Beverley Paine, Feb 2014
On the Unschool Australia support group a mum asked:
"Can you please give my 5 reasons why you decided to unschool?"
1) unschooling made sense, trying to come up with reasons why my children should learn this or that to suit the school curriculum was often difficult, sometimes impossible - "learn it because one day you might need it or because it is the only way to get a 'good' job" sounded hollow and really not what I thought education was about;
2) it was working anyway, my children were learning just as much when I wasn't teaching them;
3) school-at-home was producing the same kind of behavioural problems and reluctance to learn that I saw in schooled children, and the carrot and the stick approach to coercing them to do the work wasn't working;
4) unschooling is super-efficient learning: I noticed that what my children learned on their own terms in their own way and at their own pace was retained and frequently used, unlike the school stuff I'd been trying to teach them. What goes in, stays in!
5) the focus on life, on simply living and living as a basis for learning, not schooling, naturally built skills across all areas of life, making for competent, cooperative, independent children who were confident to participate, as well as critical thinkers and problem solvers. That all happened naturally - they didn't have to be taught how to think or study or learn. Cool eh?
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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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