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 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


Free directory of Australian homeschooling and unschooling support groups organised by national, state and territories

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
this Always Learning Year 7 Plan is everything you need to get started a comprehensive collection of curriculum aligned resources and links to activities, lesson plans and unit studies for your year 7 homeschooling student
Introduction to
Home Education
  National and State
Support Groups
  Yearly Planner, Diary & Report Series of How To
Parent Workbooks
Homeschool Learning Plans

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.


Do you need formal teaching qualifications to homeschool?

© Beverley Paine
Interview with Julia Harris, journalist student
April 26, 2011

1/ In your opinion, are parents without formal teaching qualifications, equipped to home educate their children? Why/ why not?

Parents do not need formal teaching qualifications - or any kind of qualifications for that matter - to help their children learn, either as parents of schooled children or home educated children. The majority of parents are equipped to 'learn-on-the-job' and simply pick up and continue using the skills they honed in their child's first five years of life. Some people might think that teaching a five or a ten year old is tricky, but it's a breeze compared with trying to work out and meet the developmental needs of a one year old!

To get the most out of the home education experience for both the parent and child, parents must enjoy the company of their children. The parent needs to have an open mind, willing to be flexible and adaptable. It helps if he or she enjoys learning and is willing to let go of some of the myths and misconceptions about how to learn and how to teach. Children are excellent at guiding parents to find the best resources and methods - especially if their parents are practiced users of observation, reflection and evaluation skills.

Being able to find one's way around a library and the internet are helpful. Basic literacy and numeracy skills come in handy. :-)

There are no requirements for home educating parents to have formal teaching qualifications in all states and territories of Australia.

2/ Do you see a need for a homeschooling teaching qualification/course for parents? do you think this would assist or hinder homeschooling parents? why/ why not?

I don't see a need for formal teaching qualifications or courses for home educating parents.

Voluntary, inexpensive (or free) courses and workshops do have a place in helping those parents that lack confidence or wish to improve their skills, knowledge and understanding in any topic. Home educating parents are always learning and the opportunity to learn with peers (either in small groups or by distance or online education) would be welcomed by many parents.

Home educators self-organise conferences, seminars and workshops for other home educating parents. As a course or workshop presenter I find that the majority of questions relate to parenting rather than educational issues. Parents are confident educators but, like all parents, worry about parenting. Managing life and parenting issues - organisational issues - can be a source of stress that is often expressed as a lack of confidence in ability to teach. Questions about time management are fairly typical - looking after toddlers while helping older children, finding time for mum's activities, getting the children to help with chores, etc - are asked more often than how to teach the times tables or Australian history, for example.

Home educating parents are very resourceful. There is a strong support network across Australia, especially online.

Home education is very hands-on learning. Parents often take an experimental approach to methods and materials. They drop what isn't working and find new resources and approaches as soon as it is obvious - and it is usually very obvious! What works for one child might not work for another. They develop truly individualised learning programs for each of their children that are responsive to the child's developmental and learning needs.

Because home education tends to be very responsive to the child's learning needs, parents are always looking out for better methods and resources. Many are often using tools and techniques at the cutting edge of education. I'm not sure that teacher training would be of any benefit to parents such as this: in any case, parents are constantly self-educating about more effective ways of helping their children learn.

3/ With your great experience, what in general is the opinion of the homeschooling parents in the teaching industry?

Most of the parents I have met (thousands!) would feel affronted if formal teaching qualifications were required to home educate their children. After 30-40 years the home education movement has adequately proven both here and in the USA and UK that parents from all walks of life and educational backgrounds are capable of teaching their children from home. Research studies have confirmed this - though hundreds of thousands of adults who were home educated are proof enough.

Nearly all of the parents I have met would think that implementing a teacher training course to qualify parents as home educators would be a waste of resources and money. The time and energy to provide this would be better spent on appropriate support for families and groups.

Teachers need training because they are teaching up to 30 children whom they do not personally and intimately know, and because they are answerable to the parents and to society in general. Home educating parents know they children very well and use this understanding and knowledge to help their children become motivated, self-confident and enthusiastic learners. Home educating parents are answerable to their children and society in general. They are not being employed to do a job - they are home educating because they love their children.

4/ What do you believe parents bring/give to their children when homeschooling, that 'regular' schooling cannot?

There is no short answer to this question. Parents bring/give their children so much - great parents will do this for children anyway. Parents simply need to be great parents, interested but not obsessed in their children's development and future. Interested enough to make space in their day to be with their children and to do things together. In other words, be attentive to their children and their needs. Few parents seem to manage this consistently. It's been my experience and privilege to hang out with a special bunch of parents who enjoy the company of their children and love learning alongside them. More have been home educating parents than parents of schooled children.

See my articles on the benefits of home education from a parental perspective for a more thorough list: http://homeschoolaustralia.com/articles/benefits.html . Although it lists the benefits I've gained, it is obvious that the benefits are a two-way experience. As I learned how to be a better parent from home educating my children they also gained much. I am a much better parent because I taught my children from home - this is a common experience in homeschooling families.

There are more listed on my Benefits index page: http://homeschoolaustralia.com/index/benefits.html

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."

image is 3 workbooks for parents set on a background showing bushland, DIY home ed curriculum planning, recording, evaluating, write your own curriculum
Want to learn how to write your own education plans
to suit your unique children's individual learning needs?

Or you are looking for quality curriculum and teaching tips...

Comprehensive 3 workbook 'how to home ed' course
covering the essential skills you need
successfully home educate your children



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


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

"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
purchase Beverley's practical and common sense books on homeschooling and unschooling
Connect with Beverley and ask questions
through her online The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook support group

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.

Advertise on this site.

say goodbye to home education registration stress with this ultimate rego bundle from Fearless Homeschool

make homeschooling a lot easier, zero to homeschool's excellent course is here to help

Australia's best home education consultant, let Tamara Kidd guide and help you prepare your home education registration application or review

Twinkl downloadable Home education resources helping you teach confidently at home

Online science lessons for primary school aged home educating children

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!

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 Record Keeping 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 1999-2023.