Welcome to The Educating Parent Beverley Paine's archive of articles about homeschooling and unschooling written over a period of 30 plus years

HomeAboutBlogArticles Curriculum Resource DirectoryShopKids PagesFacebook


Download our FREE The Educating Parent Resource Directories today! Plus... more FREE resources!

Free download a quick guide to getting started with homeschooling and unschooling by Beverley Paine The Educating Parent in this excellent Resource Directory
Introduction to
Home Education

Download for FREE this huge collection of links to online Australian homeschool and unschool support groups in this special The Educating Parent Resource Directory by Beverley Paine
National and State
Support Groups

Join Beverley LIVE at the 2021 online Australian Homeschooling Summit, don't miss out on her workshops, What is my child learning and Inside Beverley's classroomJoin Beverley and friends
LIVE in February at the
2021 online Australian
Homeschooling Summit!

But you don't have to wait until then - grab this limited-time special offer for the best Aussie homeschooling help you can get! Get the recordings of ALL 78 workshops + 15 bonus sessions from the 2017, 2019, and 2020 Australian Homeschooling Summits.

Get instant lifetime access for only $49!

Looking for support, reassurance and information?
Join Beverley's The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook online group.


The Joy of Grafting

by Sally Lever

'There can be no joy in life without the joy of work.'
Thomas Aquinas

Firstly, I'd like to make clear that I'm not talking about 'grafting' as in 'extortion', but  as in satisfying, productive, physical work. In our industrial growth society, I mourn the decrease in this activity with the advances in technology and automation. But it's not just these mechanical innovations that have caused us to reduce how much of each day we spend on manual labour. If we valued this practice, then surely we would've made sure that it remained a sacred part of our everyday lives.

What's changed our values?

Off the top of my head, some initial thoughts are:

  • Class structure: earning a living from manual labour signifies, in the social order, that we belong to the lower classes. Those belonging to a higher class employ others to do their manual work.
  • Advent of the 'Knowledge Economy' - there are fewer manual jobs.
  • Automation and mechanisation is regarded as a sign of technological progress, a source of improved efficiency and productivity, so high numbers of manual labourers have become indicative of a less advanced, less 'civilised' economy.
  • Uniformity and standardization have become valued over individuality, innovation, beauty, design and creativity.

What seems to be behind all of these is the tendency within our culture to value money and status above wellbeing and the assumption that our worth is determined by something or someone outside of ourselves.

The joy of grafting for me, in contrast, stems from my beliefs that my wellbeing and that of others is more important to me than money, status or What Others Think. This is an example of one of the shifts in perspectives that occurs when we start adopting a more simple and sustainable way of living.

'When we are at home in the garden, tending and nurturing all its plants, animals and minerals, living with them through all the seasons and days, then healing comes upon us like a gift and makes us whole.'
Christopher Bamford.

What are the benefits of grafting?

  • Easily discernable evidence of our achievement and the inner satisfaction of experiencing that.
  • Physical exercise which keeps us fit.
  • Creativity - an uplifting sense of beauty and purpose.
  • Intrinsic motivation (the opposite of extrinsic motivation based on What Others Think.)
  • Improved sleep through feeling physically tired at the end of the day.
  • Experiential learning or learning by doing, which is more effective for most people than learning by reading or listening to others.
  • Increased time being in our bodies - embodiment. This is when we are present to our bodies through directing our attention there.  It reduces stress and anxiety, increases ability to relax, to be present and enjoy each moment. It also increases self-awareness and therefore self-empowerment.
  • Connection with the earth or with others. (interestingly, grafting also means to join or to unite closely). This can improve our understanding of our place in the web of life and thereby add meaning to our lives and put it in context for us. Finding the meaning in what we're doing and cultivating genuine companionship  can also lift feelings of despair and depression.
  • Mindfulness in action - an opportunity to practise being present, to reduce stress, to improve our concentration, focus and clarity.
  • Source of inspiration which we can then carry across into other areas of our lives. In my experience, grafting fosters connections between the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of my being, which can result in helpful intuitive sparks and guidance.

The distinction between joyful grafting and 'doing chores' is very eloquently described in John Lane's book 'Timeless Simplicity'. Here, he regards activities to do with gardening, preparing and cooking food and homemaking as 'The Sacred Arts'. They are activities to be savoured, honoured and enjoyed, rather than blitzed, resented and tolerated. Don't you just love that as a way of reframing 'domestic drudgery'?

Of course, it's equally important to keep heavy physical labour in balance with other types of work and activities and in alignment with our state of health and stage of life.  Moderation and harmony are values that spring to mind here.

What constitutes joyful grafting for you?

This article first appeared on Sally's blog in September 2011. Through her blog, Fruitful, Sally Lever seeks to explore the heart and soul of downshifting to a more sustainable, ethical and holistic way of living and working, in keeping with the needs of the planet, humanity as a whole and ourselves as individuals.

Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you? Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating offering encouragement and reassurance to families wanting better outcomes for their children.

Thank you for your gift contribution!

Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.

Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people."

"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!"

"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others."

"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
2am in the morning, I 've been encouraged!"

"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful."

Want to learn how to write your own education plans to suit
your unique children's individual learning needs?

Looking for quality curriculum and teaching tips ?

Over 1000 reassuring and informative articles to help
build your confidence as an Educating Parent

Join Home Education Australia group: one space to share information, resources links and

You are invited to join Home Education Australia!
One well-organised space to find and share information,
resources links and more to support all home educators
across Australia, including a directory of posts and threads , where you can source all your needs related to home education and find what others are seeking and finding within Australia.

Welcome to the World of Home Education
and Learning without School!

We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine

The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.

The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.

To see the full range of Beverley Paine's books on homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning visit Always Learning Books

Tap into Beverley's experience through her books

"Your books, your blogs helped me beyond words...
they helped me to find comfort in knowing it is ok to choose
exactly what is best for my family." Nisha

"Your books and information are mind blowing and already
I am feeling good about this new experience." Diane

Connect with Beverley and ask questions
through her online The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook support groups.

purchase Beverley's practical and common sense books on homeschooling and unschooling
"Your guidance, understanding, support & words of wisdom changed our lives." Leslie

"I feel specially inspired by Beverley's words and, the more I read her comments, the more inspired I feel, since my need for support, respect for different parenting styles, and information are fully met." Marijo

Online science lessons for primary school aged home educating children

Teach Maths in the way that children learn with MathsUSee by MathsAustralia

30% discount for purchases from ReadyEd Publications when you use the code 'homeschool' at  the checkout

Help your child to learn how to play music with our app and children's books to them started - I Learning Music and Fun in the Music Room

Stocking all of Beverley Paine's, the educating parent's, books!

Click here for music lessons for students with autism and other needs Spectrum Music Studio

music lessons tailored to your home educating students needs in Joondalup Perth WA the only homeschool reading development which combines neurosciencebased exercises with voice recognition technology, platypus power reading program Click here to go to Learning Enrichment Studio Fostering Students Academic Potential

Natural Learning
and Unschooling Pack

Each Pack contains a copy of the following:
Natural Learning
Natural Learning Answers
A5 or A4
Learning Naturally Diary
Learning Maths Naturally
A Sample Approved Natural Learning Program and Review

Only $29 or $33
Select A4 or A5 Diary

Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.

animated Australian flag

Without revenue from advertising
by educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!

Beverley's books are excellent for building confidence as a home educator says Tracey, homeschooling mum.

Support Centre
Contact Us | Join a Support Group | Beverley's Books | Resource Directory | Blog | Donate

About The Educating Parent
Beverley Paine | April Jermey and Always Learning Books | Advertise with us


What is Home Education Why Home Educate Getting Started & Registering Different Ways to Home Educate
Life as a Home Educator Resources & Support Teens and Beyond Curriculum and Teaching Tips
Unschooling & Natural Learning Travelling & Home Educating Other: just for fun, general, etc Children's Pages

animated smiling face Thank you for visiting!

Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
The opinions and articles included on this website are not necessarily those of Beverley and Robin Paine,
nor do they endorse or recommend products listed in contributed articles, pages, or advertisements.
This website uses browsing cookies and conducts other means to collect user information in order to display contextual ads.
Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2021.