Welcome to The Educating Parent Beverley Paine's archive of articles about homeschooling and unschooling written over a period of 30 plus years

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Free directory of Australian homeschooling and unschooling support groups organised by national, state and territories

Plan, record and report all in the one document! Always Learning Books planners available in each year level to suit your homeschooling needs, includes curriculum checklists
Let Beverley and friends help you design and write your own curriculum to suit your child's individual learning needs, learn how to prepare lessons, unit studies and more, record and evaluate your children's learning in this series of 3 parent workbooks developed on Beverley's popular homeschool manual Getting Started with Home School Practical Considerations
this Always Learning Year 7 Plan is everything you need to get started a comprehensive collection of curriculum aligned resources and links to activities, lesson plans and unit studies for your year 7 homeschooling student
Introduction to
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  National and State
Support Groups
  Yearly Planner, Diary & Report Series of How To
Parent Workbooks
Yr 7 Learning Plan

Support Groups: National SA VIC NSW QLD TAS ACT NT
Registration Guides: VIC NSW QLD SA WA TAS ACT NT

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'Where will you find the time to teach your children six hours a day?'

An extract from Answering Objections to Homeschooling, a booklet by Beverley Paine

“How do you answer all the questions people ask? I’m sure, like me, you’ve come across situations like these below…

Scenario 1: homeschool mother with three children meets friend in shopping mall. They both have children the same age, youngest five years old. The homeschool mum doesn’t have much time; her children are becoming restless and she promised them they’d have time to play in the park before heading home. School term started three weeks ago…

Scenario 2: Your school-aged children load groceries onto the checkout at the supermarket. The assistant mumbles his usual greeting and then notices the children and asks, “What, no school today?”

Scenario 3: Grandma and Grandpa finally corner you when the children run outside to play. They’re concerned about Jordan’s reading ability. His spelling is appalling for an eight year old. Shouldn’t he be writing cursive by now? When are you going to send him back to school?

Scenario 4: Your sister is a school teacher. She doesn’t want to intrude, but she’s concerned that Anna, your homeschooled eleven year old, doesn’t have any friends…

Scenario 5: Waiting for a bus, an elderly woman strikes up a conversation, at first with approving interest, but as she talks she reminisces about her own schooling and eventually begins to loudly denigrate home education in all its forms…

With a few minor changes in detail we’ve all been here, searching for answers that will send the concerned person away content that we’re not abusing or neglecting our children. Some days we are lucky to have the time and energy to patiently answer the questions and concerns. Other days are not so good. We feel the energy sap from our bodies and minds as we mumble the same old responses. They begin to sound lame, our confidence drops…"

Questions similar to this one (one of many covered in the booklet):

"'Where will you find the time to teach your children six hours a day?'

Who's teaching them six hours a day right now? Take away the time needed for lunch, recess, gathering the children into classrooms, settling them down, managing unruly children, roll call, attending to notices and reminders… Most of the remaining hours are spent working in groups, doing individual assignments or completing exercises in work books. How often does a single child receive fifteen minutes of one-on-one quality time with a teacher a day? If we sit down and work with one child for half an hour with one subject every day we’re already doing more for that child than most teachers can hope to do.

Real conversations between adults and children are absent in the classroom, and it is these conversations that help to advance children’s understanding and knowledge about the world. Children need and want honest, unhurried, serious conversations about topics important to them; they want to be able to daydream and share their imaginings with others; they want time to be themselves, to be alone, to think about everything they have learned so far. They need to have their questions answered or at least attended to: if you don’t know the answer it’s okay to say “I don’t know. I’ll find the answer later if you still need it.”

More than anything children need to participate in the real world beside people living busy, productive and meaningful lives. Most of what children learn they learn by watching, listening, having a go: children truly learn by example. What we do every day as parents running our homes offers amazing learning opportunities for children. Our hobbies and interests, our work – and the hobbies, interests and work of other adults – intrigues children. By inviting our children to join in and help us and share our interests and work, we naturally cover many areas of the school curriculum without any extra effort.

This is one of my favourite answers to this objection:

“Where will you find the time to teach your children six hours a day?”

“Learning happens all the time at our place. It doesn’t start at 9am and finish at 4pm. We have all day to cover the curriculum. Sometimes we spend hours on one subject. There are no bells telling us it’s time to stop learning!”

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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."

image is 3 workbooks for parents set on a background showing bushland, DIY home ed curriculum planning, recording, evaluating, write your own curriculum
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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


Getting Started with
Home Educating Series of


#1 Create Your
Own Curriculum

#2 DIY Lesson Plans
& Unit Studies

#3 Recording and Evaluation Made Simple

$10.00 each (includes postage)

let experienced home educators Beverley, Tamara and April walk you through HOW to create a learning plan that builds on solid foundations that works for YOUR family AND ticks all the boxes for home educaton registration with part 1 of this getting started with home educating serioes of parent workbooks, Create Your Own Curriculum!
Let experienced home educators Beverley, Tamara and April walk you through HOW to create a learning plan that builds on solid foundations that works for YOUR family AND ticks all the boxes for home educaton registration!

To see the full range of Beverley Paine's books on homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning visit Always Learning Books

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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'.

The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.

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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.

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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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