My Unschooling Grass is Green Enough
by Beverley Paine
I had this problem for more than a decade... Every time I hung out with school friends (and half of my best friends were teachers!) or friends whose children went to school, or even when we hung out with ardent homeschooling friends, the proverbial educational grass looked so much greener than in our unschooling lawn...
Thing is, that educational grass was a typically a monoculture, great at doing one thing really well - being grass. Our unschooling lawn wasn't really a lawn, it was a messy garden, with interesting weeds crowding out those educational blades of grass, and fringe plants threatening to invade and take over. And it was full of interesting critters that assumed the messy abundance was actually a cornucopia, a veritable pantry...
That monoculture grass needs careful management to stay looking great. This includes timetables for cutting and fertilising - lots of regular input of imported and expensive resources. Unschooling is permaculture in action: inputs relate to what the elements within the system actually need when they need them.
Unschooling naturally embeds education, it doesn't focus solely on education. Education is what happens when we get on with life. A busy, constructive, attentive and curious life packs so much education into every moment.
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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 supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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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
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