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.


A Personal Examination of Socialisation

by Beverley Paine, Feb 2014

I was thinking about the subject of happy to be alone yesterday - actually it's been a bit of theme of my thoughts for some time now, in reference to me learning and accepting things about myself. But thoughts about my children slip in there too, mainly because of the unusual childhood they had (little or no school).

My parents and my partner's parents were happy with their own company but considered themselves social people, which basically meant that when they went out they got along with people with whom they found themselves chatting. Friends that came to visit them were rare and they seemed okay with that frequency level. Robin and I find ourselves in the same pattern. Our parents went to school and we went to school. Our children had a different experience in that regard but nonetheless it looks like they've adopted a similar structure and frequency to their social life.

I find myself asking, "Is this normal?" It isn't what is portrayed as normal and when I'm out and about on the weekend, say at the beach on these fine hot nights, notice clumps of same age(ish) people hanging together. More often than not these clumps are either all male or all female, though the ones with grey hair tend to have a mixture of both. I am wondering if this reflects the pattern set in school, and if so, why did I miss out? I was never one to belong to a girls group at school: I hung out with a mixed group of kids that didn't fit into any of the other groups. Was this because of the way my parents behaved socially?

I had a social life outside of school all the way through, first through Brownies and then Guides, and for most of my childhood through an active rock and mineral club which featured lots of field trips and camps with other families. No one could say I was deprived of social opportunities: as kids me and my siblings played with the other kids in our street after school. But here I find myself, happy with my own company for most of the time, content with companionship of my partner. My life is full and busy and I mostly socialise with my children (except online of course - I have a very active online social life!)

I don't feel 'normal' though. I keep thinking that something is missing from my life, that it's wrong and unhealthy to live like this, not being social with a large range of people, not wanting to be out and about meeting and making friends, getting to know almost everyone in my street and neighbourhood, etc. I feel like my social skills are inadequate because I don't have lots of friends (outside of cyberspace), just lots of acquaintances. And that set me to wondering, where do we learn our social skills?

Many people argue that school is where children are socialised. There's no question we are socialised at school: my concern regarding that is the quality of the social interaction and the motivation behind the kind of socialisation children experience there. But perhaps the primary socialising agent in our lives is our early life with our parents together with the effect of our inherited genes (including epigenetic).

I was taught to be well mannered though perhaps not polite. My parents encouraged me to be polite but I think I didn't notice enough of it in action: I definitely grew up suspicious of the concept. I wasn't taught how to be interested in what other people are doing or saying. Looking back now over fifty years of friendships most of us seem intent on hearing what we have to say, telling others what we're doing, how we responded to similar situations, etc. Being genuinely interested in the life of others isn't something that was modelled to me in my formative years or reinforced and encouraged through experience during my adult years. So where does one learn how to do that? It is something I'm learning to do now, by being mindful. It doesn't come naturally to me and I suspect that once upon it did but that natural ability was trained out of me.

I watch babies and toddlers and little people and although there are beautifully self-centred they are also amazingly social creatures, studying others intently, soaking up the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate life among others. That's how I know I once had the ability to notice, listen, pay attention and be mindful of what is important to others: as a very young person it was important to me, I wanted to belong, to be like them. And maybe that's what happened: I became like the people I was closest to as a child. Not the school kids in my class, nor my teachers, but my parents.

I didn't reflect on this when my children were young. I was too busy bolstering my rejection of school and its socialisation paradigm, plus getting on with living with all its complications and demands. I'm not sure what my reflections are saying or pointing to now. But I'm thinking that being mindful and genuinely attentive and caring about the lives of others, what they are doing and thinking and feeling, is worth pursuing and living and modelling: it feels like the missing jigsaw my personal socialisation puzzle.

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.