Welcome to The Educating Parent Beverley Paine's archive of articles about homeschooling and unschooling written over a period of 30 plus years

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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

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Teaching Beyond Our Skill Level

© Beverley Paine

A few days ago I was asked: "What you do when your child exceeds your capabilities in a subject?" In this case the person's question related to maths: if your maths skills are poor how do you teach a mathematically bright child? It's a question that comes up time and again from prospective homeschoolers or as an objection to homeschooling.

I'm not very knowledgeable in many areas and, to be honest, I consider my knowledge of the areas I'm passionate to be fairly average. However, I tackle most things with enthusiasm, making sure I assemble the resources I need to find out or learn to do something new. Being organised about how I learn, and understanding that I'm capable of learning (having faith in myself as a learner) means that I honestly believe I can learn anything I want or need to.

One of the reasons I buy books and have a well-stocked homeschool library is because they are full of information and instructions. There are books, written in plain language and with clear diagrams and illustrations, to tackle just about anything now. And there's always the internet. There are even online lessons telling you how to get the most out of searching the internet... With a library like that at my finger tips I never feel inadequate when it comes to learning something new.

As an unschooler and natural learner I know that books are fantastic guides to just about everything, including text books used by school or university students. I know I can get to any level of expertise using books as the basis for my learning. At some stage though I may need to call on someone who is more knowledgeable or skilful and that's when I look for a tutor.

Nowhere in homeschooling does it say that mum or dad should be the only tutors! Homeschoolers don't narrow the field, they open it up! Look around in your family, group of friends, neighbourhood, and community for people who can tutor.

My friend, a single mum, found a local dad who loved fixing up old cars. Her son was keen on learning to drive and wanted to be able to repair whatever car he bought himself. Sue knew nothing about car maintenance. She talked to the guy down the road who was only too happy to get to know her son and have him hang around on the weekend and learn about mechanics.

Another friend realised that not only did she have no clue about maths beyond what she needed in her daily life, she didn't want to learn either, so from early in their homeschooling life she used a maths tutor, in much the same way as a music tutor, for her children. The woman showed her daughter how to the maths and set 'homework' assignments.

The other way that homeschooling parents tackle this issue is to start learning clubs. Ann Lahrson Fisher writes about this in her excellent book Fundamentals of Homeschooling , available from my Always Learning Books website. We've been involved in group learning for circus skills, art, science, and craft. We've also accessed art and music tutors.

Our experiment with school was based on my fear that my lack of skills and knowledge meant my children were missing out, but as I discovered, schools don't always cover those areas, especially to the depth that our children might want and need. We tried school as I wanted my children to have access to physical education, movement, drama, dance, art and craft, and music. The first year at school there were teachers who specialised in these areas. However, for the next five years the school community focus was on technological (read computers!) skills and suddenly the school had little time, money or resources for learning activities in the Arts.

In a neighbouring primary school they had an award winning marine biology focus because it was a hobby and passion of one of the teachers: when he was transferred all that excellence went with him. It's easier to find and access these kinds of people in the community outside of school, than to hope and rely on something happening in the school environment.

Home education naturally broadens one's perspective on the how and why of education. It's very liberating and leads to the development of life-long learning skills for the whole family.

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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.

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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."

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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

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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.

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Home education is a legal alternative
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are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.

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