QUICK GUIDE to teaching your children at home!
Interested in homeschooling, but still not sure? Read All You Need Is...'
On this website you will find hundreds of articles I have written over the past two decades to encourage and support parents to teach their children at home. This QUICK GUIDE is a brief introduction designed to give you some direction and information to get you started along this path. Use the links above to quickly find information and links to further reading.
We started homeschooling our children officially from 1986, using a school-at-home approach, basing it on our daughter's kindergarten experiences and what we remembered from being students ourselves. Very slowly, influenced by the writing of John Holt and Alfie Kohn, we relaxed into an unschooling lifestyle. However, my confidence as an educator is derived from approaching the education of my children as a teacher: I conscientiously planned, recorded and evaluated their educational programs. As a learner I value the tools of observation and reflection and goal setting. These stood me in good stead and I know they will be of immeasurable value to you as you educate your children.
It is easy to go out and purchase a box of books or sign up to an online curriculum and sit your child down and say 'you are now a homeschooler, learn'. It is a different thing to be an effective teacher meeting and responding to your child's unique learning styles and needs. It is another thing being there with the child, observing how she learns, what she already knows, what she needs to know next, helping her make sense of and understand the world about her. It doesn't take long to mark your child's progress with tests but if you want educational success you are better off helping her understand the ups and downs of the learning process, how learning happens and how it can happen more effectively.
We can be passive home educators or we can be active learners, learning alongside our children, enjoying every minute of their educational journeys. The Homeschool Australia website is dedicated to helping you become the latter. I want you to be a 'hands on' parent because doing that has brought me incredibly joy and resulted in the most amazine close friendships with my now adult children.
We're not exceptional people: we don't have tertiary education qualifications and our work experiences have been limited to clerical and retail. What probably sets us apart is our 'do-it-yourself' attitude which helped to develop a vast range of different skills in many areas of life. We're active learners who look foward to what each new day brings. Self-reliance and self-confidence were high on our list of priorities as young parents. Homeschooling hasn't always been easy but it has always been rewarding. We are richer in many ways because we trod this path.
When we started out on our home educating journey we were not perfect parents: far from it! How we parented and educated our children looked very different back then. We have learned an enormous amount along the way. Some lessons were learned by observing how our children and other children learn. We listened carefully when people have told us their stories and learned from their lessons too. As far as possible we continually adapted what we were doing in the light of new understanding and knowledge. And that is the nature of home education - flexible and adaptable!
Home education offers parents the opportunity to give their children a high quality education that is responsive to the child, parent, family and community. It is an education option that is truly accountable. You get out of it what you put into it: the more attention, time and energy you invest into planning, recording and evaluating your homeschool curriculum the greater the reward and sense of satisfaction.
After 20 years of being a contact and support person Beverley no longer takes phone call or email inquiries. Please join one of her yahoo groups if you want to know more about homeschooling or if you have a question.
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Since 1989 Beverley Paine has steadfastly promoted and supported home education as an educational choice for Australia families. Her books and websites aim to demystify education, gently deschooling families so that they may meet their children's individual and unique educational and developmental needs. Her honesty, insights and wealth of experience continues to bring hope, reassurance and confidence to families. Beverley publishes her recent articles, tips and links to resources in her quarterly magazine, Homeschool Unschool