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by Beverley Paine, March 2022
It is entirely possible to combine popular approaches to home educating. I didn't learn about some of the most popular approaches, such as Charlotte Mason until my children were in the teens, but I did draw upon some of the ideas from Montessori and Steiner education in the early years. There are a lot of great ideas to be had from all of these approaches, so reading widely and learning about them may help to enhance your home educating experience and make it more enjoyable.
Recently a mum on one of the support groups wrote:
"I took a homeschooling quiz and my top three results were Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, and Unit Studies. My question is how can I combine all three of these methods for an eclectic mix?"
Unschooling means your children have choice, autonomy and freedom to learn in the way that best suits their needs and interests.
Stewing 'living books' and opportunities to touch base with the lives of people in the community through excursions to interesting places will support your interest in Charlotte Mason as well as unschooling. Encourage the establishment of habits through working on them together, gradually building independence and responsibility as the children become more competent in their abilities and confidence.
Children who are unschooling will naturally have a range of 'unit studies' on the go at the time - they won't look like school projects because of this. A child might work on one thing (interest, passion, obsession) in a fixated way for hours or weeks or longer, while mucking about with a few other interests at the same time, in spare time, while going along with and participating in the interests and activities of other members of the family or friends.
Record it all. I see my job as an unschooling parent as the person that facilitates opportunities while keeping homeschool records for the purpose of registration and to build confidence that this approach works as an educational alternative.
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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.
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.
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