Moving into Adult Life: The Final Years of Home Education?
© Beverley Paine
Roger has no intention of finding permanent or part-time work just yet, and despite owning a car, he isn't that interested in getting his license to drive. I am always fielding questions about his employment situation and this is difficult - much worse than trying to explain homeschooling! He's a young 18, not at all ready to move into the adult world and he keeps evaluating his sister's impoverished and stressful life and comparing it to his comfortable, relaxed lifestyle. I can't blame him for hanging at home, helping out and generally acting like a 'retired gentleman'! He does a little bit of computer trouble shooting now and then, for pocket money, and doesn't have any ambition. It is hard to not succumb to the paranoia so prevalent about youth and success in our society.
Something I've noticed over the years is how many children follow their parents' career paths. My brother became a fitter and turner, like Dad, and my sister and I tried motherhood and housewifery, with an active role in education (both in the home and in educational institutions), like Mum. I glance around at people I know and see the same thing happening, and find examples splattered across the media. Movie actors, doctors, politicians, writers, plumbers, scientists, mechanics, musicians. Centuries ago this was typical and made sense, but there is no reason for people to do this nowadays, yet I see it still happening. Children following in their parents' footsteps. Schooling doesn't seem to make much difference. It's an interesting cultural pattern.
Nothing changes as the children grow into adulthood. I am 'mother'. and a traditional mother, locked into the role of 'relationship builder'. I'm the person they all (Robin included!) come to with their problems and needs. Robin is the one they boast to or chat about life in general (not personal problems, of course - that's mum's role!) Did I create this dichotomy in my parenting practice? Of course. Even with eyes wide open we fell into gender stereotypes. Upon reflection I see that this is who we are and what we want from our lives. It reflects our traditional family values.
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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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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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