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!
Reading Costs Nothing
© Beverley Paine, 2004
Unlike a GameBoy or Playstation , which will entertain your child for hours but at considerable cost, reading is free. There are a thousand stories waiting to be devoured at the local library... If she hasn't already got one, give your child her own library card as a special present. Make a library bag together using material the child has picked: how about a leather library bag to excite a reluctant reader? You may need instructions to work the leather, but you'll find them in a book at - you guessed it - the library!
If you have never visited the library, or remember them as musty smelling places from your childhood, you're in for a treat. They've changed. And they're noisy now. No more tiptoeing around worrying about upsetting the librarian. Children are welcome and accommodated for. Most libraries have regular story telling or reading sessions, often with art and craft activities, as well as visits by authors and a program of exciting activities for young and old. There are tapes, videos, DVDs, CDs, and sometimes toys and games to borrow. You can access the Internet, type a letter and print it out, or send emails to your friends in other countries...
This is a place you will want to spend a few hours in every week. Don't trek down there by yourself: make weekly visits a ritual for the whole family. This reinforces the importance of reading by making it a habit the whole family can share and celebrate. Grab a handful of books, find yourself a comfy corner and sit and read to your children, or browse through their selections. Talk to the library staff. You'll be surprised by how much they know about books and authors and many other things besides. And don't forget to ask about special services, like computer instruction, access to the Internet, how to do inter-library loans, how to use the catalogue, if there are any author sessions coming up soon, how to join the Friends of the Library, if they have any regular activities for children, and so on!
If your children see you talking to the librarian and asking him questions about anything and everything they will soon emulate your example and begin to use the library as the powerful research tool it is. I can't think of a more powerful educational tool than a library brimming full of books and linked to the Internet!
After a family trip to the library, make a ritual of placing the books on a special library shelf at home. This way it's less likely that the books will be mislaid when it comes time to return them, and it let's everyone see what others are reading. That way you can share and swap stories about the books you've borrowed. This is a great way to help your children broaden and refine their taste in books.
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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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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
The opinions and articles included on this website are not necessarily those of Beverley and Robin Paine,
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