Feeling Overwhelmed By Choice
© Beverley Paine
"I have just removed my children from school. I have found my local home eduacting group so feel we have sorted to the social side out, however I am
overwhelmed by the choice of resources for home educators! Can you
suggest some places to start?"
Feeling overwhelmed by all the information about home educating and how to get started? You aren't alone - we all do in the beginning!
When I began homeschooling, I had the completely opposite problem. There were no support groups or resources readily available. This meant I had to start from scratch, which although a considerable task was the very best place, even now. It helps to clarify the mind and instead of simply applying a pre-made curriculum to your children's education in the same that schools do, you build a curriculum from the ground up that is individually tailored to your family's needs and to educational needs and learning styles of each of your children.
Last year, Tamara, from Tutor Your Own Child, helped convert my Getting Started with Homeschooling book, the first I published, into a series of three Parent Workbooks, essentially a course designed to help you to build and write your own curriculum for your children. It's available from my daughter's online bookstore, Always Learning Books bookstore.
It's completely understandable that you want to get your children studying at home as soon as possible. But in reality you really don't need to rush this - you have lots of options for keeping your children occupied while you take your time to look around and find educational resources and materials that suit each one of them.
If your children are at the early childhood education stage of life and still learning to read and write you'll find lots of practical tips and suggsetions in my Language Series booklets. I wrote them because all too often 'fill-in-the-blank' student workbooks, although keeping the kids busy, don't teach parents or children much about the why and how of what they are learning. The same goes for maths books. I've co-written a small booklet about learning maths naturally - taking advantage of the everyday opportunities such as cooking, making and creating, etc that naturally teach your children maths.
While you are in this phase or working out what style of education you will adopt you can purchase some simple and inexpensive workbooks from the local bookshop or department store to help you feel confident that your children are learning at home. If you're like me you'll find that learning happens regardless of what method or resources we eventually adopt - they're little learning machines! Many families abandon the school style of teaching altogether, finding that their children still learn the equivalent, perhaps not in the same
sequence, but after 12 years most if not more of the curriculum is covered this way.
I'd start by looking in shops like your local newsagent and picking up a 'homework' or equivalent student workbook at your child's level. These usually cost less than $10 and will help your child feel that they are still doing 'schoolwork'.
Then, pick a one or two topical themes, or a subject in which each child is interested, and do a project or unit study about them. I give some valuable tips and guidance on how to do this in my Write Your Own Unit Studies booklet.
Make sure your children are getting enough time to play with their toys, run around the garden and park, play outside games, sing and dance, play board, dice and card games - all of these with and without your company. Add attention to chores and you have a naturally rounded curriculum that will help set the foundation for whatever method or style of home education you eventually adopt.
Finally, document your daily homeschooling progress in whatever way works best for you. There are a lot of really great homeschooling planners designed by experienced Australian home educators to choose from, including the Always Learning Planner, Diary and Report. These will give you confidence if your state registration includes an annual review, or to present to not-so-sure-you're-doing-the-right-thing relatives! .
Even though you haven't settled on your preferred curriculum just yet, it will show that you are teaching your children at home. And us home educating mums and dads are always changing up what and how we're helping the kids learn, finding new resources. How we start homeschooling is never the way it looks months and years later! Most families aren't using the same method in six months after starting so spending a lot of money at this stage is unwise.
I have hundreds of articles on my Homeschool Australia website on many
different aspects of homeschooling, drawn from my experience educating
my own children, now aged 21 to 27. You are also most welcome to join
our friendly online support groups https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheEducatingParents and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HomeschoolAustraliaFAQ
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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." Vanessa
"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!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"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
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"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." Gythaa
if you want to learn
how to write your own education plans
your unique children's
individual learning needs?
Or you are looking for quality curriculum and teaching tips...
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
3 ESSENTIAL STEP BY STEP GUIDES
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!
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"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
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"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
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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