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
Home Education
  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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Creative Solutions Using Goal Setting

© Beverley Paine

The problem of logistical hurdles seldom prevents me from doing whatever I want to do. Over the years I've developed a practical way of thinking that says that if something isn't happening then perhaps the obstacles are the lessons I need to focus on, rather than the desire. In this way I've learned much about my limitations and how to accept them. From that platform of self-knowledge I either concentrate on my existing skills and talents, and improve them, or work out gentle ways to challenge and extend those areas of limitation.

Where logistical hurdles force a complete stop to all activity in a particular direction, I examine the causes objectively and usually find that the desire was inappropriate or unrealistic in the first place.

For example, I wanted to go to University in my late thirties, but the course I chose necessitated learning on campus. This meant renting a house in the city and coming home on weekends, at considerable inconvenience to other family members. It was also something we couldn't afford. Over three months I worked hard to create this reality, but eventually came to see that I wasn't ready to push in that direction yet. In fact, the desire to study at University was externally driven. I could achieve the same results by self-education without leaving home and with greater efficiency. While searching for a creative solution to facilitate my desire I realised what motivated me and what I really wanted to achieve. I learned more about myself.

Since then I tend to analyse logistical problems and ask 'why have I created this block', acknowledging and celebrating the way logistical problems naturally slow down the headlong rush down paths that may not suit, or may be externally motivated. If it becomes apparent that I actually want the original goal, that it is my heart's desire, then logistical problems seem to evaporate in a cloud of creative solutions that pop out of nowhere. Things happen, and quickly. The universe provides, abundantly. I trust in this process. Experience has shown it truly works.

Often conflict is embedded in the process. Things seem to go wrong, or become difficult. I celebrate conflict as the sharp end of the learning curve. If I am observant and objective enough I learn rapidly. With a positive attitude, problems become solutions, usually to issues I hadn't recognised initially.

This positive attitude was tested to the limit with my sister's illness and eventual death. Instead of focusing on unrealistic goals I did my utmost to learn the difficult lessons this time provided for me. Each obstacle challenged me to grow. Often I couldn't see the nature of the lessons until I reflected upon them much later, with an objective mind. My sister's life became a gift of self-development for me, in ways that I had not anticipated.

Setting realistic goals is important. A few years ago we made a wish list at New Year. As the year passed we crossed off the goals achieved. All but the most unrealistic, like winning the Lotto or owning a $500,000 car, were realised. The desire for a swimming pool was realised in an unexpected, but delightful way. We purchased an adequate inflatable paddling pool for $60 that we could all sit in and cool off - the real desire behind our need for a pool.

Last year I found a list of long-term goals I'd recorded in 1986. Ninety percent of those goals have been achieved. The ones that weren't didn't accurately reflect who we were as people, but were externally motivated by the need to conform or please others. The same holds true for our lists of tasks we complete on a daily basis. The realistic ones get done. I think this is because we continuously reflect upon who we are, what we want, and what our limitations, talents and abilities are. We also reflect upon how the world affects us, through peer group pressure, media exposure, cultural rituals and so on. Sorting out the externally driven motivations and desires from the personally meaningful internally driven motivation and desires can be difficult, but it certainly makes a difference to how and when goals are achieved.

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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."

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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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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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