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

HomeAboutBlogArticles Curriculum Resource DirectoryShopKids PagesFacebook


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
Introduction to
Home Education

Download for FREE this huge collection of links to online Australian homeschool and unschool support groups in this special The Educating Parent Resource Directory by Beverley Paine
National and State
Support Groups

Join Beverley LIVE at the 2021 online Australian Homeschooling Summit, don't miss out on her workshops, What is my child learning and Inside Beverley's classroomJoin Beverley and friends
LIVE in February at the
2021 online Australian
Homeschooling Summit!

But you don't have to wait until then - grab this limited-time special offer for the best Aussie homeschooling help you can get! Get the recordings of ALL 78 workshops + 15 bonus sessions from the 2017, 2019, and 2020 Australian Homeschooling Summits.

Get instant lifetime access for only $49!

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


Developing Natural Learning Strategies for Dealing with Children's Difficult Behaviours

by Beverley Paine, Aut 2012

Today I was given some examples of a child's behaviour that challenged her parent and was specifically asked for ideas about what to do and how to handle each situation.  Another friend gave some great ideas which I've tried in the past with my children and which have worked, so instead of adding more ideas I thought about the issue from a philosophical or general perspective: what is really needed and being asked of here?

All parents have wisdom to share: we learn from our experiences and our experiences tend to be fairly similar in most things. What I love most about the internet is how it allows this wonderful conversation to develop between people - a rebuilding on the social networks that were destroyed by two world wars, famine and disease and the embracing of the 'nuclear age' in the first half of the 20th century.

My first instinct when asked parenting questions is to consider ages/stages and then transitions. We definitely go through stages of development at roughly similar ages throughout life and just knowing that can take the 'heat' off some of our concerns. I've found that my expectations that my child will behave in a certain way often have less to do with her development and more to do with what I perceive other people will think. This is my schooling combined with a schooled parenting framework (my personal childhood conditioning) coming into play: my self esteem was hijacked in my early years and subverted to serve this thing society likes to label 'socialisation' but which is actually a mere subset of the actual socialisation process. 

So, first thing for me to be - as a much wiser, older parent who has seen the error of her ways and observed many other families - is to step back and try to work out what is really going on in each situation. I would examine the nature of the child and ask myself:

Is this behaviour coming from her centre, or is it reflected behaviour, projected behaviour, is she merely 'trying out' something she has seen? Children, especially very young children, mimic behaviour. They can learn some powerful and lasting habits this way! We all do.

If it is coming from her centre and you do not value it, question why you don't. Are your values solid, are they centred? Regardless of the answer: Can you change? Do you want to change? Can you accommodate her personality, needs, abilities, disposition, temperament, likes, dislikes? Our children challenge us to grow and develop. I like to think that is why we bring them into our world, to teach us what we need. It is so easy to ignore the lessons brought to us by strangers, parents, friends, books, movies, nature, life... Hard to ignore the lessons brought to us by our children!

Okay, you definitely don't like it, it's not helpful, it's not constructive, you've decided there isn't a lot to be learned from it (open your mind wider - there is so much to be learned on many levels in each moment from every experience): this is the time to develop strategies for either living with, changing, eliminating, or whatever, the offending behaviour or situation. Time to brainstorm with all the people affected (if possible). I love brainstorming because it doesn't get into judgment - it is a visualising, creative, imaginative fest where ideas are allowed to float to the top, get jotted or drawn on a sheet or paper (whatever allows everyone to do the recording too). No idea is good, bad, silly or brilliant. They are merely fodder for the strategy fest that is to come next. I tend to select strategies and solutions that 'build', have somewhere to grow and usually support or solve other problems at the same time. That's my permaculture framework learning coming into play.

The hard part, the bit that often isn't fun and no one wants to do or maintain, is working at the strategy. Habits take a while to form and can take even longer to change. Change requires diligence and persistence as well as constantly reminding oneself of the desired outcome (continue the dreaming and visualising), together with celebrating the process of change. We celebrate progress, we celebrate where we are at, we celebrate the journey; we celebrate simply being as well as doing, without judging ourselves on the journey or our progress. We observe and note what is happening and from there decide what to do next. We work on acting rather than reacting and we do this by sharing, by talking, reflecting and dreaming together, developing and trying different strategies together. We can do this with people of any age, from tiny babies to toothless grannies!

To summarise: observe and understand the inherent nature of the child. Understand, from a sympathetic perspective, her needs. Wants respond to and arise from our needs. See the need . Meet the need. Wants often set up oppositional or defensive reactions in ourselves and others: learning to uncover the need driving the want dissolves this tension and allows us to genuinely and sympathetically help people meet their needs.

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."

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

Join Home Education Australia group: one space to share information, resources links and

You are invited to join Home Education Australia!
One well-organised space to find and share information,
resources links and more to support all home educators
across Australia, including a directory of posts and threads , where you can source all your needs related to home education and find what others are seeking and finding within Australia.

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

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.

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

Connect with Beverley and ask questions
through her online The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook support groups.

purchase Beverley's practical and common sense books on homeschooling and unschooling
"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

Online science lessons for primary school aged home educating children

Teach Maths in the way that children learn with MathsUSee by MathsAustralia

30% discount for purchases from ReadyEd Publications when you use the code 'homeschool' at  the checkout

Help your child to learn how to play music with our app and children's books to them started - I Learning Music and Fun in the Music Room

Stocking all of Beverley Paine's, the educating parent's, books!

Click here for music lessons for students with autism and other needs Spectrum Music Studio

music lessons tailored to your home educating students needs in Joondalup Perth WA the only homeschool reading development which combines neurosciencebased exercises with voice recognition technology, platypus power reading program Click here to go to Learning Enrichment Studio Fostering Students Academic Potential

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.

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!

Beverley's books are excellent for building confidence as a home educator says Tracey, homeschooling mum.

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 Other: just for fun, general, etc 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 1999-2021.