Buying Educational Resources
by Beverley Paine
extract from Learning Materials for the Homeschooling
Most home educators feel compelled to buy specific curriculum materials, and nearly all of us fall prey to advertising that sings the praises of particular learning toys or educational aids. The truth is we don't need any of those things to encourage our children to learn, but it's nice to have a few, well-chosen and effective items. I've never believed the myth that learning has to be fun. Children learn for all sorts of reasons. If a child is engaged and interested in a topic, or wants to do or build something, then that child will be motivated to learn. Don't make the mistake of dividing life into `play' and `work' - help your children understand that work can be fun too and that play can be work: it's all learning!
The following set of questions can be helpful in determining the value of curriculum resources and materials, educational aids and toys:
- Does it comprehensively serve a definite purpose (need)?
- Is the item or program complete, or do you have to buy future instalments or components?
- Is it comprehensive; does it cover all the elements you need?
- Does it integrate with other subject areas?
- Does it include a carefully planned or sequenced development?
- Is the context at the child's existing levels of understanding or skills?
- Will the content extend the child's understanding and skills or does it simply reinforce current ones?
- Is it open-ended, or limited in its application? Can they use it for other purposes than the main intention?
- Can you use it again for other children?
- Will it communicate, and make sense, to the children (and adult!)?
- Does the material include useful teaching/learning aids?
- How willing will you be to spend time with the material - is the information and guidelines clear and easy to implement?
- Is it really better than something else - have you checked out other resources, including existing knowledge and materials already on hand?
- Does it use un-biased language?
- Does it foster independent exploration?
- Is it the kind of thing that will be used often, or will it sit unused on the shelf?
- Is it recyclable?
Home educators tend to use and adapt ideas they've seen work elsewhere and some even make their own `student workbooks', ducational games and aids. In addition to being tailored to the learning need at hand the children can have input into the making process, thus learning or practicing valuable skills in many curriculum areas. It's easy to fall prey to the prevalent cultural belief that learning must be fun, or to peer pressure from other families to buy the latest whiz-bang educational toy or game. Advertising and attractive packaging are designed to convince us that our children need these products to progress educationally. It pays to look out look for simple and inexpensive alternatives, or to make them at home. The money saved can then be spent on something of real value that you wouldn't normally be able to afford.
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you?
Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating
and reassurance to families
better outcomes for their children.
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." Vanessa
"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!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"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
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"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." Gythaa
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
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'.
"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
Advertise with The Educating Parent
||DIY Getting Started with Home Schooling Pack
Beverley Paine's best selling comprehensive common sense manual detailing how to write your own curriculum tailored to your children's educational needs
PLUS 9 of Beverley's popular practical home educating series booklets!
Great value $60
and Unschooling Pack
Each Pack contains a copy of the following:
Natural Learning Answers
A5 or A4
Learning Naturally Diary
Learning Maths Naturally
A Sample Approved Natural Learning Program and Review
Only $29 or $33
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.
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!