Evaluating Materials for Home Education
© Beverley Paine
When families are just starting out home educating it is very tempting to duplicate the school environment in the belief this will facilitate learning. Many families spend time carefully selecting educational materials which they hope will assist them with the teaching/learning process. Often many of the items chosen will remain unused, or seldom used as the education process unfolds in the home.
School learning and home learning are essentially different and therefor have very different requirements. However, as adults helping children to learn, teachers and parents have similar needs. The following is a list of questions designed to help in the selection of materials for any learning situation, and is especially useful when considering items such as curriculum or specific subject guidelines.
- Is it (the material contemplated) impressively whole/comprehensive/ well integrated with a carefully planned development?
- Will the content usefully extend the child's world (and therefor be at the child's existing level of understanding with extension possible, offering them interesting experiences rather than mechanical exercises)?
- Will it communicate, and make sense, to the children? (and adult!)
- Does the material include useful teaching/ learning aids?
- How willing will the adult be to spend time with the material - is the information within it easily accessible and easy to implement, is it attractive to the adult?
- Does it really provide more than any other source, including what the adult could provide from existing knowledge, materials already on hand?
- Does it comprehensively serve a definite purpose (need)?
- Does it offer plenty of material from which to select purposefully in trying to fulfil the aim of extending the child's world?
- Does it use clear language, offer aids such as questions, pictures, diagrams, definitions, glossary and references which will foster independent exploration?
- Once purchased will it continue to be a preferred source over other materials available?
- Is it available from other sources, such as friends, other home educating families or libraries, either for a more in-depth of examination before purchase?
- Will it continue to be useful for a considerable period of time to warrant purchase? (and does it have recycling ability?)
Finally, adults need to consider if the materials contribute to the learning activity for which it is being sought, or if it replaces true learning opportunities with ready made
solutions or practices, which may not be relevant to the children's individual learning needs as they arise, styles and rates of learning.
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you?
Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating
and reassurance to families
better outcomes for their children.
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 support 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." Vanessa
"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!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"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
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"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
I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
If you experience difficultiess accessing any page can you
please email me the link? Thank you.
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'.
Advertise with The Educating Parent
||DIY Getting Started with Home Schooling Pack
Beverley Paine's best selling comprehensive common sense manual detailing how to write your own curriculum tailored to your children's educational needs
PLUS 9 of Beverley's popular practical home educating series booklets!
Great value $60
and Unschooling Pack
Each Pack contains a copy of the following:
Natural Learning Answers
A5 or A4
Learning Naturally Diary
Learning Maths Naturally
A Sample Approved Natural Learning Program and Review
Only $29 or $33
Home education is a legal alternative
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.
Without revenue from advertising
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!