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.


Nelson Mandela Wasn't the Sportiest Kid at School (and Why Our Kids Should Know It)

By Lucy Singer, Founder and Editorial Director, HistoriCool magazine

One year after Nelson Mandela, one of the most influential global icons of our time, passed away at the age of 95, Canadian ice hockey star, Jonathan Bernier, paid his respects at a gala held in honor of the late leader.

Well obviously growing up, he's one of the most known athletes in the world. A lot of impact in any kind of sport that he did, and even playing hockey, everyone knows him, right? From being the type of person that he was off the ice and on the ice. It's unfortunate that he passed a year ago, but, he changed a lot while he was with us, and he's a tremendous guy.

I think Mandela spent a little more time off the ice than on it, but hey, that's just me.

But while Bernier was hopelessly mistaken about the person he was honoring, his gaffe brings about an interesting point.

Nelson Mandela was not, obviously, an ice-hockey champion. In fact, while he was passionate about sport as a vehicle to harmoniously bring opposing parties together, he himself was not a particularly remarkable sportsman (although he participated enthusiastically) and he certainly wasn't the sportiest in his class.

Likewise, Galileo was likely not the most popular kid at his school, and Cleopatra probably wasn't on the academic honor roll.

These well-known (we can be sure that Bernier is absolutely aware of Mandela's true legacy now!) historic figures achieved great things in their lifetimes, however they were not born any differently to you or I, or importantly, our children.

Studies have shown that children who exhibit perfectionist attitudes are hindered in their ability to attain their goals and shape their future. These same children often deal with issues such as low self-esteem and anxiety.

When a student aims to be on the top of the podium, the class and the social ladder simultaneously, the fear of slipping at even just one of these tiers will deeply affect their potential to achieve at another.

I believe that the best way to teach kids that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things is by letting them discover the stories of those that have done it before them.

Tell me one great person in history that 'had it all'. Guess what? That person doesn't exist. And that is why I believe that researching the lives of those who shaped our past is one of the most impactful ways that we can help children to shape their future.

Nelson Mandela was the first person in his family to attend school; both of his parents were illiterate. During his years in education, he developed a love for history, as many leaders do, and steadily maintained his social, academic and sporting commitments between taking time to garden. He was your average young adult (except, maybe, for the gardening!)

He was not the best at anything. He was simply a man whose passions aligned with his personal strengths. And over the next many years of his life, he continued to be an ordinary man, just one who achieved extraordinary things.

Learning the stories of people like Nelson Mandela should trigger the realisation in our children, particularly those who suffer from low self-confidence or an undeniable perfectionist streak, that by being in the middle of the pack, by being perfectly ordinary, is in no way an interference to achieving greatness, even the sort of greatness that we will remember for generations to come.

You don't have to look too far to find the stories of historical figures that will help in conveying this message. These come to my mind immediately:

People who failed at first

•  Thomas Edison (who tried more than 1000 times before he finally invented the light bulb)

•  Walt Disney (who was repeatedly fired and unsuccessful in starting his own businesses, until one just worked)

•  Winston Churchill (who lost his first parliamentary election)

People who came from places of extreme adversity

•  Louis Braille (who was blinded at age three and who's invention continues to help millions)

•  Helen Keller (who lost her ability to see and hear before her second birthday)

•  MalalaYousafzai (who, as a female, was banned by the Taliban from attending school)

People who didn't finish school

•  Benjamin Franklin (who left at age 10 due when his family could not afford to keep sending him)

•  Princess Diana (who too dropped out at 16 and was regarded as "academically below-average"

Each of these figures had a particular passion, which drove them to do great things, academic, social and physical capabilities aside.

If you have a child or a student that has a fear of failing, or a belief that to achieve extraordinary things they must be extraordinarily adept at everything, I recommend you ask them to picture Nelson Mandela on ice skates. And, more importantly, help them to discover some of the figures above and encourage them to recognise their passions.


HistoriCool provides parents and teachers with a resource to do just this in a fun and engaging format. Check it out today at www.historicool.com.au and start your kids on a journey to achievement.

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.