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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Free directory of Australian homeschooling and unschooling support groups organised by national, state and territories

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
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
this Always Learning Year 7 Plan is everything you need to get started a comprehensive collection of curriculum aligned resources and links to activities, lesson plans and unit studies for your year 7 homeschooling student
Introduction to
Home Education
  National and State
Support Groups
  Yearly Planner, Diary & Report Series of How To
Parent Workbooks
Yr 7 Learning Plan

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

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Beverley Paine and Home Educating Workshops, Seminars, Conferences and Camps

This page outlines useful information for event organisers interested in me participating at their event.

It's hard to get me. As a highly sensitive person with a few chronic conditions I am mindful of my need to balance my inner and outer lives, particularly social engagements. While I love interacting with people and acknowledge the superior learning that accompanies being together and sharing experiences, due to chronic health issues I become quickly exhausted by social encounters. But every now and then I'll feel okay and commit to coming to an event because I absolutely love them.

Hence I am tentatively and cautiously open to considering invitations to speak or present workshops at events that align with my values and interests and which allow me to share my passion and joy for this lifestyle. The decision to attend will be based on the state of my health at the time.

My first home educating speaking engagement was at the inaugral Adelaide Home Education Conference in 1995 and since then I've enjoyed visiting many parts of Australia and talking to thousands of homeschooling and unschooling families at conferences, seminars, trade fairs and workshops.

Ultimately I feel have nothing to say that parents don't already know: I see my role providing reassurance and to help parents build confidence to home education. I hope to help them give themselves permission to listen to their hearts and reconnect with what - deep down - they know to be true: that children need and want their parents to be involved in a hands-on way with their education. My goal is to help people peel away the layers of conditioning that compels them to put their faith in the voice of 'experts'. I am no expert, I am simply a mum that stayed at home and played and lived with her children... That's what I share with parents - our experiences as a family learning and living together, finding ways that work, overcoming obstacles, and growing as individuals within our family and community.

As a speaker I draw on over three decades of experience as a person supporting and promoting home education in Australia. The 'big picture' is important to me and frames my experience of home education. My aim is to answer parents' questions in a genuine and honest way, drawing on my personal experiences as a home educator as well as what I have learned from others. I believe it is important to build empathy with the audience in order to understand their needs - my aim is to help them find solutions that work for them and their families, not simply tell them what I have done or what worked for me. For this reason I enjoy working with smaller groups rather than large audiences.

My approach to home education is a broad one that encompasses the right of families to educate their children in whatever way works best for them. I do not advocate any one style as more 'right' than any other, although I describe myself a natural learner and unschooler. As a home educating family we moved through many styles and approaches, including 'school-at-home' and 'unschooling'. I am sympathetic to religious and lifestyle philosophies different from my own. My desire is to help families find the confidence that lies within them so that they may home educate successfully.

Small workshops suit my comfort zone best, although I am willing to talk to large groups of parents. I'm best when answering questions rather than giving formal, planned speeches but can do both. I am able to give my best when allowed time to connect with, talk with, and respond to individuals and small groups of people. Circles work well because I'm able to connect with each individual in the group better, although this usually restricts the size of the workshop to no more than fifteen. Talking and writing are two of my favourite ways to learn and the workshop experience allows me to learn and receive as well as give.

When giving a talk or workshop I generally chose topics which challenge me, so that I too learn something profound from the experience. The people I interact with are also my mentors... I still have much to learn about parenting and education.

Parents often find the opportunity to talk to me one-one beneficial and I am happy to do this if time allows. If there is room and provision, I am also happy to answer questions while sitting at a table signing my books during breaks.

I have had extensive experience giving workshops and speaking at homeschooling conferences since 1995. These have included formal keynote speeches as well as structured classes offered through TAFE as well as small and relatively unstructured workshop sessions. I have personally organised and managed seminars and homeschooling expos. At the 2012 Australian Homeschool CampFest I offered individual sessions up to one hour long for parents as part of their CampFest registration.

Over the years I have learned what works best for me when going to conferences and seminars. Although I may appear publicly for a couple of hours, the amount of work that goes into preparing a speech or a workshop presentation is considerable and because I care about my audience and want to meet their needs in the best way possible, I take my role as a workshop presenter or speaker very seriously. A one hour speech or workshop usually involves at least eight hours of planning and revision.

In precise terms, this is what I can offer:

1. For a conference setting, up to 3 workshops or question and answer sessions, of not less than half an hour, but not more than one hour each, on any of the following areas of interest:

  • getting started with home education, legal requirements, different approaches, resources, etc.
  • staying motivated (learning styles, etc) and organised (avoiding burnout, etc)
  • learning naturally (unschooling, informal learning)
  • writing and publishing (self-publishing, being published, fiction, non-fiction)
  • the educational advantages of a do-it-yourself lifestyle and pitfalls to avoid

2. Question and answer session as part of a group panel.

3. I am happy to attend dinners and other social events organised as part of the event.

4. I will consider participating in events other than home educating events.

This is what I require:

1. Full reimbursement for travelling costs for myself and my partner, including air fares, bus or taxi fares to and from venue and accommodation, or full or partial (negotiated) reimbursement for fuel costs if I need to drive to and from the location.

2. Full reimbursement for accommodation. Type of accommodation to be negotiated. I normally accept billeting with home educating families (we have a campervan), sleeping in a private bedroom; or can stay in a caravan park cabin or a minimum three star rated hotel/motel room.

3. A free table (one trestle table will suffice) where I can sell and sign my books, with access for power so that I can plug in my computer and play a slideshow of our home educating life, together with a specified time of least half an hour (other than lunch and coffee breaks) to sign books and talk with people individually.

4. If any of the sessions or presentations at which I appear are to be video or audio taped and subsequently sold a negotiated royalty as well as appropriate attribution including links to my web sites and contact details. If there are to be distributed freely I require rights to do the same through my online networks, with attribution to the creators included. If any professional photos are taken of me at the event I would require copies emailed or sent to me, for me to use at my discretion.

5. The opportunity to get to know the organisers in a relaxed situation either before, after or during the event.

6. An advertisement in the event program promoting my website and books. Please let me know the parameters (size, black and white or colour, etc). If no ads are included, then I require the program to provide my website URL wherever my name appears.

8. The availability of a volunteer who will take care of my table when I am unable to be present, if needed. Usually my husband will accompany me but if he also presenting workshops we will need someone to supervise the table. This person will be responsible about keeping track of what is sold, charging the correct amount of money and making correct change, etc. I will provide a calculator, a list of prices, plenty of change, etc.

9. If I am travelling to the event by plane, I will need someone I can ship boxes of books to and who will transport them to the event and then ship them back to my home after the event. I will reimburse the cost of shipping.

If all of the above sounds like a perfect match for your event, and if you can provide the things I've asked for, please contact me. If your event works with my calendar, I'll do my best to make it!

Past events have included:

  • 1995 Adelaide SA, Home Education Conference
  • 1996 Adelaide SA, Home Education Conference
  • 1997 Adelaide SA, Natural Learning Seminar (organised)
  • 1998 Victor Harbor SA, TAFE Home Education Workshop series
  • 1998 Adelaide SA, Home Education Fair
  • 1999 Adelaide SA, Homeschool Expo (organised)
  • 1999 Perth WA, Homeschool Seminar
  • 1999 Sydney NSW, Home Education Conference
  • 2000 Adelaide SA, Home Education Expo (organised)
  • 2004 Brisbane Qld, Homeschool Conference
  • 2004 Noosa Qld, Homeschool Conference
  • 2007 National Home Education Conferences (Alice Springs, Darwin, Melbourne, Portsea, Adelaide)
  • 2008 Auckland, New Zealand Home Education Conference
  • 2008 Perth WA, Homeschool Conference and Trade Fair
  • 2008 Adelaide SA, Exploring Approaches to Home Education Seminar (organised)
  • 2010 Albury NSW, National Home Education CampFest and Conference (organised)
  • 2010 Australian Homeschool Network Online Conference (co-organised)
  • 2011 Adelaide SA, Schools Education Expo
  • 2011 Albury NSW, National Homeschool CampFest and Conference (co-organised)
  • 2011 Airlie Beach Qld, Australian Unschooling Conference
  • 2012 Australian Homeschool CampFest and Conference (co-organised)
  • 2013 Not Back to School Australian Homeschool CampFest
  • 2013 March Australian Homeschool CampFest
  • 2013 Australian Homeschool Winter CampFest
  • 2015 Gold Coast, QLD, Nurture Parenting Natural Learning Conference
  • 2017 Australian Homeschool Summit
  • 2019 Australian Homeschool Summit
  • 2020 Australian Homeschool Summit
  • 2021 Australian Homeschool Summit
  • 2023 Australian Homeschool Summit

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Workshops, seminars, conferences, camps

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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."

image is 3 workbooks for parents set on a background showing bushland, DIY home ed curriculum planning, recording, evaluating, write your own curriculum
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to suit your unique children's individual learning needs?

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Comprehensive 3 workbook 'how to home ed' course
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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


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

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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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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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