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

HomeAboutAdvertiseArticles Curriculum Resource DirectoryShopKids PagesFacebook

Download our FREE The Educating Parent Resource Directories today!

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

Free download Beverley's huge list of books about homeschooling and unschooling in her special edition of The Educating Parent Resource Directory
BIG List of Books
about Home Ed

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

Help support fellow home educating families earn a living or add your business to this very popular The Educating Parent Resource Directory by Beverley Paine
Home Educating
Families in Business

Over 80 blogs by Australian homeschooling and unschooling families are listed in this FREE The Educating Parent Resource Directory by Beverley Paine, download and email to add your blog to the list today
Aussie Homeschool
and Unschool Blogs

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

Using School as a Natural Learning Resource

by Beverley Paine, Nov 2014

Today, on Unschool Australia while sharing our definitions and descriptions of unschooling, a discussion arose about if it is possible at all to unschool at school.

Speaking as a mum of a daughter who chose to go to school and chose to stay there after mainly being home educated... and who is unschooling her preschooler...

It bugged me enormously. What annoyed me the most was suffering through an hour or so of complaints about the school and the teachers and the way the whole thing operates every day for about a year (well, it seemed to go on for that long!) After endless days of offering different ideas and possible solutions, etc I insisted she stop complaining - going to school was her choice, I didn't agree with it, didn't think it was a good idea, everything she said just entrenched my position and she could come home anytime she wanted!

Silly me. Complaining was her way of working through the complexities of learning what she needed to learn at that stage of her life. School was the resource she'd selected to learn it.

I believe I could have worked more diligently to provide satisfactory alternatives but, for various reasons, that was too much effort at the time for me. And school, as a resource, was within reach and easy for her to use. At some point in time this insight came to me and explained why, despite her obvious dislike of many aspects of school and her history of home education, school was okay for her.

She needed to learn particular things life at home wasn't enabling. She wasn't aware of what those things were at the time: she was directed by a need that arose from her personality and temperament. What she was learning had nothing to do with the curriculum presented to the school - it was drawn from the experience at being in an institution. And it made me realise, yet again, that we're not always aware of what or why we're learning throughout life, it's often revealed afterwards, when we have a 'aha' moment of insight, or realise we've picked up some skills or ability we didn't have before without deliberately practicing it or choosing to learn it. Natural learning. So that's why I say that she was natural learning at school.

Sure she did a lot of things she didn't want to do - but she always had the option to say no at anytime. Knowing this made it an unschooling experience. She could walk out the school gate at any time with the support of her parents. She could fail a subject or not do school work at any time with the support of her parents. We encouraged her to remember her commitment to people at the school but ultimately being there (or not) was her choice.

And she vociferously encouraged her younger brothers to not go to school. Thinking on that now I can see that she was acting on her knowledge of them and understanding of their needs - school fulfilled a need for her but it wasn't a resource that would work for them.

So what do I think that school gave her? At the same time she began working part-time at a local supermarket, after school and on the weekend. Together these two experiences gave her an insight into how institutions operate, how people are managed and how goals and tasks are achieved. Perhaps if we'd owned a small business at the time these needs would have been met by that, but then again, perhaps not.

School, distance education, classes, tutoring - these are all resources our children can utilise. Our role is to support them, help them learn about themselves, who they are and help them identify their needs so that they can more effectively meet those needs. Sometimes it's a bumpy ride and sometimes we don't like or approve of their choices, but that's our challenge, the learning we need to embrace.

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."
Vanessa

"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!"
Davina

"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others."
Lesley

"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!"
Louisa

"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."
Gythaa

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

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'.

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 and Yahoo 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

Advertise with The Educating Parent

Access all the content plus BONUSES from the Australian Homeschool Summit

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

Find out more about Brain Builder by clicking here!

Link to Educate and Assist for home educating families 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 to go to the Sunshine Collective providing ‘Brilliant Boxes’ to families of pre-schoolers and primary school aged children, throughout Australia

cover of Getting Started with Homeschooling by Beverley Paine DIY Getting Started with Home Schooling Pack
Beverley Paine's best selling comprehensive common sense manual detailing how to write your own curriculum tailored to your children's educational needs
PLUS 9 of Beverley's popular practical home educating series booklets!
Great value $60
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

Sitemap

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.
Site Map. Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2018.