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It's finished! Or is it?

© Beverley Paine, October 2005, updated April 2008 and again in July 2011

For over a year I've been threatening to renovate my Homeschool Australia website. Well, it's finally done! You're all invited to take a peek and tell me what you think! Started in 1997 this website has undergone a couple of previous major renovations and I suspect will endure a few more before I finally hang up my homeschooling hat!

I wouldn't never have completed this project if it wasn't for the assistance and encouragement from my son Thomas. Eighteen year old Thomas has been fiddling about with Dreamweaver and put together a new look for The Frog Pond , his forever evolving website about what he does all day as an unschooler. The current focus on The Frog Pond is his modifications on his Subaru Brumby, but in the past he's loaded his tutorials for modifying computers and computer games... Thomas is heavily into modifying! There are also some great images and movies of him and his brother having fun on their motorbikes, and my absolute favourite movie of the wild duckling we raised a couple of years ago.

As Homeschool Australia has over 100 pages I thought it best to rework my defunct Writing Pages, now called Beverley Paine South Australian Children's Author . In time I hope to add more published novels to my rather lonely 'The Chimaera Conspiracy'. Time is what I need more than anything else! We live incredibly busy lives... This has led me to Fruitful - a fantastic downshifting resource from Sally Lever. Sally's free online newsletter is helping to keep me on track toward my goal of simplifying my life.

Using Dreamweaver and Thomas's help I was able to quickly put together a small website. Once I got the hang of using 'styles', and the working layout of Dreamweaver, I found it so much easier to use that FrontPage. We needed to include dynamic content to cut back on the complexity of my site and to give me more time to write, rather than play around fixing broken links, etc.

Web design has been a huge part of our unschooling/homeschooling lives over the last six or seven years. Thomas has grown up with computers and his knowledge and skills amaze most people. He keeps it quiet though - a stint fixing other people's computers and problems a couple of years ago quickly robbed him of just about all of his free time. He guards his time fiercely! According to Thomas there is never enough time each day to do what he wants to!

Three years later and I realised that my websites were in a mess again. I thought they had grown too big to manage using simple HTML code. People kept urging me to switch to a Content Management System, such as those used by blogs or forums. We spent a few months looking into different option, but I decided that I have neither the time or inclination to learn how to write php code. Without knowing some of the basic elements of coding in php or database management I would have trouble fixing any hiccups in the programs, plus it would be difficult to tweak the design of my sites. We simply don't have enough hours in each day!

Using programs such as WordPress or Simple Machines was attractive at first, but I am wary of losing even the tiniest bit of control over the website. I like the way we are working now, even though I haven't been very good at keeping the sites in good order. We may be using dinosaur technology but it's simple and effective and to my permaculture way of thinking, that is a good idea. Naturally my site won't have the whizz bang interactivity of more modern software internet options, but that suits me too.

What it came down to in the end was determining, once and for all, what I wanted to get out of maintaining and building my suite of websites. There are, I have discovered, a tool I use to collect and collate my thoughts on home education; a springboard to the writing of my Practical Homeschooling Booklet Series. And for sharing what I know with the thousands of homeschooling families across Australia. I have dozens of articles in the draft stage waiting to be polished and added to this website, and dozens more for our curriculum website, plus plans to reinstigate the Homeschool Australia online newsletter.

We're not finished yet!

And now it is July 2011. A week ago a dear friend suggested I concentrate on making the content of this site more available to home educating families. I intend to take her good advice and over the coming months will release several new mini-Ebooks. To get there though means I need to do some much needed reorganising and tidying on my much neglected suite of Homeschool Australia websites.

With over 700 pages this has been a daunting task - which is why I've put it off for so long! I came back from holiday with a nasty cold though and unable to do much else, I've been comfortably lodged on the couch, mouse in hand, doing the tedious and mind numbing work hand building a site map that we enable me to quickly build those mini-Ebooks... as well as keep my unruly site in hand!

The past three years has seen me immerse completely in helping the Home Education Association of Australia - a national organisation - both on the committee and as publications coordinator and editor. I leave the Association in good hands with a new committee and having helped to establish a quarterly magazine, fortnightly news bulletin, new upgraded website (soon to be launched!) and annual printed resource directory. It is time to focus once again on the home front and continue once again to provide my loyal readers with the service and attention they deserve.

Early this year we passed our self-publishing business over to our daughter who, as a stay-at-home mum of young children will continue to make my books and booklets available at affordable prices. Do drop into Always Learning Books occasionally to keep up with our new titles!

You may have noticed that I've added a new section to the site - Quick Start Guide to Homeschooling. That's for those in a hurry! The rest of you are welcome to browse through my new Sitemap - this lists ALL of the articles on this site, now incorporating those from my very popular Australian Homeschool Curriculum website.

To help put bread on the table we are inviting homeschooling and educational suppliers to advertise - in a discrete way - on our site. We're keeping it low key and inexpensive, but most of all, all adverts must be relevant to homeschooling families. As a low income family we rely on what we earn from royalties on my books, income from this site and Google Adsense (pays the internet costs). So, if you are feeling inclined, take a look at our advertising packages.

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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.

"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."

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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'.

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

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

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