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Feeling Overwhelmed By Choice

© Beverley Paine

"I have just removed my children from school. I have found my local home eduacting group so feel we have sorted to the social side out, however I am overwhelmed by the choice of resources for home educators! Can you suggest some places to start?"

It can be really overwhelming. When I began homeschooling I had the completely opposite problem. There were no support groups or resources readily available. This meant I had to start from scratch, which although a considerable task actually is the very best place, even now. It helps to clarify the mind and instead of simply applying a
pre-made curriculum to your children's education in the same that schools do, you build a curriculum from the ground up that is individually tailored to your family's needs and to educational needs and learning styles of each of your children.

My book, which is available from my online bookstore http://alwayslearningbooks.com.au , Getting Started with Homeschooling is a manual that takes you through the steps required to build your own curriculum. It would probably take a week or two to go through the book, thinking about what you want and need for the education of your children.

I understand that you'll want to get your children studying at home as soon as possible. But it's not that essential and you have lots of options for keeping your children occupied while you take your time to look around and find educational resources and materials that suit each one of them.

If you children are still in the early childhood education ages and still learning to read and write you will find my Practical Home Education Language Series booklets full of ideas of how to teach these subjects at home. All too often 'fill-in-the-blank' student work books give something for the child to do, but don't teach parents or children much about the why and how of what they are learning. The same goes for maths books. I've co-written a small booklet about learning maths naturally - taking advantage of the
everyday opportunities such as cooking, etc that naturally teach your children maths.

While you are in this phase or working out what style of education you will adopt you can purchase some simple and inexpensive workbooks to help you feel confident that your children are learning at home (which will happen regardless of what method or resources you eventually chose - many families abandon the school style of learning altogether and their children still learn the equivalent, perhaps not in the same
sequence but after 12 years most if not more of the curriculum is covered this way). I'd start by looking in shops like your local newsagent and picking up a 'homework' or equivalent student workbook at your child's level. These usually cost less than $10 and will help your child feel that they are still doing 'school work'.

Pick a one or two topical themes - a subject in which each child is interested - and do unit studies on them. My booklet on Unit Studies explains how to put one together and has a few examples, but essentially unit studies are school projects.

Make sure your children are getting enough time to play with their toys, run around the garden and park, play outside games, sing and play board, dice and card games - all of these with and without your company. Add attention to chores and you have a naturally rounded curriculum that will help set the foundation for whatever method or style of home education you eventually adopt.

Document your daily homeschooling progress (you can use one of my prepared diaries which will guide you, or just jot notes in an exercise book or similar). When you need to present you homeschooling program to the educational authorities for registration purposes, even though you haven't settled on your preferred curriculum just yet, it
will show that you are teaching your children at home. The authorising officer may have some useful comments on different curriculum choices - don't forget to ask. You have plenty of time to sort this out. Most families aren't using the same method in six months after starting so spending a lot of money at this stage is unwise.

I have hundreds of articles on my Homeschool Australia website on many different aspects of homeschooling, drawn from my experience educating my own children, now aged 21 to 27. You are also most welcome to join our friendly online support groups https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheEducatingParents and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HomeschoolAustraliaFAQ

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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 support 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."

I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
If you experience difficultiess accessing any page can you
please email me the link? Thank you.

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'.

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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.

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