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

HomeAboutBlogArticles Curriculum Resource DirectoryShopKids PagesFacebook


Download our FREE The Educating Parent Resource Directories today! Plus... more FREE resources!

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

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

Join Beverley LIVE at the 2021 online Australian Homeschooling Summit, don't miss out on her workshops, What is my child learning and Inside Beverley's classroomJoin Beverley and friends
LIVE in February at the
2021 online Australian
Homeschooling Summit!

But you don't have to wait until then - grab this limited-time special offer for the best Aussie homeschooling help you can get! Get the recordings of ALL 78 workshops + 15 bonus sessions from the 2017, 2019, and 2020 Australian Homeschooling Summits.

Get instant lifetime access for only $49!

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


Struggling with Feelings of Incompetence

by Michele Hasting, 2005
author of The Homeschooling Trail ~ A Journey of Faith
(reprinted with permission, first published in Jan/04 Homeschooling Horizons)

Ever feel like you just don’t have what it takes to homeschool your kids effectively? Let’s face it. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses… including homeschooling parents, but it’s important to understand your role. My role as a homeschooling mom is not to teach them everything they need to know, but to help them learn the things they need to learn. There’s a difference. A big part of my “job” is just being able to seek out mentors, teachers, classes, opportunities and resources so that our boys can pursue the things they’re interested in as well as the things that I believe are necessary for them to learn.

I admit that I’m weak in math and science, have limited computer skills and I’m absolutely illiterate when it comes to electronics, industrial arts and French, (despite the fact that three years of French was compulsory when I was in school and my Dad is a retired French teacher!) Therefore, I have to ferret out self-explanatory math materials, interesting and relevant science resources and people who are both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about each of these subject areas if the boys want or need to delve into them beyond the basics of being “functional”. So in these areas my job is not to teach the kids but instead, hook them up with those people and resources that can do the teaching for me! To my surprise I’ve discovered that many teachers in the school system aren’t teaching in their area of expertise. This is a real shame because while their real talents and strengths lie dormant they’re forced to take on subjects that they may know little about, busting their butts in order to stay one step ahead of their students!

My strengths as a homeschooling parent focus on my love of words (both verbal and written), my appreciation of the arts and the beauty of nature, my striving for balance in our lifestyle and surroundings, my organization abilities, and my love for and enjoyment of our boys. Through me they are being exposed to reams of great books that we enjoy reading out loud together. They are learning how to communicate effectively, both verbally and in written form. They are also being encouraged to explore the arts and enjoy nature.

Much of my “teaching” springs from the many conversations and discussions that the boys and I engage in and their ability to express themselves flows from the ongoing opportunity that they’ve had to freely do so. In school I remember that if you enjoyed talking it was considered more of a liability than an asset! In my opinion, far too much time was spent listening to irrelevant information, copying it into notebooks, memorizing and later regurgitating it onto test papers rather than having the opportunity to share what the information actually “meant” to you and how it affected your life, or even to apply it!

The boys are also racking up many life skills and are learning about being organized with their time and their belongings. (Although a glance at their bedrooms might indicate otherwise!) As well, they’re finding a balance concerning work, rest and play, socializing and solitary time, and healthy food versus junk food.

I am also very passionate about my faith and how it affects every aspect of life and permeates every “subject area”. The boys are being taught about life from a Christian perspective rather than a humanistic or even atheistic worldview… one of my most compelling reasons to keep trekking this homeschooling trail.

As well as being able to pass on the subject matter that I feel strongly about, and seeking out resources and “teachers” to help the boys learn about things that I know little to nothing about, much of their learning comes from following their own interests and pursuing their passions. When ones flame or primary motivation to pursue a certain topic is internal rather than external (someone telling you that you have to learn such and such), the learning experience is wider and deeper and more all- encompassing than other types of forced learning.

My enthusiasm for a subject, or the passionate teaching of a particular subject by a teacher or other resource can only take a student so far. Most of the time only a minimal output is the result of such learning. If there are marks or grades involved, perhaps the exertion may be increased somewhat…if the student even cares about such things as academic achievement or grades. But if the learning is self- propelled, you can’t stop the learning process from growing and developing and expanding into multiple areas of the student’s life.

For instance, if the consuming passion is sports, aspects of this topic will spill into other areas of the student’s life rather than just “gym class”. Not only will the individual engage in his favourite sport each season, pushing himself both during practices and games to hone his skills, he’ll learn as much about the sport off the field or court, even long after the season has ended! He will read about the sport in books, magazines and on web-sites. He will watch sports, live and on television, and he will play his favourite electronic versions of the sport, absorbing more than any bystander would think possible. He will also talk about sports with anyone who cares to listen to him or discuss the subject and he will even write about it if given the freedom to translate his passion into the written word. When desire is the fuel for the learning, learning never runs dry. Even his social group will revolve around his interests, never leaving him high and dry concerning friends to hang out with.

Therefore, a crucial function of the homeschooling parent is being able and willing to facilitate these interests. By registering your student in whatever program he wants to participate in, purchasing the equipment he’ll need, and accommodating him by being flexible enough to allow him to wrap his reading and writing assignments around his interest, you go a long way towards taking the strife and toil out of your homeschooling journey.

As parents who desperately want the best for their children, it’s hard to watch them wade into some area of interest that doesn’t appear to be very “productive”. Yet so much is accomplished in the way of learning when we carve out time in our schedules, and resources from our budget in order to facilitate our child’s passion. You never know what can transpire from allowing our children to gorge on an interest until they’ve had their fill. Having an enjoyable and meaningful life right here and right now is reason enough for our kids to get out of bed each morning isn’t it? Isn’t that what we want for them…and for ourselves? After all, no one is promised tomorrow and if life is a gift, let’s allow our precious offspring to unwrap it today!

As parents, we can’t do it all. Core subjects have to be learned. There are certain expectations. But with the world and all of its resources at our fingertips, we’ll always be able to find the tools and the teachers our young students will need in order to accomplish their goals and dreams. Maybe we’ll even achieve a few of our own! It’s not a mistake that your young charges are growing up in your home. The skills and abilities that you possess are valuable assets, meant to be shared with those you love the most…your children. When overwhelmed with everything you don’t know, try to recognize and make use of the many things that you do have and do those things with all your heart, trusting God to make up for the rest.

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."

"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."

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

Join Home Education Australia group: one space to share information, resources links and

You are invited to join Home Education Australia!
One well-organised space to find and share information,
resources links and more to support all home educators
across Australia, including a directory of posts and threads , where you can source all your needs related to home education and find what others are seeking and finding within Australia.

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'.

The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.

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 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

Online science lessons for primary school aged home educating children

Teach Maths in the way that children learn with MathsUSee by MathsAustralia

30% discount for purchases from ReadyEd Publications when you use the code 'homeschool' at  the checkout

Help your child to learn how to play music with our app and children's books to them started - I Learning Music and Fun in the Music Room

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

Click here for music lessons for students with autism and other needs Spectrum Music Studio

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 here to go to Learning Enrichment Studio Fostering Students Academic Potential

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


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.
Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2021.