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


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
Australia's original homeschooling manual from veteran home educator Beverley Paine, how to write your own learning plan and curriculum to meet your child's needs
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.


"I can't do it": Resistance to Learning

by Beverley Paine

A family has been homeschooling their seven year old for a few months, and things were going great but recently the daughter is losing interest, saying "I don't get it" to school work that her parents knows she can manage.

She says she doesn't get it, yet you say she can. When this happened to me (with different children, not just my own), they honestly couldn't do it right then, in that moment. My assumption, based on cultural and social expectations as well as knowledge of the particular child, was that they could and for some unstated reason (and again, my assumptions ran riot) had decided not to get it. In my mind the child was choosing to refuse to do it and that got my back up.

Eventually it dawned on me that I needed to step back and have some faith, trust that the child was actually telling me the truth and in that moment really didn't think she could do it.

The problem usually isn't academic. The problem usually has to do with self-image. That's where the defeatist self-talk is originating.

A child removed from school is no longer immersed in the competitive academic and social structure of the classroom. While this provides enormous relief, it strips the child of the one measure she's used to by which to gauge her ability: comparison with her peers. She's been trained from a young age to grade herself against them, not to notice what she could and couldn't do or know last week but does now. Many home educated children suddenly find themselves in a bit of a vacuum, not knowing if they're doing okay, how they are doing, if it is working.

And more than that, the bulk of learning occurring in the classroom is probably peer learning - children helping each other understand the lessons. Many parents new to homeschooling buy a box of books or online programs and get their children to work steadily through them, often sitting beside them or nearby, ready to answer questions. The informality of learning which came through peers is missing. Parents can fix this by relaxing about the school work, by chatting casually about life and learning and anything and everything during the school day and while the child is doing her bookwork. They can expand on the lessons by using materials and activities that relate to the topic or illustrate a concept. They can balance bookwork and lessons with play, especially board, card and dice games, word play, charades, etc. A great school teacher would do this too.

But it is important to listen to what the child is saying: "I don't get it" could be answered with, "Exactly what is it you aren't getting? I might be able to help. Let's look it up on Google." And so on. Get to the heart of the problem. Find out exactly what the child is talking about. Chances are the child might say something startling such as, "I'm no good at maths." To which you might ask, "Who told you that?" And there you have it, an opening into discussing issues relating to self-esteem, confidence and motivation that doesn't sound or feel threatening to the child. No one at school was ever seriously interested in this aspect of the child's development.

There are other reasons why children suddenly start finding learning difficult. I would be also be checking for any changes in the child's social or physical environment which may be adding stress to her life. Late nights, illness, inadequate diet, too busy, over-stimulation, worrying about issues the parents might be considering (even if they think the child doesn't know about them) - these are a few of the factors that could be contributing to learning difficulties.

Another is mis-matching the learning activities and type of learning activity to the child's learning style. In a situation where the child has only recently started home educating this might be caused because of the change in resources - books and materials - as well as method. Home educators are fortunate in that they can keep trying different approaches until they find one that matches their child's learning style. There are learning style articles and quizzes online that can help parents identify their child's preferred ways of learning.

Whatever it is the child isn't getting, she won't get it at school either. It's not easy being a parent, and being attentive and identifying our children's needs takes time and yes, we're busy people and yes, time is precious, but nothing is more important than listening to our children and helping them resolve their problems.

Beverley Paine is a regular contributor to Homeschool Australia, a Facebook group. It's a great online community of parents sharing their experiences and supporting and encouraging each other: no question is too trivial.

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."

CLICK HERE if you 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...

Access 228 plus workshops and presentations from all of the Australian Homeschool Summits subscription membership, expert advice tips and resources online in the comfort of your own home in your own time everything you need to plan and register with ease!

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

complete comprehensive step by step program that teaches you how to craft your ultimate 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

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

Australia's premier online annual conferences, lifetime access to video and audio recordings, freebies, notes and associated resource guides.


$29 each 2023 2022 2021
$25 each 2020 2019 2017

"Biggest and best Aussie homeschool event of the year!"

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.