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Can I Teach my Schooled Child at Home?

© Beverley Paine

"My 12 year old son is at present between schools but, in any case is in need of extra tutoring work at home. Do you know of any web sites that has good free worksheets in English and Maths which he could with little supervision."

The most successful students are those whose parents take an active interest in their education. You're definitely on the right path!

I don't know, off hand, of any specific resources for worksheets you can use that are Australian based on the internet, but wonder if you'd had a chance to visit an educational supplier like Dymocks or Educational Aids Dominie? Workbooks aren't expensive and can save a lot of time in the long run. Contact any of these Australian homeschool suppliers, all of whom stock Australian written material.

If working from books isn't suitable, consider some of the computer programs that are available, for example NuMaths for maths. There are zillions of resources out there and my best advice is for you to get to a shop and see for yourself some of the range - you are sure to find something that will appeal to your youngster. The other option is to find a tutor in the 'weak' subjects in your local area. A good teacher might only be needed for an hour a week - an excellent investment, if you can find one. You'll find tutors advertise in the classified section of local newspapers, or you could pin a note to your local community noticeboard.

I prefer an unschooling approach to education which focuses on teaching and learning through passionately pursuing one's interests and hobbies and taking an interest in what's happening in the world and local community around me and getting involved. It's amazing how holistic this kind of education can be, with the kids 'absorbing' skills in every subject area with little effort. I've written several articles about unschooling and natural learning which you'll find listed in the Articles Index. Or use the search function to find specific articles on each subject.

Written by Amy Silver and Grace Llewellyn (author of The Teenage Liberation Handbook), Guerrilla Learning is packed with ideas on how to give your children a real education - with or without schools. Revolutionary and inspiring, Guerrilla Learning explains what's wrong (and what's useful) about our traditional school and shows you how to take charge of your family's education to raise thinking, creative young people despite the constraints of traditional schooling.

In a nutshell, Guerrilla Learning means taking responsibility for your own education." It means supporting your children to think clearly and seriously about their goals, interests, and values, then act accordingly. It's about being encouraging your children to emulate your example of thinking, reading, discussing and creating, and continuously engaging in the world of ideas and culture. The authors show how parents can help their children can get a real education by helping the child find something about which they are interested, and proceed from there.

The process includes five phases:

OPPORTUNITY
Don't just expose your kids to life's possibilities (arts, science, history, community, etc.) without overdoing it, the parent should also stay passionate and involved in learning. The enthusiasm will be contagious.

TIMING
If your child is not progressing according to some school bureaucrat's schedule, don't panic. Not every child learns at the same speed. Early bloomers may need extra stimulation to keep them interested. Late bloomers may simply need time and extra help.

INTEREST
Honour your child's passions, even if it something of which you disapprove. Children are her to grow into the best person they can be, not what the parent or anyone else thinks they should be. Also know when to back off.

FREEDOM
Give the child the chance to take on projects and solve problems. Make it clear that promises are expected to be kept, and also make clear the consequnces for broken promises.

SUPPORT
Be there for your kids. Supporting children does not equal martyrdom. Check to see how much support they need or want. Make sure their goals stay theirs. Well-being is most important.

You'll find the book on Amazon or any good online bookstore.

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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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