What kind of words do you use to describe your child?

Came across this poster as a meme on Facebook today. I'm not so keen on using 'positive' as a descriptor for the words in the right-hand column - I think they are simply a more appropriate choice. Although, having said that, I'm strong-willed and stubborn, can be emotional, etc, etc, etc and I'm okay with that, but that's beside the point. Labelling anyone as their behaviour or temperament probably isn't conducive to building connection, trust and respect, so being mindful of what words we choose and how we use them is wise. Schools use words all the time to describe children and these words can have a powerful effect on self-esteem. They can also follow a child throughout their school life, passed on from one teacher to another at the end of the year, recorded in reports, and so on. This can lead to prejudice, especially if used as stereotypes. I'm guilty of describing my children and grandchildren in this way - something I keep trying to be more mindfu

Join Beverley and friends at the 2021 Australian Homeschooling Summit

  I'm really excited to be presenting again at the 2021 Australian Homeschooling Summit.  Today I signed up with Summit producer Kelly from Fearless Homeschool along with many of my awesome experienced home educating friends! But you don't have to wait until February to get all the help you could possibly want to help you make up your mind if home education is the right path for your family, or get started planning your 2021 curriculum and activities today, or to give your existing home educating life a lovely refresh and boost!    Grab this limited-time special offer for the best Aussie homeschooling help you can get! Get the recordings of ALL 78 workshops + 15 bonus sessions from the 2017, 2019, and 2020 Australian Homeschooling Summits. They include all my previous workshops:  Tune into how your child learns Deschooling for Homeschoolers Oh no! I forgot to Socialise the Kids! Eyes Wide Open - Home Education Benefits and Disadvantages Choosing Homeschool Curriculum Get instan

'Gold standard' in education?

Chatting with the lead officer responsible for a team of people assessing home education applications and reviews a couple of years ago, it was made clear that the school system believes it offers world's best practice in education to children, often claimed as the 'gold standard'. And that home education is seen as stepping away from the opportunity to provide that level of excellence, thus disadvantaging them. This was expressed despite the personal knowledge and experience of the officer that demonstrates otherwise, and I took it as a 'must say' defensive comment.  Early in my home educating experience I came to realise just how much of our economy is embedded in the school system, from child care centres through to universities and online learning colleges. It is a massive industry that employs many. For a long time, we home educators were seen as potentially undermining the integrity of that system: as one home education manager said "operating outside of

Looking after yourself: applying permaculture design principles as a guide

I came across the idea of home education at the same time as permaculture so the two have always been intertwined in my mind: permaculture principles and ethics informs my life and actions. It is still an imperfect practice as I'm still learning, even after 34 years! There is a fair bit of resistance to changing thought habits to overcome and in home educating vernacular we call that process 'deschooling'. The link goes to a module from a free permaculture course and I wish I'd had access to this 34 years ago! It reflects much of what I've learned from personal experience muddling through life, slowly learning to take better care of myself as I more or less applied the permie principles to my inner life as well as my outer life. I am a slow learner and I'm okay with that. I'm currently exploring the many links embedded in this article. Image: Beverley picking cherries at Fleurieu Cherries

Holiday blues - dealing with relatives who disagree with home educating

FAQ: How do you deal with relatives who quiz the children to see if they're 'behind' academically and compare them to schooled children? We no longer enjoy seeing the relatives because of this and we're seeing them less often as a result.  For years I wanted people around me to acknowledge and respect and in some instances with some people even approve of our choice to home educate our children, or at least respect our children. I was very attached to that want: it felt like a need. It is a need, but all the time I was actively seeking it, and that combined with the expectation based on past experience that it wouldn't be there which provoked anxiety and anticipation of disappointment. I was setting myself up to be reactive and irritated. I was setting myself up to allow the opinions of others to affect me - I still had considerable emotional attachment to their thoughts and opinions. Way back when our kids were young I'd prep them beforehand - let them know th

Go On, Give Unschooling a Go...

by Beverley Paine Unschooling my kids unschooled me, the process of deschooling myself is ongoing. We have nothing to lose by giving unschooling a go. If we don't like we can homeschool. If that doesn't work out for us or our children they can go to school. We place a lot of emphasis on children not missing out on learning if they don't go to school for every year of their lives. Yet no one will argue with you that a year travelling around India, Asia or Europe with their family will harm a child's education. Okay, so that's an extreme example, but how about taking a year off school and doing an in-depth hands-on full time exploration of your local community, your region or state, or Australia? Dive right in and unschool your way from day to day, doing exactly what you would if you were touring around the world - getting to know and experience fully the places and people, not overseas, but right here. Imagine how much of the school curriculum you'd naturally c

Bits and Pieces, Autumn 2012

Some days it feels like I live online... The amount of information and support for home educators is awe inspiring. I hope you enjoy these ‘bits & pieces’ I’ve collected over the past couple of months. The KookaGumJoeys are three home schooled girls (Madeleine & Charlotte McKee-Wright and Jaye Heimlich) who won the FIRST LEGO League National tournament in December last year. They will now represent Australia at the Open European Championship in Germany, in June. They are trying to raise approximately $30,000 through donations and sponsorship to get them to Germany. They would be incredibly grateful to anyone who could offer them support of any kind. They are currently running a raffle with some amazing prizes (1st prize is a LEGO Mindstorms NXT Set worth $500). If you would like to purchase tickets or find out more please check out their website: Life Media Channel: Wendy Priesnitz, publisher of Life Learning Magazine and Natural Child now has