HomeAboutAdvertiseBooksResource DirectoryCurriculumArticlesContactKids PagesFollow Beverley Paine, The Educating Paine, on Facebook



Tap into Beverley's
Educating Parent
experience through her books

You are being redirected to Always Learning Books where you can purchase Beverley Paine's books on how to home educate your children

 


Download your free copy

Download Beverley's free The Educating Parent Resource Directory for information about getting started, support groups, blogs and an extensive list of books about homeschooling and unschooling



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

Beverley's books are excellent for building confidence as a home educator says Tracey, homeschooling mum.

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

Welcome to the World of Home Education and Learning Without School!

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!

Unschooling or Natural Learning?

by Beverley Paine, Sep 2016

Do you use the term unschooling rather than natural learning these days? If so, what made you change? I've noticed some people separate natural learning and unschooling. I have always considered them the same with the term natural learning more likely to be used in Australia.

I use all the terms: 'homeschooling', 'unschooling', 'natural learning' and sometimes 'life learning', but probably the one I find myself typing the most is 'home educating'.

I think my audience is so wide and diverse I need to mix it up.

I am at heart a natural learner but find it much easier to emphasise our role as parents in "helping children identify and meet their needs" instead of getting hung up on what we call how we do that. It's my way of describing what I think the essence of being a natural learning unschooling educating parent is... And I also think that in the majority of cases home educating parents lean towards allowing their children more choice and freedom in what and, more particularly, how they learn than is available to schooled students.

For me, natural learning is what happens anyway, despite what we do, or think we do. It's the learning that is always going on the background. It can be conscious learning too, as we grow aware of how we learn, and then work with that to achieve our goals. Becoming aware of the learning that is occurring helps us build some measure of control over the process so that we can learn more efficiently and in beneficial ways.

On the other hand, unschooling is a conscious decision to reject the whole paradigm of school-based education, especially the compulsory parts of it. I regard natural learning and unschooling as separate things: one we naturally do anyway, the other is a choice.

I also believe that children at school are also natural learners. It's just that they are also learning things they, and their teachers and parents don't know they are learning, or even want them to learn!

So, unschoolers are natural learners but natural learners do not have to be unschoolers. What, an unschooler, if your child decided to go to school?

Everyone learns naturally. Learning is as natural as breathing. There are things that get in the way of it, slow it down, hinder it, but quite often what is happening then is that we're learning things that will make our lives more difficult, both in that moment and in the future. But we're still learning something on some level, perhaps not cognitively, perhaps emotionally, or about values and attitudes, or establishing habits that we might not find useful or helpful later.

My daughter went to high school, first part-time and then full-time to obtain her high school certificate. I considered her a natural learner. I remember having a great conversation with John Peacock about this in 1999. I think I convinced him she was still learning naturally at school, because she was using it as a resource to learn things she wasn't able to learn at home. She also started part-time employment at the same age, and I believe this was also driven by the same need. It took me a while to identify the need behind her choice: until then I was confused and concerned about her choice, judging it. In that I wasn't acting like an unschooling parent, I had forgotten to trust. She, however, was still operating as an unschooler. Even though it wasn't conscious knowledge and understanding on her part, school was simply the resource she chose to learn what she needed to learn. And these weren't necessarily subjects offered through the curriculum, or things the school had decided to consciously teach her either.

In short: if a child decides to go to school of her own free will, and acknowledges that it is her choice to stay or leave at any point, and she is empowered and enabled and supported in this choice, she is both an unschooler and a natural learner. School is simply another resource. John Holt made it clear in one of his books that we don't need to discard text books, etc, and that it was how we approached and used these resources that mattered.

I also define unschooling as learning without school. When I do that, in my mind, school is a way of thinking about learning, rather than an actual place: it's an institutionalised way of thinking and being. I think taking the compulsion out of schooling changes the whole nature of schooling. Makes the buildings and what happens in them akin to centres of learning, where learning can happen individually and collaboratively.

Unschooling requires us to be attentive parents. We look after our children's basic needs, and encourage and enable them to learn how to look after themselves. That's our job as parents. Our educating role, as John Holt would say, is to get out of the way of their natural learning, stop intervening and interfering and trust in their innate ability to learn whatever it is they need to 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!

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.

"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

A gift of any size, small or large, is greatly appreciated.
By contributing, even as little as $1, you are helping to inform, encourage, reassure and support parents live closer, happier lives with their children.

I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
If you experience difficultiess accessing any page can you
please email me the link? Thank you.

 

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'.

Advertise with The Educating Parent

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.

Access all the content plus BONUSES from the Australian Homeschool Summit

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

30% discount off ReadyEd Publications for homeschoolers until 31st December 2016

Find out more about Brain Builder by clicking here!

Link to Educate and Assist for home educating familiesEducating the World One Student at a Time AOIA Online Education

Supervised school of distance education

click to go to the Sunshine Collective providing ‘Brilliant Boxes’ to families of pre-schoolers and primary school aged children, throughout Australia

Belinda Cowie Whisper Waters Educational Resource for Home Educating FamiliesSTEM tutoring

Click here to go to Home Learn cover the 'core' with room to explore! Sydney Dance/Sports Classes for home educating students

Maths Mentality helping parents understand primary school mathematics

 

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!


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 faceThank 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.
Site Map
. Text on this site CC License: BY-NC-ND , Images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2017.