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

Essential Step by Step Guides

#1 Create Your Own Curriculum
#2 DIY Lesson Plans & Unit Studies

Getting Started with Home Educating Series of
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!

Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent 
April Jermey, Always Learning Books
Tamara Kidd, Tutor Your Own Child,

Looking for support, reassurance and information?
Join Beverley's The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook online group.


Studying the Seasons

© Beverley Paine, 2011

"I am thinking for next year doing something like the four terms divided into/aligning closely with the four seasons. Now I am all inspired but have NO idea where to start. Does anyone have any links to Homeschooling based on the seasons for dummies?"

I admire the Steiner/Waldorf focus on the seasons for lots of reasons but didn't find out about the different ways Steiner education promotes this such as a seasonal book display and changing nature table, or the brilliant nature journal idea promoted by the Charlotte Mason approach to home education, until my children were in their teens. With our personal focus on life-long natural learning our focus on learning about the seasons was very basic: we simply spent a lot of time outside.

As a young mum I discovered that the easiest and quickest way to inspire activities related to the season is to get outside and experience them fully! Only by doing this will we and our children begin to notice the big and little changes that mark the progress of the seasons. There is SO much to learn - almost too much to focus on, so start simple and small. Start with a daily walk along the same path - do this for a year. You'll be amazed at how, as the weeks pass, you'll notice your children pointing things out to you and asking questions that you've never noticed or thought of before. Because children see so much more than we do and are way more curious! :-)

Camera's (and phone cameras make this so much easier) add another dimension to your walk. If you snap photos of what you see you can upload them to a blog. Ask your children if they'd like to write something about their walk. If they aren't keen writers, you type what they say. They might draw some pictures - photo those and upload them too. Or they might start a nature collection (kids love to collect things!) Talk about what is and isn't appropriate to collect and why (from ethical, environmental and safety points of view). As well as close up photos take photos of the landscape and distant views as well as the sky and weather. Notice the position of the sun in the sky and how that changes.

If you live in an urban area notice the changes in how people behave and the different tasks that each day, week and season brings. Say hello to people you see, start conversations if that is appropriate. 

Okay, we've covered (without thinking about it): Health/Physical Development, Technology (photography, information technology), English (writing, listening, speaking, communicating), Science (biology, meteorology). and Society and Environment.

Going for a daily walk will also clear the mind, make it receptive to creative thoughts, energise the body, and provide ideas and materials for activities. It will also help our children build a sense of place and belonging to their environment and community.

We don't really need to bring a lot of activities into our children's lives to help them learn: we simply need to tune into what is already there, what is important to keep them healthy and safe now and into the future.

Another brilliant way of focusing on the seasons is gardening. This doesn't have to be done on a large scale. Children love playing in large overgrown gardens full of nooks and crannies and wonderful places that inspire the imagination, but they also enjoy working on child-size projects which only take an hour or two over a few days to create such as miniature succulent or moss gardens, growing bulbs in bottles, carrot tops in pots or saucers, beans or peas up bamboo tripods, creating simple worm farms, etc. Children may feel overwhelmed with large gardening projects so make sure you work with the children, encouraging them to help you by giving them developmentally appropriate responsibilities and choices. Give them their own patch of garden - my father did this when I was four and I've gardened ever since, albeit in small and not so successful ways for a couple of decades... 

Going for a walk and gardening every day naturally develops an understanding of the seasons and how it impacts on our lives and everything else in the environment. Add to this exposure to resources such as books and documentaries and your children will grow up like mine - respectful of the environment and appreciative of all living things. Our country lifestyle made it easy to connect with nature - the result of a deliberate choice we made before our children were born. But if, for whatever reason, we'd found ourselves living in the suburbs I am convinced we would have done our best to get outside every day!

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

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.

have your best homeschooling year ever by watching all of the aweome videos from over 30 Australian Homeschool Summit workshops featuring Beverley Paine, Kelly George, Tamara Kid, April Jermey and more

Over 30 presentations!

2021 Australian Homeschooling Summit

For $29 you get lifetime access to recordings
of all the workshops, all associated resource guides, dDownload all video and mp3 files
Amazing homeschooling help!

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

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

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

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

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.

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.