Welcome to The Educating Parent Beverley Paine's archive of articles about homeschooling and unschooling written over a period of 30 plus years

HomeAboutBlogArticles Curriculum Resource DirectoryShopKids PagesFacebook


Download our FREE The Educating Parent Resource Directories today! Plus... more FREE resources!

Free download a quick guide to getting started with homeschooling and unschooling by Beverley Paine The Educating Parent in this excellent Resource Directory
Introduction to
Home Education

Download for FREE this huge collection of links to online Australian homeschool and unschool support groups in this special The Educating Parent Resource Directory by Beverley Paine
National and State
Support Groups

Join Beverley LIVE at the 2021 online Australian Homeschooling Summit, don't miss out on her workshops, What is my child learning and Inside Beverley's classroomJoin Beverley and friends
LIVE in February at the
2021 online Australian
Homeschooling Summit!

But you don't have to wait until then - grab this limited-time special offer for the best Aussie homeschooling help you can get! Get the recordings of ALL 78 workshops + 15 bonus sessions from the 2017, 2019, and 2020 Australian Homeschooling Summits.

Get instant lifetime access for only $49!

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


How many hours a day?

© Beverley Paine

From the outset, recognise that children are learning every minute of every day. They are like sponges - when kept wet they don't seem to mop up much at all, but leave them alone and when a puddle happens they soak up so much. Of course, the more 'puddles' they have access to the better, although I am not an advocate of the 'smorgasbord' approach to education.

Home education is more effective than classroom learning which less time needed on lessons. Plus you can take away the hours spent in managing and organising twenty plus other children that every school teacher has to take into account. If you set up your home so that thing are easy to tidy, within reach and accessible without needing your help to find them, you'll need a lot less time than any school teacher to impart the same skills and knowledge. And then, of course, not everything needs to be taught in the same way schools do - some happen much more naturally and in context of every day living.

If you learn to recognise the informal learning as it happens throughout the day and name it using educational jargon - either as a skill, attitude, concept, piece of knowledge from each each subject area - you will soon realise just how much of the curriculum is already embedded within a busy, productive normal household! From there is it is easy to add topics and concepts that you feel are essential and important to your children's education without getting bogged down with trying to fit everything into each day!

There is no need for a time table unless you or your child wants or needs one. Educational authorities across Australia realise that these belong in the classroom and serve to organise large numbers of people in relatively crowded conditions. We had a flexible timetable because it helped me to feel confident and organised. I used it in the same way I used the monthly calendar. Other people feel lost without a diary.

If the authorities want to see a schedule and you don't have one, offer an outline of a 'typical day' instead. Every day will be different, so create a 'typical' one that is most representative of how you normally homeschool.

Most families concentrate on maths and English in the morning, unit/themed studies in the afternoon as this generally suits the energy levels of younger children. Teens might prefer studying later in the afternoon or into the evening. If you are a night owl and your children are okay with staying up late too, then your homeschool day will probably start sometime after lunch! There is no hard and fast rules - whatever works for your family.

As you can see, home education is very flexible.

Keep records for a week, jotting down how long your children are busy doing their homeschool lessons. Add in the time they spend reading or playing on their own (these are educational activities too). Add in the time they spend watching documentaries on the television or listening to news services on the radio. Add in the time they spend doing the chores - either on their own or with you. Don't forget to add time spent with pets... Also write down how long you spent chatting to them, dicussing different thing that are important to them or you, problem solving, resolving conflict, etc. It is all educational! Divide the total number of hours by seven and you will know how many hours of instruction your children at getting being educated at home each and every day!

From this exercise it is easy to see that your children are getting a lot more one-one instructional time than any school child could ever hope to receive. Plus they don't have to wait in line, wait until everyone else is finished before they can continue, or share scarce resources.

And finally, here are some tips worth remembering that will help to ease the transition from school parent to homeschool parent:

  • Conversation is learning too. Make time for talking.
  • Chores and hobbies are part of the curriculum.
  • Spend some time with one-on-one learning with each child, if not each day, a couple of times each week.
  • Use themes and unit studies for mixed-age learning.
  • Make the most of media: documentaries, computer games, board games - these all teach too!
  • Have learning materials organised and easily accessible.
  • Get the children to help with chores - otherwise known as learning life skills!
  • Insist on time to pamper yourself, schedule regular dates with partner.
  • Be a role model for your children.
  • Parents are active learners too. Have a hobby.

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!

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."

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

Join Home Education Australia group: one space to share information, resources links and

You are invited to join Home Education Australia!
One well-organised space to find and share information,
resources links and more to support all home educators
across Australia, including a directory of posts and threads , where you can source all your needs related to home education and find what others are seeking and finding within Australia.

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'.

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.

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

Tap into Beverley's experience through her books

"Your books, your blogs helped me beyond words...
they helped me to find comfort in knowing it is ok to choose
exactly what is best for my family." Nisha

"Your books and information are mind blowing and already
I am feeling good about this new experience." Diane

Connect with Beverley and ask questions
through her online The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook support groups.

purchase Beverley's practical and common sense books on homeschooling and unschooling
"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

Online science lessons for primary school aged home educating children

Teach Maths in the way that children learn with MathsUSee by MathsAustralia

30% discount for purchases from ReadyEd Publications when you use the code 'homeschool' at  the checkout

Help your child to learn how to play music with our app and children's books to them started - I Learning Music and Fun in the Music Room

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

Click here for music lessons for students with autism and other needs Spectrum Music Studio

music lessons tailored to your home educating students needs in Joondalup Perth WA the only homeschool reading development which combines neurosciencebased exercises with voice recognition technology, platypus power reading program Click here to go to Learning Enrichment Studio Fostering Students Academic Potential

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!

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

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


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 face Thank 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.
This website uses browsing cookies and conducts other means to collect user information in order to display contextual ads.
Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2021.