Defining What We Do
by Beverley Paine, Aut 2012, revised Jan 2016
What is the difference between homeschooling and unschooling?
Homeschooling is taking responsibility for and control of your children's education personally instead of delegating it to a school or teacher. You select from a huge range of pedagogical approaches and learning materials and resources. Unschooling may be one of these.
Unschooling goes further than homeschooling: it is a rejection of the traditional reasons for schooling children and the methods used to educate them - that is, segmenting learning into chunks and spoon feeding it according to a set timetable as though children are passive receivers of knowledge and skills. Unschooling is respecting children and young people as individuals and capable learners. It is trusting in their innate natural learning ability. Instead of teaching children what we think they ought to know because someone else says they should, we help them learn what they need to learn in order to grow and develop. It's much more than an approach to the education of children, it's a way of life.
Natural learning is simply celebrating the fact that everyone learns all the time and that by reflecting on the processes by which we learn we can become more focused in meeting our learning needs efficiently, achieving our goals and purposes in our own way and time frame.
Radical unschoolers take the principles of unschooling and apply it holistically across all areas of life, not just to the 'education' of their children. It's not simply living without school and the whole school paradigm of education, and it's way more than living without 'boundaries' and 'rules' - it's living with trust and respect, relationships and connections as the drivers of all actions.
The aim of The Educating Parent is to help others de-school (question and challenging our conditioning about the role and purpose of education) so that they can fully enjoy learning at home with their children no matter what approach to education they adopt. As educating parents we will find that what, how and why of what we're doing constantly changes as it meets the changing needs of our growing children and our family circumstances.
See also About Home Education
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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 support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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Welcome to the
We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment 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. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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