What Could Be Simpler Than A Natural Education?
© Beverley Paine
Natural learning emphasises a natural education and what could be more natural than children observing parents getting on with the busy of living, helping out every now and then when needed or convenient? Children needs lots of time to be children. That's what school curtails, or more specifically, rewrites child development to fit into the artificial social environment of the classroom.
Children don't want constant attention from parents, though it's a sensible parent who is within sight and sound of her youngsters. Children feel secure when they know there is someone supervising: there to pick up the pieces, kiss the wound better, intervene when emotions begin to get out of control, etc.
By living in front of and beside our children we are gifting them an excellent foundation for their adult life. Few children get the opportunity to 'play' house (garden, shopping, working, etc) for real long enough to feel truly confident as the end of childhood approaches. Nothing prepares a person for rearing children than hanging out with older and younger siblings all day, or getting together with bunches of children aged 0-18 on a regular basis!
By the time my eldest was 12 I had worked out that if I attended to my children's needs without hesitation (where possible) they were less demanding on my time. If I played with them for half an hour a day, or gave them my undivided attention for that span of time, they would generally keep busy and play nicely together. I would usually get anything from an hour to four hours of relatively uninterrupted time to myself. My youngest was six by this stage.
I think that because I was doing a lot with my children every day they were happy to leave me alone. Children who have recently left school can take up to a year to lose the dependence on the teacher for setting activities and directing them all day long. The only thing I can recommend in this situation is to have patience and try not to give in to their demands to be entertained or told what to do next.
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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.
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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
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