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.


You Can't Fail as a Homeschooling Parent

© Beverley Paine

No one said homeschooling was easy. But it isn't hard either. We tend to make it harder for ourselves in lots of little ways. Lack of confidence in our ability as teachers of our children arises from many incidences each day and can easily overwhelm us. When things aren't working out as we plan we often feel like throwing in the towel and start talking about sending children to school. We feel like homeschool failures.

At times like this the things you need to do, first and foremost, is find an affirmation that you can breathe in and out - something that reminds you to relax and take it easy - say "we've got all day" or " Rome wasn't built in a day", or "she's only six, we've got another twelve years to get this licked".

I use affirmations whenever I can remember to take the tension out of the day. I don't use them often enough, however! I know when I need to use an affirmation - it's in those emotionally charged moments when I'm in danger of reacting, rather than consciously acting. An affirmation is like a deep breath - it gives you that moment in which to pause. Counting to ten - slowly - while breathing can do the trick too. You need that space, more than anything else. The affirmation simply begins the reprogramming of unhelpful self-talk process.

Consistency begins by recognising the most important thing (just one!) you'd like to change right now. It would be beneficial if the whole family could agree on this one thing. Everyone can then contribute to making sure you all change that one thing - having support is crucial when we're trying to change entrenched behaviours.

Name that one thing. You could even put up a poster on the fridge with the new behaviour loudly proclaimed! Keep words and thoughts constructive (positive).

It's more effective to think about what we want, as if we already have it, than to dwell on what we don't want or what isn't working. Often naming what we want is enough to manifest it.

Forget about happiness. None of us are ever going to be consistently happy! It's okay to have blue moments or blue days. It's okay to be quietly reflective.

Sometimes my children were/are quietly reflective and I'd interpret that as unhappiness and intervene... Not happy then! Or sometimes when one of us is learning something challenging we get frustrated with ourselves, we may get cranky or cross, and even short-tempered. When I saw my children struggling like this I would intervene - uninvited of course - and then they'd get cross at me!

We need to accept that learning isn't always about having fun or being happy. Sometimes it's about loss, reconciliation, compassion, grief, coming to terms with inability... and so on.

Happiness is something that if we take care of ourselves will come naturally. Adequate sleep, rest, relaxation, laughter, exercise and nutritious food underpin happiness. Aim for those and you'll soon be on your way to happiness.

Happiness, as I'm currently finding out, doesn't arrive without balance though. That's the where stability and consistency come into play in the homeschool.

Cultivate a habit of avoiding extremes. We naturally do this in the physical realm but forget the importance of finding and maintaining mental balance. I'm terribly guilty of this: I have 'highs' where I get oodles of impressive work done and dreadful 'lows' where I simply sit and wait for the mood to pass. I'm learning to resist the urge to be ultra busy when I'm hyper - learnign to relax more, especially at those times though it's so tempting to stay busy and productive - so that I don't dive too low. As a result I'm able to do much more all the time. It's a huge relief, and - wonder of wonders - I'm naturally happier!

Reacting, especially emotionally, drains energy. Time is the healing potion. When you're reacting, step back, sit down, hug yourself and your children. Stop whatever you are doing and have a playful moment, even if you don't feel like it.

Break the cycle. Go outside. Remove yourself to break the building tension. Don't engage if you feel that you're reaction is going to be anything other than constructive... And try to view the situation objectively - stand outside of yourself and look on, perhaps as God would...

One of the tools I used to help me relax about 'education' was thinking about what schools really offer. Not what the ideal school would offer, but what the real school, the one down the road, does offer every day. I'd look at society - with all it's never ending and never solved problems and realise that school has to cop a large part of the blame. It's at school that the apathy that permeates society sets like concrete.

For every caring 'leader' that comes through the system there are nine people who are lost, haven't got a clue how to solve the big problems in their communities, or even in their personal lives.

When have schools ever delivered the curriculum they promise to all their students? We, and many other natural learning families, have discovered that even if you don't 'educate' your children, they will be on par with most of their peers at age 18. Any 'education' that you offer you children as a homeschooler is therefore a clear bonus!! You can't fail.

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.