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

Registration - State by State - Guides: VICNSWQLDSAWATASACTNT

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.


Having Trouble Getting Started with Homeschooling? Stuck in the 'planning stage'?

By Beverley paine

This article was first published in the Winter 2011 issue of Stepping Stones for Home Educators, HEA members' magazine.

“Just wondering if anyone can give me some advice on how to actually "do" home education. Let me clarify... I spend a lot of time researching, talking and generally getting bogged down in intellectual stuff. I am not so great on the actual "doing" of anything.” Noni

I can relate to Noni’s problem. For a long time I was a lot like Rimmer, a character from Red Dwarf, a novel and TV series written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, who needed to pass an examination to further his career on the mining spaceship. He neatly wrote out very organised study schedules, so much so that he never actually had time to do the study required and thus kept failing the exam, much to his chagrin. My life was littered with well organised and clearly articulated but unfulfilled plans.

At some time though, we have to stop and address the real problem, that of avoidance. For me this meant asking myself some hard questions, such as “why was I sabotaging my attempts to do what I wanted?” The answer was related to fear. Since childhood I had been afraid of failing, of not being ‘good enough’ and the high standards I set myself meant that I was never satisfied. I used to quit while in the planning stage, although to me it didn’t look like quitting, just ‘shifting direction’. I would con myself that I wasn’t doing it right and start again, usually using new or ‘better’ different tactics or resources. Instead of doing anything productive I spent my time judging myself.

I’m not going to blame myself entirely for this self-defeating habit. As a child and into my late teens my experience as a school student reinforced this nonsense. More time is spent in schools planning, organising and going over what is supposed to happen in the lesson than actually studying! And as a ten-year-old I had worked out that I could get a better grade by making my work ‘pretty’. I was one of those ‘neat and tidy’ students that had learned how to play the ‘education’ game to my advantage. The amount of thought and effort I put into planning and presenting my work seemed more important than the content. As an adult student I’ve also noticed this tendency.

My advice to Noni is to stop planning and thinking about what you need to do. Instead sit down with your children and ‘be’ with them. Play with them. It could be anything: playing with their toys, a board or card game, or simply being silly making up crazy songs or stories. Take them for a walk. Go shopping. Spend some time wandering along the local creek. Take sketch books and draw what you see. Talk about those things. Notice things that look odd. Ask open ended questions that don’t need answers straight away.

Then, when the children are tucked up in bed after you have read them ten picture books or three chapters from their favourite author, snuggle down on the sofa with a cuppa and a blank page in your notebook and start doodling a map of what you have achieved that day with your children. Do little bubble diagrams and briefly describe each activity. Write down the remarkable things your children said. Somewhere on the page jot down, perhaps in a different colour, your thoughts about what you think your children learned that they didn’t know before. By doing this simple fifteen minute exercise you are creating a permanent record of your homeschooling ‘plan’. The more you do it the more obvious the ‘plan’ hidden in the patterns of words on the pages in your notebook become. Seasoned home educators call it ‘retrospective planning’. Over time you should slowly get control over the conditioned need in you to draw up tidy, organised plans so that you have more time to play and learn!

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

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

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

Click here for one month free trial Typing Tournament - learn to type the fun way

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 Click here to go to Learning Enrichment Studio Fostering Students Academic Potential

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


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.