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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Future Proofing and Unschooling

by Beverley Paine

Today a worried mum posted on one of the forums I regularly visit concerned about how her children will obtain the necessary qualifications to enter university or the workplace if they unschool. She finds herself lying myself awake at night wondering about how it will all work out.

Most of us who have been unschooling (or homeschooling) for a while have a different way of thinking about our children's futures: watching our children learn, discovering how they learn, helping them develop their interests, abilities and talents grows in us the confidence we need to feel reassured about their future.

At the heart of our 'future worries' is often a fear that we, as parents, might 'fail' our children. In myself I know that this fear was driven by my worry about what others will or do think of me. My wounded self-esteem lay at the centre of my wakeful nights. I would wake up looking for 'better' resources that would allay my concerns, sure that if only I had the right approach, right curriculum, right program, right resources my children's education would be successful and I'd be an okay parent.

The truth is - and was - I was already an okay parent. My children were doing fine. Sure, we had up days and down days and days where it seemed that the children were doing nothing and learning nothing. But taken as a whole I am amazed.

If you add all the 'school work' my youngest did between the ages of 5 and 17 and compressed it, it would amount to less than a year's worth of 'work'. There is no way that at age 24 anyone can tell he only had one year of 'education'. Playing all day, every day, doing his own thing, helping his parents do their own thing, learning taking care of himself, his environment and others has not harmed him at all. He's currently working his way through a Certificate IV in Information Technology, Networking. I've met other unschooled young people who at his age have already one or two university degrees, or who are running their own businesses.

Unschooling is a valid and successful pathway to adult life.

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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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"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

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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.

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