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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A Learning Naturally Curriculum for my Adolescent Son

© Beverley Paine, 1997
(first published in Getting Started with Homeschooling Practical Considerations)

A few years ago I brainstormed a list of objectives I'd like my son, Roger, to achieve in his early adolescence. As time went by I realised these reflected a longer growth and development time frame, and added some more objectives as the need arose. It forms a pretty basic curriculum, covering many life skills. To this we added interest generated activities, some that he came up with and ones we developed as a family. These included solar technology, computer upgrade and repairs, modelling using LEGO, medieval weapons, astronomy, circus skills, South Australian historyand many others. A highschool equivalent curriculum for home education doesn't have to follow what schools do very closely. Covering the basics is essential and can be worked out using common sense. I did use the National Curriculum Guidelines in places to help me develop this, and to ensure that I was covering similar material and skills over time.

Basic First Aid, including CPR
•  What is good diet for me?
•  Why do I eat the food I do?
•  How healthy is "healthy" food?
•  Where does my food come from?
•  Additives to foods - how are foods processed?
•  What's my opinion on genetic engineering and food?
Getting Involved in Community Organisations
•  Trees For Life
•  Landcare
•  Local Exchange Trading System
•  Meals on Wheels (and other Senior Citizens Organisations)
•  Sport and Recreation
•  Wildlife/Conservation
•  Overseas Aid/ Human Rights
•  Health Promotion
•  Youth Issues
•  Arts
Visit Local Council, Parliament
•  Understand meeting formats and processes, decision making, planning and development locally
•  How and why rules are made, and do they work
•  How does this all affect me?
•  Do kids have any power, rights, how do they assert them if they do?
Understanding of different cultural practices in Australia
•  Especially related to current affairs, eg visit by Delai Lama
•  Ways in which different Australians practice and celebrate cultural heritage, eg visit exhibitions, celebrations, places of religious worship (with respect)
•  Look into historical causes of wars, etc, around the world - changing borders, politics, greed, religious, resource hoarding
•  form some opinions based on fact about Australia 's multicultural identity, population control, immigration policies
Positive thinking practice
Personal empowerment/ assertiveness training
Regular exercise program, recreation and sport
Conflict resolution strategies
Recognising and managing own stress levels and understanding causative
Camping and survival skills - bushcraft
Cooking for different occasions, different groups of people
•  Balanced, appropriate menus
•  Preparation, clearing away
•  Budgeting
•  Shopping
Maintenance of clothes
•  Basic sewing skills
•  Laundry
•  Shoe care
Telephone skills
•  Answering and making (all types of calls)
•  Emergency calls
•  Information accessing (consumer, information services, businesses, operator)
•  using the White and Yellow pages
Staying safe in the community
Peer pressure to conform
Unwanted attention
Invasion of privacy
Safety in the home and environment
Make a useful piece of furniture, a kid's toy - using wood/metal/plastics/fibre
•  Safe use of tools
•  Care of tools
•  Including power tools
Media awareness
•  Reading the "bottom line" - how what I am watching, reading, listening too is trying to sell me an idea or message and is it true or true for me or true for all people?
•  The techniques used to "sell" ideas , Opinions and products (mass manipulation and control through technology and images, small bytes of information repeated, etc)
•  What do I want, what do I need - really?
How has the environment I live in changed - recent past, 50 years, 150 years, 1000 years, 10,000 years, 500 million years?
•  What do I think about this?
•  How is this environment different from others I know (visit and compare)?
•  What is it like in other countries
•  How does landscape (and climate) affect how people use the land
•  How are "borders" of countries determined
•  is colonisation a good/bad thing - is it happening in the world now, where, who were the first colonisers
•  What other species of life "colonise" and What effect does this have on the local flora and fauna
Gardening - make a garden
•  Use of plants (food, building, fibre, fuel, aesthetics, etc)
•  Wild foods, traditional uses across cultures (Aboriginal, herbal remedies)
•  Use of plants and indigenous plants in the area
•  Become involved in a conservation effort (why, how, where, effectiveness, responsibility)
•  Grow own food, including harvest, care, composting, chemicals, treatment (storage, preservation)
•  Become a Trees For Life grower
Start recycling and reduce consumption.
Do some simple science experiments in biology, physics, chemistry
•  Visit Investigator Science Centre, Museum, Natural History Centre
•  Start a natural history collection - identify and label, sort and classify (shells, fossils, bones, rocks, pressed plants)
Experiment with clay - raku firing (figures, sculpture, wind chimes, wall plaques, plates, pots, tiles)
Make something or things to sell at a LETS market stall
•  Organise your own stall at a local market
•  Organise a joint stall at another LETS region market
Become involved in writing for local publications - newspapers, local newsletters, magazines, youth publications
•  Letters to the editor
•  Responses to articles
•  What is good and bad in the area, how things could be better for kids
•  Creative writing - own poems, short stories, illustrations, puzzles, cartoons, etc
Begin car maintenance
•  Wheel changing
•  Oil and water
•  Basic repairs
•  Trouble shooting
•  Pull bits of engine, car to pieces and rebuild
•  Use of tools, including power tools
•  Visit a mechanics shop
•  Use of petrol/gas bowser
•  Car cleaning and care
Open a bank account
Organise home weekly budget for family or yearly one for self
Write personal an business letters
Filling our all sorts of forms
Personal journal on a regular basis
Dream journal writing
Keep own calendar
Demonstrate (and practice) proficiency in basic maths functions (plus, minus, divide, multiply) to four digits, including decimals
•  Times table, fractions and decimals
•  Using calculator
•  Be able to estimate with reasonable accuracy
•  practice in real life mental calculations (shopping, cooking, making things)
•  Accurate conversion in measurements (weight, capacity, length - eg. metres to kilometres)
•  Use spacial terms (geometric) to describe things (spherical, angle, parallel, etc)
•  Be able to draw to scale
•  read charts, graphs (weather, statistics, in media)
•  Read and interpret timetables
•  Read maps, flow charts
Devise ways to manage own time - stay on task, finish things, avoid distractions, making and meeting contracts and agreements to do things in a time frame - finding out what it is I really want to do
Understand what is happening to the adolescent body
•  How it affects moods and therefore relationships
•  How can we understand the hormonal effect to maintain harmonious relations (diet, activity, meditation, relaxation, understanding body rhythms and cycles, need for solitude and privacy)
•  What do I need to feel good and comfortable about physical changes?
Health and Safety around drugs, alcohol, tobacco, chemicals, food addictions - why? (disease and hazards)
Be able to use computers and technology in the local and other libraries to access information and resources
Use dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedias, atlases (and other maps)

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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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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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to suit the individual needs of their children.

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