Frequently Asked Questions
© Beverley Paine, January 2009
“What is oldest age group you can homeschool a child?”
The various state educational authorities approve home education to the compulsory school age, which is gradually being raised to 17 in most states. However, you can homeschool a child of any age. Many home educators consider that they began homeschooling their children from birth: that is when our role as educators truly begins! The process doesn’t stop our children are old enough to take care of themselves, usually when they leave home as adults. Children who have been home educated from birth gradually take over the responsibility for their learning in their early teens.
Children who leave school usually find it takes a while to get used to the increased level of responsibility for their own learning, especially how to learn without being constantly told what to do, what to learn, when to learn. Finding quality resources that work well with the individual student makes the transition easier. Once a child is in his or her mid teens approaching home education as you would helping an adult learn, using adult educational resources and methods, is more appropriate than the approach found in most high school classrooms.
Some families extend 'home education' beyond the traditional high school years. My son continued to learn 'informally' (natural learning) into his early 20s, preferring to build skills and knowledge in the way he had as a child and teenager. He hasn't yet decided on a career pathway but feels confident that he can enter tertiary education if needed. At present he is comfortable being a 'jack of all trades', learning a variety of skills as a self-employed contractor.
His 'studies' include two or more hours a day researching relevant information on the internet, finding suitable mentors (both on the internet and in person), and hands-on learning opportunities. His philosophy embraces the idea that if you want to learn something you can't do or know, then simply get and on do it - you'll soon learn what you need to!
Any style of home education offers students the opportunity to develep life long learning habits.
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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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