© Beverley Paine, 2004
When we first began homeschooling I had scrapbooks for each child in each subject area. Eventually we narrowed it down to just one book each, as well as one for family outings and homeschooling excursions. Holidays, usually camping trips, warranted a special scrapbook which we took with us.
In the scrapbooks we pasted anything the children had written or drawn, usually on the backs of letters we'd received in the post. I dated these entries and often wrote a small anecdote explaining the motive or origin, if it wasn't immediately apparent. The children never produced copious quantities of written work, but it was clear from the growing pages of entries that they were progressing steadily in their language development.
Alongside their work we'd paste anything of note that had happened. This included celebratory menus the children had put together, bus and tram tickets, movie tickets, photographs, brochures of special events or exhibitions, places we had explored, dozens of lists, and pasted-in or hand-drawn maps. Sometimes I'd coax the children into writing a paragraph or two; other times I would write a small explanatory caption. Scrapbooks are a great way to preserve family history.
Scrapbooks can be made on any topic or theme: you could capture your child's sports or music career; her love affair with a particular toy (our children have a fabulous record of their LEGO years); be a complete year-long unit study on the zoo; be a permanent record of your children's investigations into local weather patterns over time; a 'friendship book'; whatever. It's up to you and them.
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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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