a newbie right now…we just finished year four. You run online courses for teens, tell us about those, and where could interested families sign up?
KP: I started online courses in 2012 when my eldest was going to start using Ambleside Online (Charlotte Mason method) in their Year 7. Up until then, we’d run Charlotte Mason history groups, but none of my friends were at the same level or going the same direction as we were anymore, so I joined with another family online and the courses have been building from there. Right now, I’m teaching four years of English literature and composition, and have added Spanish, Ancient History, and Biology, bringing on board friends of mine whom I know can teach at a really high and dedicated level. (In private correspondence with Karen Andreola, the Charlotte Mason guru, she said that she didn’t know anyone in the world who was doing what I was doing – wow!) The website for looking into this more is www.dreamingspireshomelearning.com, or catch me on Facebook, or even Instagram at dreaming_spires_home_learning where I post a lot of about my Charlotte Mason teens and my show dogs!
GN: How would you finish the statement, “If I knew then what I know now…”
KP: I probably would have taken my kids to more European countries, though we saw so much of the British Isles yet kept very close ties with my US family, so I don’t know where I would have fit it in!
GN: Thanks Kat!
I’d like to also mention that Kat will be talking about her English adventures on podcast by Homeschool Highschool with 7 Sisters, which will be available Tuesday.