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About Beverley, the educating parent...
A long time ago, in a town (not so) far away, a young couple contemplated the idea of home educating their five year old daughter and three year old son. Fast foward 30 or so years and this (still) young couple are proud grandparents, happy to helping this aforementioned daughter and son home educate their children.
As a grandma I'm super excited by the opportunity to enjoy learning about learning all over again as I watch my awesome grandchildren grow and develop.
I've tried to retire from this educating parent role several times but it's my passion, a vocation or calling. I haven't been able to retire yet... I believe education is critically important and that for many reasons schools aren't doing a good enough job for everyone and that they are failing way too many children. And if I can help one more parent find a solution that works for his or her child, well, I consider my day to be complete, my work done.
I began my career as a voluntary home education adovocate and support person a couple of years after we officially began home educating our children in 1985. There were only a handful of families in our state home educating their children (officially) back then and I drew us together via a regular newsletter which my family put together, printed and posted each month. I'm rapt that this newsletter continues to be produced by another home educating families some 30 years later.
I'm at my best when I'm encouraging and reassuring people that home education is definitely an option for them, that it isn't as hard or onerous or as challenging as they first think. I love helping people find their feet and their confidence as homeschoolers and unschoolers, and am convinced that learning outside of schools is efficient and child-friendly and can be incredibly successful.
Networking on social media and answering email inquiries keeps me busy but when I can I get back to working on revising my original home educating manual for parents Getting Started with Home Schooling Practical Considerations and writing new booklets. I think I have about 60 titles published so far, including one young adolescent novel (and another waiting for a final edit before sending off!)
I love to share my thoughts and insights regularly and hopes to bring the stories and experiences of other home educators onto the site as well - if you're a blogger or a writer and would like to add your experiences and submit an article to this site please contact me!
My aim is for The Educating Parent to become a premier resource offering reassurance and information for home educating families across Australia and beyond, tapping into decades of practical homeschooling and unschooling experience.
If you are a home educating mum or dad running a small business from home, or are an educational supplier or provider, please think about advertising on our site or in our widely distributed free Resource Directory.
Becoming a parent profoundly changed my views on education and parenting. As a teen and then a young woman I had very definite ideas about what and how children should learn but once I had children of my own I moved from a 'layering on' and 'filling the pail' view to one that works with and honours the nature of each individual child and situation.
I understand how important it is to support parents and help them learn and grow and feel confident about being parents, especially educating parents. There is no one right or wrong way to do this work: we're all different, in different situations, with different needs and circumstances. I'm here to help you identify and meet your needs, your way.
My educational experience includes playgroup coordinator and volunteering at the local kindergarten, and later, a four year voluntary stint working in an alternative classroom with children aged 5-13 years during which time my confidence in home education grew exponentially!
I'm not just passionate about homeschooling and unschooling: I'm also a keen gardener, landscaper, builder and writer. My practical and logical approach to these areas of my life informs my views on education and learning. I love to talk and write passionately about what I believe are the essential learning and developmental experiences for children, and how families can build a curriculum around simply living in a way that naturally and largely effortlessly develops the skills and knowledge children need. At heart I am a natural learner and unschooler and in practice probably am more of an eclectic home educator who wishes she had more time to explore many more of the different resources and activities that I read about every day!
Over the years I've created a few different websites celebrating the different aspects of our family life. More recently I've been able to add my offspring's websites as they venture out into the world, creating niches for their talents and abilities.
As a home education activist for 30+ years it sometimes feels like I've "been there done that" many times over. When my youngest was about 8 or 9 he pleaded with me to get off the phone and to spend some time educating him rather than talking endlessly about education to other parents! At about the same time the internet really started to take off and I joined and then started some online support groups. Cyberspace is where I thrive and live, mainly because I love writing, it's what I do... You'll find me there on my support groups every day. If you email me and ask me a question I'll ask you to join my group, so I can share the answer with hundreds of other parents and we can learn together from each other.
I've spoken at and participated in a few (25!) workshops, seminars and conferences, beginning in 1995 with the most recent one in 2017. We attended our first ever homeschool camp in 1990 and the next year organised one in South Australia. I'm happy to say we've been to dozens of home educating camps, only nowadays it is with the kids who are home educating their kids. Home education camps are absolutely fantastic at building our confidence as educating parents and the kids love them.
Between the years 2008-2011 and 2016-2017, I was an active volunteer with the Home Education Association of Australia, a committee member as well as editor and production manager of their newsletter and magazine Stepping Stones for Home Educators. In 2017, as a founding member, I helped re-start the South Australian Chapter of HEA. In May 2018, following a takeover of the association by a group of disgruntled members who then proceeded to unsuccessfully sue 4 other members, and then the association itself, through the NSW Supreme Court, I revoked my life membership. Until the current HEA committee unreservedly appologises to the four home educating mums and pays the outstanding invoices of the contracted 2017-2018 admins, I am unable to support, endorse or recommend the HEA Inc. to homeschooling and unschooling families.
I'm happy to say my three awesome children are thriving, building lives together with their partners and families, getting on with what they want to do, staying (probably a little too) busy as active life-long learners.
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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.
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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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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