Home About Articles Books Curriculum Resource Directory Advertise Kids Pages 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.

Any Unschooling Regrets?

© Beverley Paine

It's hard to be rigid about definitions of unschooling, natural learning and hoemschooling because I honestly believe that all families approach home education by using all of these approaches in a wonderful homogenous blend. In some areas learning is definitely natural, in others it is through unschooling, and with others it definitely looks exactly like what children would be doing at school.

I was recently asked if I had any regrets about unschooling our children. Elsewhere I've written extensively about how we actually educated our children, and my book, Learning in the Absence of Education gives a reasonably detailed account of a decade of our homeschooling life. We aren't purists to any particular approach to homeschooling.

Throughout our journey as home educators I foudn that as unschoolers we learned from books, even text books. Always have done. I also wrote lesson plans and we did structured learning in all subject areas. I believe that we use whatever tools we need to do the job.

I tended to look for tools that I know will work for my individual children. Recognising which tools they were took time - in my case several years as I'm a bit of slow learner (my arrogance got in the way - I always figured I knew best before I found out that I, too, am a learner!).

At some stage I began to learn about learning styles and that helped quite a bit. Thomas challenged me as he developed his language skills later than his older siblings. What worked with April didn't work with Roger and then Thomas. I was forever learning new tricks!

What sets unschoolers aside from school-at-homers is that we don't rigidly follow a curriculum written and devised by someone outside of our family. We may use a set of text books, or a set of books, or documentaries. These can offer what I called a 'backbone' to our learning in a particular area, which would then branch out in many different directions, with us accessing a huge range of varied resources.

My haphazard recording - conducted throughout our homeschooling adventure - was paramount in building confidence that even when we weren't doing 'bookwork' the children were learning in leaps and bounds.

John Holt advocated learning from books and mentors and tutors - and he apparently coined the term 'unschooler'. What he was against was coercing children to learn from books, or only using books - as they did in schools way back.

I do my level best not to have regrets in any area of my life. If I had my time as a homeschooling mum over again, I'd do things very differently. But I'm happy with the outcome nonetheless. We achieved my goals - the ones I wrote in 1986. I'd give our homeschooling assignment a B+ if I had to grade it. Which is something to be proud of.

If I had known then what I knew now - something none of us can do - I'd probably have given us an A. That's my problem though. We did what we did and how we did it for a reason and life worked out the way it did for a reason and we're all learners with lessons to learn each and every day. The reason is that we learn by trying, by stumbling and by thinking about the problems, coming up with solutions and trying them out, and stumbling again, and trying again, and again and along the way we learn so much about the nature of life, of ourselves, of the natural world, of others, of the materials we use and need, how it all interacts, and why we need to keep learning, and helping each other 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."


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'.

Advertise with The Educating Parent

Access all the content plus BONUSES from the Australian Homeschool Summit

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

Find out more about Brain Builder by clicking here!

Link to Educate and Assist for home educating families 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

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!

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.