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, I am 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:
This is what I require:
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:
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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.
I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
Welcome to the
We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment 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. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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