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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More on Laziness

by Beverley Paine, also see Born Lazy?

In my mum's time untidy and dirty meant the same thing. They often go together. But not in my house. I'm not the cleanest housekeeper - I do what I do to keep us safe and well but my house isn't spotless and I don't spend hours each week cleaning. Never have and we haven't been sick or died because of that. I'm sure my parents never felt comfortable in my house because it wasn't spotless. And what's more, I notice when houses I visit aren't spotless and feel uncomfortable for a moment until I remember that this is a conditioned cultural response and I moved on from believing that rubbish years ago.

I am, however, a tad fixated on tidiness. Nothing my parents did prepared me to be a tidy person, though it was obvious it was hugely important to them. My house as a young mum looked great until you opened a cupboard or the spare room! The spare room is where everything that usually lay littered in every room until visitors were scheduled to arrive got inconveniently put, in huge disarray! When my youngest was two years of age we moved into a converted garage, five people living in a space 6 metres by 6 metres. I learned how to be organised and manage space effectively so that we could all achieve our goals without too much conflict. After that we moved into a small two bedroom house, slightly larger than the one I lived in as a child.

With laziness it's a judgment, not an action. I'm rarely idle, even as a child I was busy doing something, though my parents, especially my mum, described my daydreaming as "off with the fairies" in a derogatory tone (a good place to be, by the way, for someone that wanted to become an author). I suffered hugely from being labeled as lazy, not because I wasn't doing something someone else thought I should be, but because what I was doing was judged as not worthwhile. Consequently most of my life I've been questioning if my existence is worthwhile: especially as I haven't done anything that my parents valued highly. And yes, I'm still getting over that.

All my actions and efforts are worthy, worthwhile. Some are obviously more useful and helpful than others. And some make life more difficult for me or others, but that doesn't make them not worthy or worthwhile or less so than other experiences, particularly because of the lessons I learn as a result of these so-called stuff ups or unpleasant times. In fact, I think I learn more from these situations than I do the fun, interesting and enjoyable experiences. Or perhaps it is because I really want to avoid getting myself into those situations again and realise that it's up to me to make that happen, not others.  

So many of us are victims of the shaming approach to parenting and educating. It's a powerful tool to use to control and manipulate others and still, sadly, very popular. What I love about unschooling is its rejection of this need to control others: tools like shaming gradually disappear from our lives.

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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.

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I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
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Welcome to the World of Home Education
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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

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'.

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