Welcome to The Educating Parent Beverley Paine's archive of articles about homeschooling and unschooling written over a period of 30 plus years

HomeAbout Blog Articles Curriculum Resource Directory Shop Kids Pages Facebook

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


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

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
Introduction to
Home Education
  National and State
Support Groups
  Yearly Planner, Diary & Report Beverley's Original Home Ed Manual Series of How To
Parent Workbooks

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

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


Biodiversity in Your Backyard

by Beverley Paine

How many animals do you depend on every day to stay alive? How many plants? And what about other living things?

Make a chart with the headings - PLANTS, ANIMALS, OTHER - and go for a walk around your house and garden with mum and dad and see how many you can list. Don't forget to list all the tiny and microscopic creatures that you can find! Carefully look under leaves, rocks and logs. Look up at the sky and in tall trees. Check behind furniture and in damp places inside. What else is living and growing where you live?

A few years ago Macquarie University researcher, Andrew Beattie, set out to count how many species lived in an average Sydney backyard - animals, birds, plants, insects, worms, spiders, micro-organisms, etc. He counted at least 4,620 different species! And he's certain there were many thousands more species he missed.

The planet Earth is full of amazingly diverse creatures and plants, all dependent on this diversity for survival. Did you know b iodiversity includes all the plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genetic information they contain and the ecosystems they form. We are lucky to live on one of the most diverse countries on the planet, home to more than one million species of plants and animals. Many of them are endemic, found nowhere else in the world. These account for 85% of Australia 's flowering plants, 84% of mammals, over 45% of birds, and 89% of inshore temperate zone fish. A highly diverse and complex ecosystem is a sign of health and has a positive impact on the quality of air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat, as well as providing us with materials for use in our daily lives and nature to enjoy.

Would you like to attract more native birds, butterflies or cute furry creatures into your backyard?

You can easily enhance the biodiversity of your backyard by planting indigenous species. They help to create shelter, shade, and nesting places, while preventing erosion and providing food in the form of leaves, nectar, berries, seeds and associated bugs. Even small areas along the side of your house will help provide habitat for native fauna creating 'wildlife corridors' for animals and insects to move from one feeding or nesting area to another. Leave leaf litter, twigs, and rocks as they provide miniature habitats for plants and creatures too. A few sheltered moist areas in your garden bring in bugs which feed birds, lizards and frogs. Try to photograph or draw the different creatures you find and the plants they love to live near.

Ask your neighbours to do the same so that collectively you can begin to not only provide 'wildlife corridors' but also enjoy watching nature close to home.

Check out these CSIRO Backyard Biodiversity pages for more ideas:

Identifying Bugs: http://www.csiro.au/resources/backyard-biodiversity-bugs.html
Find out about the fascinating world of insects then use the guide to help identify insects in your neighbourhood.

Endangered Species Activity: http://www.csiro.au/resources/ps23p.html
Australia has many animals, birds, plants and other species that are threatened or endangered. Find out more about this issue and try an activity to help protect biodiversity in your backyard.

Field Adventures: http://www.csiro.au/resources/ps220.html
Backyard Biodiversity goes on in gardens, nature reserves, creeks, wildlife parks and zoos. Try these ideas to get involved in biodiversity activities in your area.

Invasive Species: http://www.csiro.au/resources/InvasiveSpeciesActivity.html
Cane toads, fire ants and blackberry bushes - read about the environmental and economic problems caused by invasive species and try an activity to learn more.

Salinity: http://www.csiro.au/resources/ps20l.html
Salinity is a major environmental threat in many parts of Australia . Read more about it then try a salinity experiment.

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!

It's been and gone but you don't have to miss out! Purchase the full set of recordings of the 2022 Australian Homeschool Summit, expert help from experienced Australian home educators, all you need to get your started and continuing on your homeschooling or unschooling adventure with your children! Over 30 workshops, downloads and more.

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

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 group.

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

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.

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

200 pages of templates, planning pages, tables, prompts and record sheets to organise your whole year!

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 1999-2022.