HomeAboutAdvertiseBooksResource DirectoryCurriculumArticlesContactKids PagesFollow Beverley Paine, The Educating Paine, on Facebook



Tap into Beverley's
Educating Parent
experience through her books

You are being redirected to Always Learning Books where you can purchase Beverley Paine's books on how to home educate your children

 


Download your free copy

Download Beverley's free The Educating Parent Resource Directory for information about getting started, support groups, blogs and an extensive list of books about homeschooling and unschooling



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

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

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

Unschooling and 'Doing Nothing'

by Beverley Paine

The following questions were asked on an online unschooling support group. My unschooled kids are adults now but I had go at answering the questions anyway.

1. How do you ensure your children get enough stimulation?

Life is busy and productive, lots of things happening, sometimes too much. Hard to get bored in an environment like ours... And I was always on the lookout for over-stimulation because that brought conflict and issues into our lives.

However, from the outset, unschooling means that it's not my job to ensure that my children are being stimulated.

My job is to meet their needs, not second-guess what those needs are based on my perception of what others think they need (which is what schools do). Close attention and observation of my children are the tools in my toolbox I used to get to know my children so that I could be more responsive and helpful in meeting their needs.

I'm mum, not chief entertainer. And I trusted that they are learning, and when my trust got a little wobby I'd start recording what was happening (like a scientist or a teacher) - this worked every time. My kids were learning so much every day it was impossible to write down everything!

2. Do you have outings everyday?

Sometimes we went for months without 'going out'. It may have helped that we live on four acres and the children had a huge backyard abundant in wildlife and nature. But they did accompany us to the shops, doctors, post office, etc, so they weren't isolated. And at times we did socialise with like-minded families and lots of other children every day (exhausting for all of us, but fun).

Children don't need to be with other children every day unless they explicitly ask for it. Encourage your children to understand their own needs and learn to ask for help meeting needs they can't meet by themselves. I once experimented with my children because I felt I was organising their social life. I told them that we'd only go out on play dates if they specifically asked for it. Three months later one of them did. My children were best friends with each other. It would be different with a single child, and I do know that parents of single children get less time to themselves, so social activity with others is definitely more on the agenda. Everyday though? That might be too much.

3. What about days where you simply cannot be bothered to do anything? What do the kids do?

We do 'nothing', although there is no such thing as doing nothing. Give it a try. Sit there bored for hours... doesn't happen.

I had a go at my boys for sitting doing nothing for hours and my youngest replied tersely that they were 'thinking'. And so they were. They did a lot of brainstorming and daydreaming. What child doesn't?

What people generally mean when they say someone else is doing nothing is that they don't value what the other person is actually doing. I would fret because I thought my children were doing nothing 'educational'. I had to broaden my ideas about education. Life is educational. We can learn from anything and everything and we do. Learn to see the learning that is happening in each moment. Become aware and self-reflective. Make comments about your own learning each and every day - that helps you learn to see what your children are learning when they are supposedly doing nothing.

4. What do you do if they complain they are bored?

Like most mums I used to give them things to do, or make suggestions. Then I wised up. Mainly because that never worked. My youngest appeared bored but he was actually 'waiting'. Waiting to save up to buy the next LEGO model, waiting for the next computer game to come out. He spent his childhood waiting! It was tiring. Once I'd worked out the cause of his 'boredom' though I could help him learn how to cope and manage these long periods of waiting. One year, when he was little, three days after his birthday he asked when it was his birthday again... I would often sit and point to every day on the calendar and count down the days (I think he learned about months and weeks this way!)

See also:

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!

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.

"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
2am 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

I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
If you experience difficultiess accessing any page can you
please email me the link? Thank you.

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'.

Advertise with The Educating Parent

Access all the content plus BONUSES from the Australian Homeschool Summit

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

30% discount off ReadyEd Publications for homeschoolers until 31st December 2016

Find out more about Brain Builder by clicking here!

Link to Educate and Assist for home educating familiesEducating the World One Student at a Time AOIA Online Education

Supervised school of distance education

click to go to the Sunshine Collective providing ‘Brilliant Boxes’ to families of pre-schoolers and primary school aged children, throughout Australia

Belinda Cowie Whisper Waters Educational Resource for Home Educating FamiliesSTEM tutoring

Click here to go to Home Learn cover the 'core' with room to explore! Sydney Dance/Sports Classes for home educating students

Maths Mentality helping parents understand primary school mathematics

 

cover of Getting Started with Homeschooling by Beverley Paine 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
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!


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

Sitemap

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 faceThank 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.
Site Map
. Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2017.