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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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
Australia's original homeschooling manual from veteran home educator Beverley Paine, how to write your own learning plan and curriculum to meet your child's needs
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
Introduction to
Home Education
  National and State
Support Groups
  Yearly Planner, Diary & Report Beverley's Original Home Ed Manual Series of How To
Parent Workbooks

Support Groups: National SA VIC NSW QLD TAS ACT NT
Registration Guides: VIC NSW QLD SA WA TAS ACT NT

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Does Homeschooling Work For Teens?

© Beverley Paine

"I am writting to you to ask you for some information about homeschooling. My dad said before we decide on anything I have to get enough information to convince him why I should do homeschooling and what the advantages of my education being better are if I to learn from home and what the best homeschooling programe is to go with."

How and what you would like to learn is important in working out what kind of home educational program you wish to go with. It's up to you. Most home educating families write their own learning programs tailored to their children's learning styles and family preferences. For example, a musically talented child will focus on learning music, while still learning basic literacy and numeracy skills and aiming for good general knowledge and life skills. A young person interested in astronomy will design their learning program around maths and the sciences, while maintaining a relationship with the world of fiction, possibly through movies, tv and computer media instead of books...

I've read some excellent books written for parents and teenagers about homeschooling that encourage both to consider education in a wider context than schools tend to - to embrace education as a life long pursuit not aimed at getting a job but at fulfilling one's potential in every direction. One of my all time favourites is The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn. She and a friend also put together another book called Guerrilla Learning. They may have been written a couple of decades ago but the information, inspiration and reassurance never get old!

See my other article - Create Your Own Highschool Curriculum This Year - for more information about different ways to approach learning at home at this age.

Does homeschooling work?

The number of research studies demonstrating the effectiveness of home learning for academic and social success increase each year. For many families the unintended outcomes far outweigh perceived academic benefits. These following homeschooling outcomes, combined from national and international research including John Peacock's major Australian study, The Why and How of Home Education in Australia , have been consistently listed:

  • closer family relationships, with children playing a more positive and significant role in family life, and an emphasis on family making skills;
  • parental personal fulfilment and increased learning opportunities for parents as well as children;
  • greater understanding of personal responsibility;
  • natural fostering of co-operative and team behaviours;
  • an empowering process for both parents and children;
  • greater freedom from arbitrary time limits such as terms and year levels to pursue educational activities and interests;
  • increased opportunity for one to one interaction with more skilled peers or parents, which lead to cognitive challenges and gains;
  • children are able to ask more questions, with more time allowed for answers to be found, leading to increased motivation for learning;
  • children and parents engage in more complex language in the home learning environment compared with classroom settings, and this improves the intellectual and language development of children;
  • children have been consistently shown to rate equal to or higher than average on standardised achievement tests in the USA ;
  • home educated children's self concept has been shown to be significantly higher than schooled children, indicating that home education does not socially deprive children but produces socially well adjusted young people;
  • children are less peer oriented;
  • increased involvement in community activities;
  • greater attainment of independent learning skills, self-motivation and organisational abilities.

Schools promise of these outcomes but fail to guarantees achievement for all students. Schools continue to fail students, citing many excuses - family problems, individual learning difficulties, lack of adequate resourcing, under-financing by funding bodies. Homeschooling families find failure an unacceptable outcome. The drive to succeed in the homeschooling endeavour is very high, with parents continuously searching for better and more successful methods, resources and outcomes. Unlike teachers, parents are directly accountable to the homeschooled student, in an immediate way, every day. Problems with education are not left to fester indefinitely. Homeschooling allows considerable flexibility in delivering excellence in education - flexibility schools can't match.

My own children, homeschooled since 1986, and aged 24, 22 and 18 at the time of writing this, were allowed to follow their interests and participate fully in family life and activities, which included building, landscaping, running a small business, gardening, household chores, work experience, voluntary and paid employment during their teen years. At 24, April now manages a retail/service shop; at 22 Roger is employed and a landlord of two investment properties; at 18 Thomas manages my many websites and assists me in running Always Learning Books, as well as taking care of our menagerie of almost 100 furry and feathered pets! People often commented on how mature and sensible my children were as they were growing up, and find them respectful, cooperative, and knowlegable about a huge range of topics. [Edited 2022, I now have five grandkids - all home educated! And April took over the reigns of Always Learning Books over a decade ago!]

An 'alternative' education based on your personal and family interests, hobbies and passions is worth exploring - matching what and how and when you learn to your intrinsic motivation to learn, rather than jumping through arbitrary hoops to pass exams or land a job or place at university. Living life, rather than learning about it, is the best education to be had and has proved effective over millenia. You can still learn from books, do courses, and learn from teachers who are passionate about what they are doing. The difference is that you get to choose the quality of experience and materials... The learning resources available to you are infinite and amazing, starting with your local library and community.

Good luck on your life long educational journey!

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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."

Want to learn how to write your own education plans to suit
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Welcome to the World of Home Education
and Learning without School!

It's been and gone but you don't have to miss out! Purchase the full set of recordings of the 2022 Australian Homeschool Summit, expert help from experienced Australian home educators, all you need to get your started and continuing on your homeschooling or unschooling adventure with your children! Over 30 workshops, downloads and more.

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

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 group.

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

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.

complete comprehensive step by step program that teaches you how to craft your ultimate homeschool

Australia's best home education consultant, let Tamara Kidd guide and help you prepare your home education registration application or review

Online science lessons for primary school aged home educating children

30% discount for purchases from ReadyEd Publications when you use the code 'homeschool' at  the checkout

reset your mindset for homeschooling success with deschooling essentials a quick course to help build your confidence as an educating parent

200 pages of templates, planning pages, tables, prompts and record sheets to organise your whole year!

subscription video art lessons by Australian artist

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.

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Beverley's books are excellent for building confidence as a home educator says Tracey, homeschooling mum.

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