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!

What is Unschooling?

The Unschooling Unmanual , edited by Jan and Jason Hunt

reviewed by Beverley Paine

Comfortable - at long last - with the idea of homeschooling, the American media is now turning its attention to the concept of unschooling. Displaying the lack of research typical of talk shows, unschooling has recently been heralded by commentators as irresponsible, even labeled as 'unparenting'. This is despite the easily available volumes of information produced over three decades by veteran home educators and other prominent proponents of autonomous learning.

The Unschooling Unmanual , edited by Jan Hunt of the Natural Child Project , is a relatively recent and much appreciated arrival on my bookshelf. This slim volume of easy to read essays is peppered with quotes by John Holt, the school reformer who, in the 1970s, turned his back on schools and coined the word 'unschooling'. Holt's early books How Children Learn and How Children Fail are still considered essential reading for undergraduate teachers and his later work helped to coalesce a handful of home educating families into an international homeschooling movement. Informed by Holt's insights into how children learn and his critique of why schools fail children, the authors within The Unschooling Unmanual bring to light the how and why of unschooling as well as offer explanations for why it works so well.

The cornerstone of unschooling is undoubtedly 'trust'. The willingness to let go of the fear that not teaching children will damage their development, and to trust that that they are innately capable of learning, shines in each essay, as does a commitment to continually questioning what does and doesn't matter. Unschooling is learning 'on the job' in contexts that are relevant and meaningful to the learner. The authors see the parents' role as facilitating this process, rather than controlling or directing it. There is a sense of freedom and joy experienced by the authors as they observe their children as competent and autonomous learners; an unburdening of anxiety and expectations that don't really belong in a family and community centred lifestyle.

Unschooling is 'a way of life' is a theme repeated throughout the book. Education isn't segmented into subjects. Children's appetite for learning ranges across many disciplines. It may look disorderly and chaotic, in much the same way as a jungle does, but everything is interconnected, with a deep structure that is hard to pin down but promotes amazing growth and development. The joy at experiencing this abundance comes through in many of the essays. It is obvious that the authors reflect long and hard at what is happening as their children learn without the need to be taught, perhaps driven by their need to understand and explain to others who ignorantly dismiss unschooling as 'unparenting'.

The Unschooling Unmanual touches briefly but convincingly on the politics of school, familiar territory for readers of John Taylor Gatto or Wendy Preisnitz. Daniel Quinn proposes that far from failing, schooling achieves its goals, though these do not reflect the goals of parents who entrust the care and educational development of their children to the school system. Jan Hunt demonstrates why abandoning school methods of regulating a child's learning achieves the goals of parents and their children. The Unschooling Unmanual reveals what unschooling isn't: a recipe for educating a child. However the reader isn't left without a definition or a path to follow - the essays are very clear on what does work and why it works.

At less than 100 pages, The Unschooling Unmanual is a quick, enjoyable and easy to digest read, a great introduction to a liberating, though often challenging, way of living and learning.

Read another review of this book.

back to Book Reviews

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.