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

HomeAbout Blog Articles Curriculum Resource Directory Shop Facebook

Download our FREE The Educating Parent Resource Directories today! Plus... more FREE resources!

Free download a quick guide to getting started with homeschooling and unschooling by Beverley Paine The Educating Parent in this excellent Resource Directory


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
Australia's original homeschooling manual from veteran home educator Beverley Paine, how to write your own learning plan and curriculum to meet your child's needs
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
Introduction to
Home Education
  National and State
Support Groups
  Yearly Planner, Diary & Report Beverley's Original Home Ed Manual Series of How To
Parent Workbooks

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

Looking for support, reassurance and information?
Join Beverley's The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook online group.


Letter to HEA members 4th May 2018

Beverley Paine

I regret that I am unable to continue in my role as a Home Education Association management committee member and have therefore resigned.

I had hoped to stick around until the 2018 AGM and was considering nominating to continue to support the association on the committee; however I am incredibly disappointed and saddened by the behaviour and comments of some prominent HEA members on social media, particularly comments that cast aspersions about my character and that of my daughter.

For different reasons we independently joined the management committee in March this year because we care deeply about the association and its members, as is evidenced by our ongoing commitment to its South Australian Chapter.

I have served the home educating community for most of my daughter's life - and because of this, because of the time I spent helping other families get started with home educating, organising camps and excursions, seminars and expos, she has already given enough of her time to the home educating community - 30 years of her life - much more than the people that are criticizing the legitimacy of her position on the management committee. It is despicable that they question her values and commitment to home education and suggest that we think and act as 'one person'.

She continues to demonstrate the same deep concern and interest in promoting and supporting home education as I do: as a mother of three, she actively organises home educating groups, excursions, activities, and very successful camps.

Her family is a fully paid up member of the Association in their own right. Shame on those members - it saddens me to think that people I have long considered as friends would think and act this way.

In addition, I wish members to know that I am not, nor have I been, misled in my understanding of the issues concerning other members of the Home Education Association Inc as has been suggested by some members. My actions are the result of deep consideration of incidents I personally witnessed, as well as from information derived from the official records of the Association. I am fully capable of coming to my own conclusions, and I acted with integrity on those conclusions.

As a past committee member I was aware of the provision in the constitution for the committee to elect members to fill casual vacancies. In early March I asked to be considered to fill a casual vacancy on the management committee until the AGM as I was concerned that the resignation of committee members had left it with low numbers. I know how hard it is to manage an association as large as the HEA, with the level of services and support it offers, with only a few committee members.

At any stage any member of the association could have chosen to support the HEA by asking to fill a casual vacancy - it would have offered them access to committee business in hand; the opportunity to present their arguments and opinions; the ability to suggest, move and vote on motions. Getting involved in a direct way, as I did, is invaluable to an association such as ours.

Early in 2017, as a founding member of the South Australian Chapter of the HEA, I asked the administrative staff of the association for contact details of members living in South Australia so that our HEA SA committee would be able to invite them to participate in our activities: I was very firmly informed that, to protect members' privacy, HEA members' details, including email addresses, are not accessible by anyone other than admin, that the only way I could make contact with members in SA is to either include a notice in the monthly newsletter, request admin to send a members' only email to South Australian members, or to request admin to forward emails to individual members as required. Thus it has been my understanding since early last year that the members' database is only accessed by admin. Committee members, subcommittee members and volunteers do not have any kind of direct access to the database. This has been a practice and policy followed by the HEA at least since the beginning of 2017.

In February 2018, in my role as HEA SA Secretary and State Delegate, in the HEA general business discussion forum I mentioned my concern regarding the declining South Australian membership statistics s tabled each month in the management committee minutes. A volunteer replied saying that the statistics published were inaccurate and didn't reflect the actual number of SA members. Upon being asked how she knew this by one of our admin team, one of the committee members said that she and the volunteer accessed the database on a regular basis. Given that I had been informed months earlier that only admin had permission to access the database, and that other committee members had personally confirmed to me, it was a surprise to discover that this committee member and a volunteer were regularly accessing it.

As HEA SA's State Delegate I liaise between our committee and the management committee. Reviewing management committee meeting minutes in October to prepare a report for our next HEA SA meeting, I noticed an invalid vote had been allowed to take place. Through the volunteers general discussion forum on GSuite I asked the management committee to clarify the voting, asking in particular which members are eligible to vote on motions at management committee meetings, as my understanding of paragraph 44 of our constitution allows only committee members to vote at committee meetings.

Not following appropriate voting processes has been common practice at management committee meetings in the past, confirmed by my subsequent review of past minutes (access to view requested by me to admin). There is a pattern of not recording motions and voting patterns as legally required, demonstrating a lack of understanding and knowledge of how to manage and run meetings properly by the leadership within the management committee.

It needs to be stated here that in in the 2017 AGM Minutes the outgoing President, Secretary and Treasurer in their Annual Reports contained adverse comments regarding management, mentioning that from early in 2016 it became apparent that the governance and financial aspects of the association had not been 'well-managed' for a considerable period of time, and that much work had taken place during 2016 to ensure that the association did not lose its incorporation status (it came close to being wound up), and that the focus in 2017 would be on ensuring that responsible and good governance would be a priority.

Accurate records are essential to the sustainability of an organisation that seeks to be recognised as operating professionally within its field. Minutes and reports need to include accounts of the business of the association. Taking notes and writing brief reports to be included in the minutes of the association concerning any business or communication conducted by HEA volunteers is not an onerous and difficult task. This knowledge accumulates over time and informs the membership of the work that is done and the direction that the association takes on their behalf. It also informs future volunteers so that duplication of tasks and past mistakes can be avoided.

I remember helping to create and edit the committee and volunteer handbooks when on committee during 2007-2010, as well as contributing to the Codes of Ethics and Conduct, Event Organizer's Guide, etc. Newer policies were being written, edited and reviewed by management committee members throughout 2016 and 2017. Through access to discussions on the committee only forum after I joined the committee in March this year, I learned that this work was not fully appreciated or supported, and was frequently frustrated, by a minority within the committee.

At the same time work was progressing on the development of a new website. The HEA website operates (unseen by members) as the association's virtual office. Effective practical management of day-to-day business of the association was being seriously hampered by deficiencies in the current website. The new system would ensure greater accountability and transparency and would enable the association to operate on a more professional level. Progress on work on the website was blocked by a minority of the management committee by obfuscating discussions and derailing motions.

Criticism has been made of my motion while on the management committee to cease audio and video recording of committee meetings. My rationale for doing so is that the written minutes are a sufficient and legal record of the business of the association. They include the monthly Treasurer's report and financial statements and a record of motions and voting. I was also concerned while it is possible to ensure that the privacy of members could be protected in the written record, ensuring this is also the case with video and audio records is an additional and potentially onerous task for the secretary, and as the only legally required record are the written minutes, it would be an unnecessary task. Furthermore the recent sharing of screenshots of the business of the association publicly on social media led to the real possibility that the video and audio recordings could be similarly shared, putting at risk the ability of the association to meet its legal requirement to protect the privacy of its members.

For the same reason - protection of members' privacy - the ability to hold information confidentially within the association has been recently established after some members requested that information and communications that they consider to be of a confidential nature and to be shared only with named members be stored in secure confidential manner by the association.

The need to appropriately manage risk with relation to privacy concerns also led to the decision to stop using Facebook groups and chats. Facebook has proven itself to be an insecure platform with respect to privacy. Just because a communication tool is incredibly convenient doesn't mean it is an appropriate one to use. The website redevelopment is providing a secure platform for members to communicate, one that meets the standards required by our Association, and will be made available to all members once the new site is established.

I will not answer questions or address the matter of the expulsion of two members from the association. HEA members have been advised that the management committee was requested by NSW Fair Trading to provide information relating to this matter, and that the association has received notice of legal action taken against it.

Please take the opportunity to vote - all members should have by now received an email with information on how to vote for the members nominated to fill committee positions. If you are a current member and have not received the voting information, please check your junk mail, and the settings on your HEA account, and if you still can't find it, send an email to contact@hea.edu.au.

I will continue to support the association in the way that I have always done, deeply considering the issues and responsibly with integrity in line with my values. I remain the Chair of the association's Constitution Subcommittee and the Secretary of its South Australian Chapter. I offer my support as a mentor to any of the incoming management committee members.

see also:

Beverley Paine, HEA member 2003-2004, 2007-2018, regular volunteer, served on committee and various subcommittees, state chapter foundation member, newsletter editor, magazine editor and producer. She revoked her life membership after a hostile takeover of the association by a small group of members in 2018.


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."

image is 3 workbooks for parents set on a background showing bushland, DIY home ed curriculum planning, recording, evaluating, write your own curriculum
Want to learn how to write your own education plans
to suit your unique children's individual learning needs?

Or you are looking for quality curriculum and teaching tips...

Comprehensive 3 workbook 'how to home ed' course
covering the essential skills you need
successfully home educate your children



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

Tap into Beverley's experience
through her books

"Your books, your blogs helped me beyond words... they helped me to find comfort in knowing it is ok to choose exactly what is best for my family." Nisha

"Your books and information are mind blowing and already I am feeling good about this new experience." Diane

"Your guidance, understanding, support & words of wisdom changed our lives." Leslie

"I feel specially inspired by Beverley's words and, the more I read her comments, the more inspired I feel, since my need for support, respect for different parenting styles, and information are fully met." Marijo
purchase Beverley's practical and common sense books on homeschooling and unschooling
Connect with Beverley and ask questions
through her online The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook support group

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.

Advertise on this site.

say goodbye to home education registration stress with this ultimate rego bundle from Fearless Homeschool

make homeschooling a lot easier, zero to homeschool's excellent course is here to help

Australia's best home education consultant, let Tamara Kidd guide and help you prepare your home education registration application or review

Twinkl downloadable Home education resources helping you teach confidently at home

Online science lessons for primary school aged home educating children

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 Record Keeping 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.
Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2023.